Monday, April 29, 2013

Your BEST vacation on a Disney Cruise is waiting for you!

Summertime will be here before you know it and you'll be either scrambling for a last minute deal or trying to find something new to do. But summer isn't the only time you need a getaway. Throughout the year we all need vacations and I know of the perfect one for you!
 Think back and try to remember your BEST vacation ever! Was it a vacation to a beach? A sightseeing trip? Maybe a family reunion back home?
Did you have to still have to plan the meals even on vacation? Cleaning? What about trying to figure out what to do every day to make everyone happy? How much did you spend?

Well, for me my favorite vacation of all time so far has to be a cruise I took with husband and my kids on the Disney Cruise Line.

From the minute you walk into the port terminal to the minute to leave the ship Disney makes you feel like you are at home.
As you board the ship for the first time they announce your name over a speaker, treating you like royalty, one by one as you enter the grand lobby. Ship personnel greets you and the amazement of the ship's decor wows you as you walk in!
From the carpet to the ceiling the detail is remarkable. When you look around you are sure to find those "hidden Mickey's" we all love to look for. 

 The Sail Away Party is fun for everyone from the kids to the adults with music, dancing, characters, & in Disney style confetti. As the ship sails away the horn plays "When you wish upon a star" and sometimes you may here another song or 2 along your cruise as you sail away at the end of your port day.
The itineraries and ports you visit along our cruise journey are very well planned out with Disney. They have cruises to the Bahamas, the Caribbean, and limited cruises to Europe and Alaska. Whether you decide to take a sightseeing land trip in port, go to a beach to snorkel & swim with the dolphins, or maybe do some shopping in town on your own - safety is always number one.

Castaway Cay.   How many cool things can I say about this private island?
There are separate beaches for each type of cruiser. Families with little ones can go to the beach that has water slides, shallow water, and a tot spot water works playground. There's a middle beach for all types of cruisers, and then there's the adult only quiet beach at the end of the islandThere are a variety of food and snack options for everyone during the day. Adults ... don't forget to stop by one of the few bars on the island for some yummy drinks and adult mingling. The bartenders have some fabulous stories
about living on the island when the ship sails off and they stay there. There is also an all you can eat BBQ lunch at "Cookies" on the island to all guests of the ship for $0... Yes free and it delish!
One part of nostalgia that you will see on the island are the old Walt Disney World Trams that transport you around the island. Hop on and off all day as many times as you like... Remember you're on vacation ~ relax & let them do the driving!

The Castaway Cay 5k
Runners.. Don't forget to look in your daily brochure or ask someone at the info desk onboard about the Castaway Cay 5k on the morning it arrives into port. You won't want to miss this fun run with medallions for everyone :)

Ya well, even the most pickiest teen will have fun! The teens will love a special hang out just for them on the island that has hammocks, music, pool tables, & themed activities all day long. They won't want to leave, but the party can continue later at night in the teen areas onboard called the Loft. In the Loft they have soda & ice cream parties, a big screen TV to watch movies and sports on, and yes video game contests amongst their peers. You're little ones will also have a blast in their own age specific clubs and nursery. Character greetings, games, PJ parties, and more await them. They'll be begging you to take them there first thing the next morning.

Each night you will rotate to a different dining room where the food and ambiance will be extraordinary like the service you will receive. From Casual to Formal dining options also onboard you won't want to miss. For breakfast and lunch there is a buffet on the top floor overlooking the water. Food selections are the usual Mickey waffles, fruit, oatmeals, cereals, an omelette station, and more in the morning. For lunch you may find sliced carving stations, salads, mashed potatoes, and even some amazing surprises like stone crab claws to peel and eat shrimp. Outside by the pool you will find burgers, sandwiches, salads, ice cream, and pizzas. There's not enough time to eat it all.

Did someone say POOL?
There are different pools for all age groups in your family. The kiddie pool, the middle pool which had a huge jumbo screen that plays movies and trivia all day/night, and the rear pool for adults only which has soothing music and a fantastic bar serving your favorite tropical drinks of the day to a special coffee bar just upstairs.

