WDW Marathon Weekend

Hello! I’ve been a bit AWOL since the holidays, just a lot going on. I didn’t want to miss the chance however to tell you about the amazing weekend I just had. We just returned from the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend that takes place every January-this was year 26. Full disclosure-neither my husband nor I ran the full marathon, but we did participate in other races. The weekend offers a 5K on Thursday, 10K Friday, half marathon Saturday, and full marathon on Sunday. If you are especially ambitious, you can also do the Goofy Challenge, running the half and full, or the Dopey Challenge, which is ALL FOUR RACES. Hubs ran the 10K on Friday, and I am so proud of him! He typically chooses other forms of exercise rather than running, but he trained very hard and ran the entire distance.

Approaching the finish line, in the red shirt!
Showing off his hardware!

Saturday I ran the half marathon, and it was by far my favorite race of all time. Coming around the corner onto Main Street USA and seeing the castle was such a great moment, I actually got a little choked up. Running is very emotional for me anyway, for a variety of reasons, and being able to participate in this event was so special. The motto of the race weekend is “Every Mile is Magical” and I could not agree more. All along the course, even when not in a theme park, there is music, photo ops, spectators, signs of encouragement, and so much more. The volunteers are amazing, tirelessly handing out water and cheering everyone on. And Disney does an amazing job of keeping everyone organized and in the right place at the right time. I was a little nervous about making my way by myself from the resort to the starting area at 4:00 AM, but had no reason to be-everything ran like clockwork and there were both cast members and volunteers to guide you every step getting into the right start corral.

The most amazing sight!
Each mile marker played music that corresponded with the movie represented!
Not my actual time! The time represents the gun time, and I was 3 corrals back from the start.
I was sad the experience was coming to an end, but my legs were happy to see the finish line!

If you love running and/or Disney, I highly recommend participating in an event. You can read all about them at https://www.rundisney.com. I think I could write a book about this experience, how wonderful and magical it was, and how much of an effect it had on me. This was truly an experience we will both remember forever, and we are already thinking about when we might be able to do it again! I’m happy to answer any questions about the event, feel free to leave them in the comments.

Thanks for visiting!

Friday Favorites-Blowing Rock

Happy Friday! I hope everyone has had a good week and is ready for the weekend. We have a couple activities planned; we’ll be spending Saturday morning buzzing around Winston-Salem while our car gets serviced at a dealership there, then watching the Buckeyes in the afternoon, and finally wrapping up the day at the Greensboro Swarm game, our local G-League team for the Charlotte Hornets. Whew, I think we might find some time to relax and catch up on chores on Sunday.

In today’s installment of Friday Favorites, I want to share one of my favorite places in North Carolina, Blowing Rock. Blowing Rock is a little town in the mountains right off the Blue Ridge Parkway, and it is absolutely beautiful. There are so many restaurants, a local brewery, and adorable shops with some really unique items. We can be there in 2 hours from our house, so it is an easy day trip, but there are inns and B&Bs also, and we think it would be enjoyable to stay the night sometime.

We stopped first at the Cone Manor. I won’t bore you with a history lesson, but it was the mountain home of Moses Cone, a prominent figure where I live and a textile magnate in the late 1800s. If you have any interest in reading about him, here is the link. The photo below of the manor is a stock pic, but the view from the front is one I took. It is easy to see why Mr. Cone picked this spot; the view from the home is truly breathtaking.

They also offer horseback riding around the many acres of the property. Of course being animal lovers we had to stop and pet the horses and snap a few pics!

After leaving the Cone estate, we proceeded into town. Starving by this point, the first order of business was to find lunch! We have tried a different restaurant each time we have visited Blowing Rock, and this time we opted for Six Pence Pub. The atmosphere was festive and lively, with college football on the TVs and really delicious sandwiches and French fries. Highly recommend if you ever find yourself in Blowing Rock, or the other cities shown on the placemat.

After lunch we headed out to do some shopping, and of course picked up a few unique items to take home, along with a new magnet for hubby’s collection. No afternoon in Blowing Rock, not even a chilly one, would be complete without a stop at Kilwin’s! This is a chain ice cream and candy store, with many locations, but a waffle cone is a tradition for us when we visit BR.

On the way out of town on the parkway, we stopped at a couple of outlooks to snap some pictures. I can never get enough of those beautiful mountain views. The leaves were a bit past peak at this elevation, but it is still magical to look out over the vista. It was a clear day and we felt like we could see forever.

If you ever find yourself with the opportunity to visit Blowing Rock, please do so. Some sections of the parkway do shut down in the winter, so if you plan to visit at that time of year, make sure you check the weather and plan alternate routes. Once there, you will not be disappointed.

Hope your weekend brings you whatever you desire, be it adventure or relaxation. Thank you for reading, stop by next week for another episode of Friday Favorites!