Hello, hello, from Orlando!
I have wanted to get better at documenting my life on my blog. When looking back on my blog from the past year for my yearly recap, it was apparent I don’t blog too much about my everyday life – especially as it relates to trips I take. Not that I’m jettisoning off to different exciting locales every other month, but I hope to begin traveling more now that I’m done with school and my life has calmed down a lot.
But that’s not what this post is about! Today, I left work at 1pm so my mom and I could begin our trek to Orlando for marathon weekend!
The trip up wasn’t bad at all. We had stopped before beginning the drive for lunch, gas, and to pick up a package at the apartment. My mom drove (since I’ll be driving home. Something about having tired legs from running 26.2 miles?!) and we arrived a little before 4:00pm.
We checked in, found our room, and relaxed for a little less than an hour. My mom was anxious to get to the expo. While our stay here is pricey (we’re staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge), it’s worth it for a) easy transportation to and from the race site and b) views like this:
We headed down to ESPN’s Wide World of Sports for the race expo. It was smooth sailing there, from picking up her bib to getting her tech tee and swag to strolling around the expo. It wasn’t as crowded and hectic as last year, possibly because we went later in the day? I also forced my mom to buy something. Last year, she didn’t buy anything and you just cannot run a race like Disney and not buy something at the expo. Am I right? She bought a shirt from a ministry called Team 413, a Christian charity that ministers at endurance events. Pretty, pretty cool.
And somehow, my paths crossed with an old friend from my days as an education major in college. Divine intervention that from all the thousands of people who are running this weekend and the hundreds at the expo, our paths our literally cross right in front of each other! We had a ton of education classes together and she was a really close friend of mine in college. We’ve somewhat kept up with each other but it was so neat to see her! She’s running the half tomorrow (go, Kim!).
We left the expo, hopped back on the bus to take us back to our hotel, and then left to hit up Premium Outlets. It’s an outlet mall with a ton of name-brand stores that is an absolute must whenever I visit Orlando. I spent $35 and bought a new cover for my Kindle (I have a case, but it’s not as sturdy as my other one so I wanted something to carry it in) from the Vera Bradley outlet, as well as a scarf and hat from The Loft outlet. I’m not the best at bargain shopping so I was stoked.
(I also saw a fairly popular blogger at the Lululemon outlet but was way too shy to go up to her and introduce myself. We’ve somewhat chatted on Twitter off and on, but I felt really awkward, especially surrounded by all those runner/yogi types in the store. Sigh. Will I ever grow out of my social awkwardness?)
After the mall, my mom and I headed to Outback Steakhouse for dinner. It was packed but the wait wasn’t too bad, especially for a Friday night. And our service & food was delicious. Seriously, my mom and I have such bad luck with service so we’re especially grateful when the waiter actually does his job.
And now, it’s 11:15 and I’m in my jammies, writing this blog post. My plans for being more well-rested for marathon day are flying out the window, I believe. Tomorrow, my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew are coming up here in the morning and we’re all going to spend the day at Disney. I’m pretty excited as it will be my nephew’s first time! And I just love Disney.
I’m off to bed now, hoping to get some good sleep before an insane two days that are ahead of me. Thanks for all your words of encouragement for my mom, they really mean a lot! She still has a lot of nerves (who wouldn’t?) but she also has a lot of excitement, too. I hope I can find time to blog before Sunday but if not, I’ll update on Sunday night!
Have you ever seen a blogger in public but were too shy to approach? I’m not alone in my social awkwardness, am I?