Activities onboard
Activities onboard aren't just for the kids! While there is a theater showing musicals every night live on stage, don't forget the other amenities. The five star spa, a state of the art gym, a sports bar, a dance club, and yes even a movie theater!

The rooms are immaculate just like the rest of the ship! With split bathrooms (a room with a toilet and sink- another room with a shower and sink) you're family will be out the door in no time and ready to run. The rooms are spacious and the balconies are beautiful. For the kids there are bunk beds and for the parents there is a king sized bed with a privacy curtain to separate the room. Room service and awesome stateroom attendants are kind and always helpful incase you need anything.

Now can you see why I said this was my favorite cruise? No cleaning, no cooking, and there was certainly enough to do.
With so much to do onboard alone, you will have to come back and book another cruise!

* There are always cruise specials going on ~ Contact me for a FREE quote and let me bring the magic to your family's vacation this season! Just for reading this  I am going to add My own Hidden Mickey surprise... Book a summer vacation in the month of May and you will receive an additional $25 bonus Disney Gift Card per stateroom in addition to any promotions.Use the gift card anyway you'd like on your cruise. Plus Travel Girl on the Run will also throw in some extra special Disney surprise gifts too :-)

*For more information, pictures, etc CLICK on my "Disney Parks" tab to link to my special Disney info page. You can get a free video and brochures or you can ask me and I can mail one to you

One lucky follower will win this Inaugural  Disney Fantasy lanyard, a Disney Cruise Line Video, and a 2013 DCL brochure so you can start planning your wonderful cruise on DCL.

This is all you have to do to be eligible:
1~ Make sure you are following this blog by signing up right here on our page
2~ Answer these Trivia Questions by sending your answers to by Friday May 3rd at 12pm midnight with the following answers:
  • "What was the name of the first Disney ship that first set sailed and what was the date?"
  • "That same first ship is how much longer than the Titanic?" 
  • "What is the name of the newest Disney Cruise Line ship?" 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

My new role as a fellow 2013 Fit2Run Ambassador

Every day I have a thing called the "News of the Day". Think about it... there's always some kind of news of the day. A few weeks ago while shopping at the new Fit2Run store in Coconut Point, Estero things just happened to magically moved around for me that day and an opportunity to be an ambassador for the store presented itself. I went home and filled out the application immediately and sent it in. A few days later I was invited to come down to the store for the "fun run" and afterwards there would be a Q&A night for anyone interested in being an ambassador...of course, I went.
The running group thing  pretty new to me. I usually run by myself at the gym or with my friend Kim. I'm not a fast runner by any means but I'm not slow either. Everybody has their good and bad days and after working all day I tend to be sluggish at night.We met in the front of the store for a pic and off we went running on our "fun run" for 3 miles. 

It was kind of humid and the Florida summer was here. As everyone was passing me they gave high fives and yes were heading back to the store. I wasn't the caboose just yet. A girl named Jill stopped and we started to talk as if we knew each other already. I had my Princess shirt on so we automatically started talking about the Princess race which we both had just finished weeks ago.We both made it back to the store to meet up with the others and to here about this program we had come for.
There were all types of runners that I met that night... full of personality and spunk. Especially, after the food and beer came out :-) Kimmie, the store manager of Fit2Run  Coconut Point, Estero explained the program to us with a more than a smile and with such enthusiasm that whatever she was on I wanted some of it! Talking to some of the runners that night we heard of their past races and the ones that they were training for. It was awesome to hear that almost everyone there had run in some sort of race with runDisney so we exchanged stories and advice for the ones who hadn't done the ones we had already finished. We said goodbye to each other and hoped that we all got in because this looked like it would be fun. 
A week later, I came home to find mail for me on the kitchen counter from Fit2Run. I hurried to open it and WOW! Did this brighten my day! It was definitely the news of the day!

I had made it into the 2013 Fit2Run Ambassadors Program for the Coconut Point store in Estero, Florida. 

