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2014 runDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon: The Expo

Ah, the 2014 Wine & Dine Half Marathon, otherwise known as Splash & Dash. What a race that was! Pouring down rain. Pour. Ing. On a chilly night. My toes prune just thinking about it.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First there was the expo on Friday! Bob joined me for this trip and I was so excited about running another night race since Tower of Terror was awesome! Plus we have never experienced the Food & Wine Festival together nor have we seen Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. Short vacation, but lots of awesomeness!

Now, before leaving, folks in many Facebook running groups were abuzz over the predicted forecast of rain, rain, and more rain. But it was all good, I wasn’t too worried since I thought I had packed accordingly.

*Emphasis on THOUGHT.*


Look at those blue skies in Baltimore! Surely they’ll follow us to Orlando. Hehe.

IMG_7868As usual, we took the earliest flight to Orlando and arrived at around nine in time for our traditional Mickey Mouse photo at MCO! I wasn’t feeling this super huge rush to get to the expo, so we enjoyed a relaxing Magic Express ride to All Stars Sports. Staying at deluxes with friends has been fantastic, but with two kids in college, I’m a value girl at heart and really, I think they’re pretty awesome! The new food court at Sports was great. Bob got a great steak dinner one night for around $12.00. Can’t beat that, folks.

IMG_7872We checked in and headed over to the ESPN Sports Complex. Since I was with my hubby, I tried to stay away from social media but oh my gosh … the growing concern over the weather was hard to ignore. Many folks were panicking. Other folks were chiding those folks for panicking. Some gave suggestions on how to duct tape shoes. (Don’t.) A few worried about the race being cancelled. All this got me to wondering if I should have brought my cold gear leggings and long-sleeve, the ones I was thisclose to throwing in my suitcase at the last minute.

But no, I didn’t want to panic or let my anxiety go sky-high. Worry and anxiety has robbed much of my life so I forced myself to enjoy Bob’s company and just. Go. With. It.

This is me. Just going with it. In pink shorts.

This is me. Just going with it. In pink shorts.

Besides, look at that gorgeous blue sky! Surely it followed us from Baltimore.

Besides, look at that gorgeous blue sky! Surely it followed us from Baltimore.


IMG_7886Like Tower of Terror, I really loved how relaxed this expo was. Nothing against the Princess Half Marathon – that race is still has my heart and soul, but the Fit for a Princess Expo always gives me a MUST FOLLOW TO-DO LIST AND CONQUER vibe. Wine & Dine’s was very chill and lackadaisical in comparison. We headed to the Disney merchandise area first and bought a magnet, pin, and very awesome jacket that I wear all the time!

Afterwards, we went to the Field House to get my bib. They also were asking folks to take a picture holding their bibs, which we now know was a test for future runDisney challenge races to make sure the same person completes each run.

Speaking of photos, they had lots of fun opportunities for these:

IMG_7891 IMG_7894 IMG_7897
Hey! Bob finally sees something at a running festival that he wants! #donotscratchit

Hey! Bob finally sees something at a running festival that he wants! #donotscratchit

Somewhere among all this, we grabbed a bite at the Sports Grill, something Bob said he could skip next time. Sorry, but yeah, those burgers just weren’t good. We then went back to All Stars to stash my bib and for me … check the weather for the thousandth time that day. The forecast? Still horrible. Rain and lots of it. But there was no need to panic, right? RIGHT?!?

<<don’t panic, it’s all good, Laura>>

Our initial plan was to go to Hollywood Studios, but since it was the first night for the Osborne Family Lights we worried about it being super crowded and headed to Epcot instead. But first, we had to straighten out an issue with Bob’s annual pass where a lovely CM gave us EXCELLENT NEWS that saved us a lot of money. You can see the joy on my face as we headed to the Food & Wine Festival, feeling pretty amazing:

EPCOT_BACKSIDE 4_7089653984

A few minutes later, however, we got a phone call from one of our sons with some not so excellent news, one that would cost us lots of money. Sigh. There goes some of our elation, but such is life.


I’m not going to get into our first Food & Wine Festival experience since that’s a post for another day, but in short, we did have a blast dipping our toes into feasting around the world. And how cool, David Cook was performing and he was AMAZING! Too bad the weather had turned seriously chilly, though, or we would have stayed for the entire show. Instead, we headed back to the resort and watched a movie on TV until late since I wasn’t running the 5k the next morning.

(Decided to conserve my energy for the half. So not doing that for 2015’s, I’m running both, baby!)

During the commercials, though, I kept checking multiple weather apps. Again. And again. Still lots of rain forecasting, which made me later wake at 4:30 the next morning with a nice ole’ panic attack, which is where I’ll pick up in my next post!

Thanks for reading!




{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Kim Kirkland August 7, 2015, 3:59 pm

    Dear Laura,
    Thank you for your article. It provided much hope during bitter sweet moments. I feel like you were somewhat telling my story. Who knew, two people loved Dr. Seuss, and wanted to emulate his style. I’ve been writing for years, and I mean years. Go figure 🙂 By age six, I was writing about the world’s problems, using flowers to demonstrate differences in mankind. My mom kept all of my poems and encouraged me to continue to write and rhyme. Soon after, I began writing for friends, church events, birthdays, and my job for special emphasis events (e.g., Unity Day, GLBT, Breast Cancer Awareness month, etc.). It was great, and the feedback was good. I gave my literary works away for free, because I had, and still have love for writing and being an advocate for people’s feelings. Then I stopped for a while, because I either wasn’t getting the responses back or the responses I was looking for from my Query letters.
    During my adult years, I was introduced to Publish America (PA) (now America Star Books) and they published two of my stories (Mi Mi’s Mini Tea Party, and Car Cars Go Zoom Zoom Zoom). However, other literary companies snob at me using PA. So, I did more homework and came across SCBWI. I became a member, attended conference, joined a critique group, wrote three picture books (e.g., Zippity Doodle, Where’s My Lucky Noodle, Happy Halloween, A Ghost’s Tale, and Vitiligo Doesn’t Scare Me!), and I just completed a novel (The Princess Chair), which I hope to one day introduce to Disney. I even paid a well-known editor, who was delighted regarding my novel, but boy the edits. , and it’s worth every minute of addressing her comments.
    All these projects have next steps. I have to say that I get weary, but I’m so passionate too, that the stories continue to flow out. However, I need to keep projects moving forward. I have so many stories to tell, with the help of my three grands, who provide so much material. All in all, I love it, I live for it, and hope to write full time one day, but until then, I will keep perfecting my craft, do other things, like jogging, which works off the stress and cake.. ha ha, write more Queries, read blogs, and information from people like you, who help project hope, desire, and fun. Thank you again for your article. Keep them coming. Best wishes and God bless. Kim

  • Laura Bowers August 19, 2015, 12:31 pm

    Thank you so much for such a lovely comment and sharing your story! Love how you started writing at a very young age and how your mother saved everything. (Thanks to Mom, I still have my copy of The Hungry Chipmunk book that I made with paper and yarn!) And it sounds like you are continuing to grow and learn, perfecting your craft and loving it at the same time. SCBWI is the best place for that! This business can drive a person crazy at times, so remembering your passion is very important.

    Best of luck and please keep me updated with your picture books! 🙂

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