So, as it turns out, I love Disney World. I have been before... once at age 5 with scarlet fever (true story) and then once when I was in maybe the 6th or 7th grade. It's been a while.
About three months ago our dear Disney-loving friends somehow convinced Ben to run the Mickey Marathon in Disney World. So this past weekend we got on a plane to Orlando to head to Walt Disney World for Ben's (and our friend Dave's) very first marathon. We figured while we were there, why not take advantage of the parks? I was totally excited to be with friends and family for four days... and excited to go to Disney, but not like dying with excitement. I just didn't really remember it from my previous visits. Don't get me wrong, I was sure it would be fun- but I was more excited about the overall experience and time in sunny Florida, not just because it was Disney.
And then. We arrived. And I walked through the magical Disney gates and thought "wow, Disney is awesome".
It was clean, organized, elaborate, over-the-top, happy and magical all wrapped up in one. I don't know, it was just fun being there.
And the rides are good too. Even the lines you wait in to get on to rides are good. Disney just does a good job. See how much fun we're having?
And that Castle... there is just something about Cinderella's castle.
And all of Cinderella's princess friends...
They had fireworks in the Magic Kingdom that far surpassed any 4th of July show I have witnessed. No lie. Also, I am quitting my job and going to Disney to be Tinkerbell- she flies out of the castle during the fireworks show. I hear you have to be small... smaller than my 5'10" stature... but I am ready to reinvent the Tinkerbell wheel. Bigger is better, Tink.
As for the marathon... Let me say, there is really something about the running community. Everyone I talked to who either ran the half or full marathon was just so kind and inspiring. I met a 50 something woman who was completing her 24th marathon. ?!? I don't think the human body is supposed to do that- but I am so utterly impressed. My friend Meghan and I, while waiting for our husbands to cross, we watched as a steady stream of people crossed the finish line. Amazingly enough they were not all young, muscular Kenyans... there were all kinds of people crossing that finish line. Friends holding hands, husbands and wives collapsing into each others arms, almost everyone threw their hands up in a moment of relief and joy to complete it... some limped, some raced across and many sobbed as soon as they crossed that line.
As for Meghan and me? We are standing in the bleachers just crying over these people we don't even know. It was amazing to see them accomplish such an amazing thing- they would cry and we would cry with them. I know, I tend to be a bit of a weepy person anyway, but it truly was amazing. Not to mention, we were proud of our husbands, to say the least.
It was hard to say goodbye to the mouse and his friends. A weekend of good company, a little Disney magic and 70 degree weather in the beginning of January? I would do it again... Next year?...