The next week we all headed back down to the store for the acceptance party/run. The store had just opened a few months ago and I was thrilled to be a part of it. There were only 20 people accepted into this program for each store. Like Kimmie had mentioned that night at the Q&A meeting, it ranged from marathon runners to walkers, but looking at this group ... these were definitely a group of fun people that were dedicated runners! Every one of them had a great personality and yes there are always a few party people in a group and we sure did have them in this group. Talking to a few of them at the Ambassadors acceptance party I found out that a few of them would be traveling to California in August to complete the Dumbo Double Dare along with me. The Dumbo Double Dare is a 10k on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday, how fun is that going to be! 

So to be in this what does the program require?
*There are a minimum number of races that you have to run in a year from your acceptance (races are chosen by the runner)
*It asked if you are part of any other organization or groups supporting healthy lifestyles
*A part of any social media markets (Facebook, Twitter, blogger, etc)
*If you had run any other races in the past year
*If you coached, were a trainer, or were any other leader of physical activities and again a healthy role model.
We had all of these requirements :-) 

What did we receive that night? start off with::

~ I found and note in my bag (below)
~ a singlet ( mine was on back order so thank you Pablo for letting me share this picture of his)  :-)

~ a pair of Feetures running socks a sponsor...Thank you!

~ a one year Fit Club membership to the store for free.(I took advantage of that right away)
~ some NEW Friends :-)


Unfortunately, this acceptance party also had another special meaning to us runners that night.
 It had only been a few days since the Boston Marathon bombing. So as runners, we united together for a special run to remember the victims, pray for the injured, and run together to support our running community. We donned our special bibs, our blue and gold ribbons, and we turned our normal "fun run" into a #BOSTONUNITED run...and run together we did.There were 50 in attendance. The local TV station was there and some of us expressed our views to them as we were interviewed
Here is the video link from WINK news covering our United run for Boston :

Saturday, April 20, 2013

#BostonUnited a week of events

Monday is my day off to catch up on things around the house, go to the stores if I need to, or sometimes just a day at the gym. This Monday my intentions were to stay home to catch up on my blog posts that I've been putting off and watch the Boston marathon online. It started off with my daily run to Dunkin Donuts and immediately I came home and turned on the computer.

I sent one last tweet out to my friend to ask if he knew of a TV station airing it. I knew he would be glued to this event watching very mile. As I expected he tweeted back and said no but have me the same website link everyone else would be watching on. I logged on and started watching as I did my work.
As each wave went off I got the chills and continued to tweet my friends watching. It was kind of fun to see some of them taking pictures at work with the computer screens showing the race. As I did my work my stupid computer kept claiming up. I would wait, hit play again, & the live stream would start again. I did this a few times but by 12pm it was getting old and finally I just didn't log on again. I still followed my friends on twitter and saw some of those finish line pictures coming through & congratulated them. A few others I had been following were being sent to my phone by alerts.
By now it was around 2:30pm and my kids were walking in the door from high school. We had to go out to do some errands with them & my daughter had to go to work so with crunch time we'd probably eat out before she went in at 5pm.
As we were talking about where we were going my sister texted me this message...

"Did you see the explosions at Boston marathon. People hurt "

I wrote back something I can not repeat because I was so shocked as I turned on the TV. NBC and CBS were very good at showing the news reports and videos. I sat there infront of the TV in awe & immediately called my running partner/ friend Kim. She had been one of my friends watching from work on her computer but left to pick up her young boys from school a few minutes before this. I told her to run in the house and put the news on. We sat there in our own homes and kept commenting on what we were seeking. I kept naming all of the people we knew running in this race from our Facebook group Team #runDisney & on Twitter and just kept saying "Oh my God! Oh my God!"over and over. I just couldn't believe what I was seeing. I felt was like I was seeing something like 911 all over again. This wasn't just a fluke bomb I knew this was terrorism.
I had to leave to go do my errands I wished that I could stay home and watch but I couldn't. So with every moment that I had I checked my Facebook and Twitter on my phone for updates.Dinner was very hard to get through it without looking at my phone. As soon as I came home I turned on the TV and I watched all night but there was nothing more than I already knew.
The next day when I woke up, Tuesday, I felt a weight over me. I wished it was a dream but it wasn't. I couldn't imagine that all of those runners and marathon watchers that were there yesterday to celebrate and to have a day off from work to celebrate Patriots Day, a happy day in Boston, were now at home in shock or in hospitals. Today was suppose to be a day victories. This was not that day.
Instead, it was a day that runners, like myself, and supporters came together through social media and wore our running shirts to show the world that we were united as a community and that NO ONE could ruin our dreams, our hopes, and our love for the sport. Together we would stand together and be UNITED! 

