#EpicOctober2010 Tweetup, Food & Wine I, & 5k
Wow, that’s the first thing that comes to mind after this trip, what a whirlwind. We’ve always done a lot of last minute trips, sometimes with a purpose, others just to get away, this one definitely had a purpose. I had actually seen earlier this year that there would be a new half marathon on opening weekend of the EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival, and it would be at night. One of the things on my bucket list is to run a full marathon so while the thought crossed my mind to do this half, I just didn’t think we’d be able to do two trips in October and we already had one planned later in the month.
Flash forward to July and one of our Disney friends, Amanda Tinney from DisneyEveryDay.com, came to visit us at Bay Lake Tower on our Working Trip in Disney, and told us that there was a 5k run that a bunch of people from Facebook, Twitter, Disney bloggers, etc, were planning to do as well as many other events that weekend like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, and that we should come. I still wasn’t sure we could do such a trip with another one just three weeks later and didn’t think much more about us being able to do it. Flash forward a month later to late August and another message/prod from Amanda and I was making reservations at Old Key West and registering for the Halloween 5k. At that time we were thinking we would have Kellie with us because my parents that were keeping her on our later trip weren’t going to be in town but a few weeks later another opportunity turned up and I registered Kriss for the 5k too.
We arrived in Disney Friday afternoon and checked in at OKW and headed to pick up our race packets. Next we went to EPCOT for a sampling of the food on opening day of the festival with Amanda. We enjoyed the afternoon and ended up watching Taylor Dayne at the Eat to the Beat concert. We also got to try the new pizza place in Italy, Via Napoli, and I can finally say that Disney has a great Italian restaurant. There were at least 20 or so of us from the tweet-up packed around a table maybe meant for 14, but the pizza was excellent, we will be back often.
We were up just after 5:00AM Saturday morning to get dressed and head to the Ticket and Transportation Center at Magic Kingdom for the race. Unfortunately we had made no plans with any of our friends to hook up and Disney was jamming some music pretty loud to get everyone psyched up for the run so telephones were pretty useless, but we finally hooked up with Amanda by texting and found the rest of our #epicoctober2010 group. The run was pretty fun, Kriss and I both did better than we thought, and running through the Magic Kingdom before the park opened, something very few people will ever get to do.
After the run and quick shower back at the room, we headed to the Wilderness Lodge for a breakfast tweetup at Whispering Canyon. A good many of the #epicoctober2010 crew showed up too and we were scattered all over the restaurant. We also were able to get Sponsored Tweets to sponsor the meeting and the $250 they gave us was donated to Give Kids the World. Another pleasant surprise was the actual breakfast I ordered, BBQ Eggs Benedict. Poached eggs on an English muffin with beef brisket and BBQ Hollandaise sauce served with red bliss potatoes and sauteed onions. WOW! I’m not normally one to order eggs benedict but this was amazingly good.
After brunch a few of us headed to EPCOT to enjoy the Food and Wine Festival for a few hours but by 4:00 Kriss and I were feeling the effects of the early morning so we headed back to Old Key West for a nap. It was a much needed break considering we were planning on being in EPCOT until the wee hours of the morning. Unfortunately we missed another meeting for dinner at Ohana but we needed the break and we were headed back to EPCOT just after 7:00 and after a little issue with trying to find a parking place due to the Wine and Dine Half Marathon and after party, we were walking through the International Gateway before 8:00.
I also heard from my cousin Audra who happened to be in town because her husband Mike and his brother were running the half marathon. Unfortunately she didn’t have a parkhopper pass and had been at Animal Kingdom all day, so couldn’t get in to EPCOT until the after party which she had a ticket for. Disney did something odd in the switch between normal park hours which ended at 9:00 after Illuminations and the Wine and Dine Half Marathon after party which started at 10:30. Instead of getting an arm band for the after party and allowing everyone to keep spending money. Instead Disney emptied the park after Illuminations and then made everyone re-enter the park. Weactually got to be the last people to ride Test Track before the park closed. Kriss and I met up with Amanda and Lynne for a beer and enjoy the evening thinking there wouldn’t be that many people in the park for the after party, and at first it wasn’t bad but as it got closer to midnight World Showcase really started filling up all the way around. Somewhere close to 1:00 we split up from Amanda and Lynne and went to meet Audra who had finally gotten back to EPCOT on the monorail after spending a few hours in the bar at the Polynesian. Mike had just finished the run and found her and they wanted a margarita so we headed to Mexico but unfortunately the margarita bar was closed so we went to the recently refurbished La Cantina de San Angel where Kriss got a frozen coffee margarita, weird but actually pretty good. We sat there for a while on World Showcase lagoon talking until 2:30 before heading over to listen to Off Kilter, noticeably absent during the day, and didn’t get back to the room until nearly 3:30AM.
Sunday morning I woke up and was laying in bed playing with my phone thumbing through pictures and catching up on tweets when it freaked out, it’s an HTC Droid Incredible. I kept getting SD card errors and programs wanted to force close and even after formatting the card, losing all of my pics in the process, I couldn’t get it to work. We were leaving anyway so we decided to get on the road and skip lunch in the parks. Fortunately it wasn’t my phone but the SD card caused it to flake so since this was the second time the SD card needed reformatting I chunked it and got another, no problems since.