Last weekend was the Disney Marathon and the ‘Dopey Challenge’ – 4 days, 4 races: 5k, 10k, half-marathon and full marathon! I read about it on a number of blogs from people who either ran or wished they had – especially Lauren at RunSaltRun who is plotting to get there for next year with her family to do the challenge.
All this Disney talk brought me back to the times we have gone there with the boys. The picture at the top is Lisa and the boys from 2005 – we were there over the 4th of July – it was great seeing the fireworks, but something else when we joined the half million OTHER people trying to get out of the park at once afterwards!
We have gone three times – May 2001, July 2005 and over Christmas 2007. Each one has a bunch of memories for a number of different reasons.
In 2005 we stayed at a time-share resort rental that was pretty close and as the kids were four years older we were able to do even more than before. It was a great time, and we actually enjoyed the resort quite a bit (up until the high-pressure sales pitch at the end!), walking around to the ice cream shop, using the pools and so on.
In 2007 we went with Lisa’s sister and her family, so there were eight of us for the week. It was fun but definitely added different dynamics than how we would have done things for just the four of us. Here is a picture from Downtown Disney:
It is interesting for me to look at that one – I had found out that my thyroid was dying, but it hadn’t hit rock bottom yet (and wouldn’t until I was in NY a month ahead of the family move). But I had been slowly gaining weight, and was probably about 50lbs heavier than I am now.
But for me Disney will always go back to our first family trip there in May 2001. They had just kicked off a more structured ‘Star Wars Weekends’ the year before, so we figured it would be a great time to go down – plus May travel was cheaper and less crowded.
Flying with kids can always be a challenge, but since we were doing this pre-9/11 things were much easier, quicker and smoother. I love this picture of Danny on the plane playing a game on an early Pocket PC from Casio (Cassiopeia E-125 to be specific) … I think the game was Mini Golf.
But one of the huge things from that trip to Disney was Star Wars Weekends, and in particular when they had the new event ‘Padawan Training’. We had no idea what it was about, so we hung around to see what happened and found out that kids got to participate. They were looking for kids between 5-12, so we figured Danny was close enough if he wanted to try.
He was interested, but didn’t want to raise his hand or push forward, so he hung back and let others get chosen. Then when the Jedi Master pointed somewhat in our general direction, Chris headed for the stage! Lisa was going to stop him, but I held her back – if they didn’t want him, we were close enough to just go grab him. But they brought him on stage – he had just turned 3 – and he got to fully participate! I love this picture … he is so cute and was so serious and engaged with the training!