Hashtags on Twitter read:
#PrayForBoston    #BostonUnited    #TshirtTuesday   #Bostonmarathon    #BostonStrong

You can read my 2 posts from this day 

Luckily I have a TV at work and I watched every day for updates but there was nothing new until Friday morning when I woke up to find that there was a shoot off in the streets of Watertown, Ma. with the 2 suspects in the middle of the night. My day was spent again glues to the TV. As I watched, I prayed for the safety of this neighborhood and that nothing else would happen to this town.
Later that evening the Boston Red Sox game was cancelled, people in Watertown, Ma were still in their houses, and the suspect was not caught yet. I was getting mad. How could these families gon to sleep and rest tonight? I was praying that God would intervene...and he did!  As I was watching the NBC Nightly News they first lifted the house lock down for the neighborhood and then a few minutes later... They reported shots were fired again in the neighborhood. What was going on had me on the edge of my seat on my couch. Tweeting back and forth to some friends that asked me to keep them updated because they weren't home watching TV was heightening the anticipation of this story. Every time there was something new there was conversation. The sun had fallen and now it was dark out "Come on! Catch this sucker before he runs in the dark", I yelled out loud in the living if the Boston Police could here me. The stand off was a few hours and with every hour I grew more anxious. I didn't want to miss anything and I didn't want to go to bed until they caught him. I felt so bad for these people who lived in the Massachusetts neighborhood. What they must be going through..UGH! At this point my husband, my son, and the dog had fallen asleep on the couch next to me while my daughter was at work. I was solo watching this now. I still followed along with my friends, the Boston PD, and the NBC news on Twitter. There were rumors all over the place and so far fetched. But wait. Hold on! What did Brain Williams just say? They just confirmed that "The Boston Police have found the suspect by thermal images under a boat tarp"? OMG this is it. Yeah they are going to get him. Then the wait. Finally, after a long week the Boston Police, the Bomb Squad, & the FBI had him in custody and were taking him to a nearby Boston hospital.
At that point my heart was enlightened and I felt like a weight had been lifted off of me. These victims will have answers, this neighborhood can breathe, and hopefully justice will be served!

Note to picture below: As I was watching the capture of this monster I saw this posted on Twitter and retweeted it. I posted it on my Facebook wall. It made me laugh out loud and it summed up the situation.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I wore my running shirt proudly today

This morning after I got dressed and put one of my running shirts on I posted this on my Twitter ~ @TRVLGRL25 it pretty much sums up how I feel. I'd love to see what you wore and hear how you feel right now in the comments below.

" I am a runner and proud of it.
Here are my colors that I have worked for. No ONE can take them away from me!"

Wear your running shirt proud today runners!

Today is a day to be proud that you are a runner! You may be a beginner or you may be a ultra buy you ARE a runner.
Everyone that participated in the Boston Marathon put in hours, days, & years of running to get that PR that would lead them to that race. That day was about triumph - perseverance - and a dream come true.

Pray for the city of Boston but most of all pray for the runners & spectators that lost their lives and limbs that day to follow their dreams.

The running community is a strong one physically and mentally ~ we will prevail ~ we will come together ~ we will overcome!

Wear a running shirt today if you are a Runner. Whether you have just finished your first 5k or ran your last marathon. Show it off today!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Surprise ~ and the nomination goes to...ME!


Every night as a bedtime ritual I climb under the covers and do one last Twitter & Facebook scroll. What usually happens next is one of 2 things: 

A)  I am so tires that my eyes usually shut with my iphone in my hand and I wake to an alert
B) I start chatting with someone and get my second wind...not noticing the time...that leads to a God-aweful tired next morning

Lately B has been winning like last night. Not only did I have a LOOOONG conversation with someone until after 1am  (eh hem) I also saw that Ms. Ashley " The Pavement Princess " nominated me for The Versatile Blogger award via Twitter. Wahoo~ Thanks Pretty lady!
I met Ashley for the first time at my last race the Sarasota Half Marathon  along with some other girls from our Facebook group Team #runDisney. (You can go and read about that in another post). I think we might be creating a nice friendship because we have a lot in common.

(Ok. I'm wandering with this post)

 ANYWAYS, She nominated me for this award with the rules below and then in return I have to pay it forward to some of my favorite bloggers so...
Drum Roll Please...
On to the Versatile Blogger thingy....

The rules for The Versatile Blogger award are:
1. Add The Versatile Blogger award photo on a blog post
2. Thank the person (or animal) who presented you with the award and link back to him or her in your post
3. Share seven things about yourself
4. Pass the award along to 15 favorite bloggers. Contact the chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.
7  THINGS ABOUT ME  hmm...
(please don't use this as amo against me.. oh boy!) 
1~ I am originally from New Jersey and I love all aspects and things that have to do with Jersey. (Yes, it's Jersey not NEW Jersey) 
2~ I'm Italian and Yes, it shows. I can be sweet... but mess with my family and "the dragon" will be unleashed. Don't worry takes a lot to unleash it.
3~ Hi my name is Jen and I'm a Disney Addict...that's right it is an illness that I have always had. I don't think there is a cure unfortunately 
4~ I am Sarcastic ... I guess it has to do with #1 & #2??
5~ I love to goof around in public or in crowds. I hate serious people... For God's sake smile and dance. You only live once. You will probably never see those people in the crowd again and if you do they will remember you  :-D 
6~ MY AGE.. um yeah. I hate it when people say "OMG you look like a teenager" H-A-T-E  IT!!! I know this sounds crazy but I've earned every gray hair on my head. I have a 17 1/2 year old daughter and a 15 yr old son. NO, I DIDN'T HAVE THEM AT 13... I WAS 20 and yes I planned it that way.
7~ I've had more life experiences, good & bad, that the average person has gone thru. I don't have a fancy degree in anything but my life experiences have proved I don't need one. At the age of 19 I opened a business with my husband that was destroyed after hurricane Charley, was rebuilt with our own hands, and we still have strong. I have worked 2 jobs all my life since 13 (even though I am still waiting for my dream job to happen) , I have been a VP of my kids PTO for 11 yrs and have been awarded the "Volunteer of the Year" once from the school board. I have put on numerous events for over 500 people at one time, and I love to GIVE BACK as much as I can.
So here are MY nominees for The Versatile Blogger award 
1~ Team #runDisney ( home to my runner friends)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Looking for a few good local CHARLOTTE COUNTY MOMS!

That's right...if you live in Charlotte County Florida or maybe the next county over, or well maybe 2 counties over and you want to meet some FUN girls that also happen to be MOMS ~ then this is the MRTT Chapter (Moms Run This Town) for you!
A few months ago my friend Kim Requa & I talked about starting our own local running group of women that wanted to get out and have some fun together. We wanted to meet some new faces and we wanted the group to have variety. She women come in all different heights, strengths, personalities, and yes running abilities. No, our group is not all about Pr'ing, but it is awesome when we do, and No,it's not all about how much we ran this week and how far we went. It's about having someone there to say hi to when the day wasn't so great. It's about having a buddy to run with when you just didn't want to run the streets alone, and its about trying to things and making new friends that on a normal day you might have not known because they were older or younger than you.
As moms, we have a lot of different hats to wear and I think...well I know, that only moms understand what it's like to just want to talk to someone who knows you for you. Not as Jimmy's mom, or the team mom, or the PTO mom.This is why we started this group. To support each other and to understand that we too have a name, we too have goals, and we too want to be healthy & fit.
So if you are that woman or mom that wants to venture out and meet some new faces in our area.... we invite you to join our group that includes a few crazed Disney runners & some fun :-)

Our Facebook Page:
Our Local Chapter's Page: "Charlotte County MRTT"

We'd love to hear your comments: