A weekend fit for many princesses

After months of planning, my "girls weekend" finally happened last weekend ... and quite honestly it was more fun than I had even anticipated.

To begin with, we had amazing accommodations! Thanks to a great partnership with Global Resort Homes, Jackie, Kristen, and I hosted a giveaway at the end of last year and in return, Global sponsored our stay at one of their luxury vacation homes (more on that in another post).

While I'm going to be blogging more about the house in another post, let me just say this - it was so much fun rooming with my friends! Kristen, Jackie and I have "coffee talk" every morning via Twitter and it was great to finally be able to have coffee together in person! Tori (Kristen's daughter) and Bekah rounded out our five-person "Princess Party Crew" and for that one weekend we really WERE the "Fab Five."

After a very lengthy flight delay last Thursday (thank you so much Delta), I finally made it to Orlando two hours late and practically RAN through the airport to meet the ladies. We made it back to our house and I managed to get a few hours of sleep. Yes, only a few hours. I was wide awake at 5:30 a.m. ... typical for when I'm near Disney property.

A 'business breakfast' on Friday was followed by a trip to the "Fit for a Princess Expo" at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex - we needed to pick up our race packets and bib numbers.
 That was when it really hit me - this wasn't just some random three mile walk ... I was participating in a REAL RACE. The expo was incredible - Cinderella's carriage was there, as was a glass running shoe:
It was during the expo when I had my first thought of "I think I need to run the Princess 1/2 Marathon next year." Yes, it seems like a crazy thought...but the energy inside that expo was enough to make anyone want to run 13.1 miles. And yes, even now...a week later...I still want to run the 1/2 marathon in 2013.

After a lovely day and evening at Epcot and the Magic Kingdom last Friday, we were up at 4:30 a.m. Saturday morning! Yes. 4:30 a.m. It's an ungodly hour...even more so when you know you're going to be walking 3.1 miles very soon. Once we made it to the "waiting area" near the start line, it was unlike anything I've ever been part of. There were 5,500 runners and walkers in one place - dancing, laughing, warming up, and getting photos taken. There was a DJ playing music, people were doing the Electric Slide, and the adrenaline was definitely flowing!
The crowd was pumped up and finally....we were ready to go. (And yes, I was wearing a tiara!) We lined up in our corral ... way at the back with the other walkers and then BAM! the starting fireworks went off and it was time to.....walk really slow. Imagine 5,500 people all trying to move at once. You don't move fast at all. It was more of a shuffle for a few minutes. And then, the crowd spread out and we were really doing this thing.

The first mile was probably the hardest just because there was NOTHING to see. We were on a service road behind Epcot and the most exciting scenery was abandoned trams from the Backlot Tour and a discard Jungle Cruise boat (wth?). Yeah, real inspiring, right? Mile two had us entering World Showcase at Epcot and then it felt a bit more magical! As we neared mile 2.5 it was like "Oh. My. God. Are we there yet?"

But then we saw it: the 3 mile marker:
And at that point, we knew we were going to make it! Bekah, Tori, and I RAN across the finish line...just so we could say "yeah, we ran a 5K!" It seemed like the right way to finish the race. And man, did it feel good to finish! I finished the race in a little more than one hour ... not too bad for my first walking 5K. And really, for me it wasn't about the time. It was more than that. (To read more about my feelings during the race, read this post).
The rest of the weekend was spent touring the parks, eating amazingly delicious meals (Whispering Canyon Cafe, Ohana, Boma), and having more fun than should be legal. We saw "old" friends and made new friends. We cried during "Wishes" (OK, I cried during "Wishes"). This weekend was all about friendships both new and old and it really was the BEST. WEEKEND. EVER. 

At this point, I want to talk about my amazing friends - the women I spent the weekend with. I've known Jackie and Kristen for a couple of years, having met them both via Twitter in the "Disney community" that resides there. I adore them both ... we all love the same thing (Disney) but have connected beyond that too. I just met Tori and Bekah last Thursday, but couldn't imagine the weekend without them. (And, I think perhaps Bekah and I were friends in another lifetime - it really felt as though I had known her for years.)

And as for the ladies of the Princess Party Crew, for four days from Thursday night when I arrived, until Sunday night when I left them in front of Cinderella's castle, the five of us laughed so hard we cried and we cried so hard we ended up laughing. The connections formed over the course of just a few days go beyond the words "awesome," "amazing," or "incredible."

I saw so many friends last weekend that I can't begin to name everyone, but know this: I consider myself a very lucky lady to know such amazing people.... the Princess Party Crew, Maria, Aurora, Megan, Kristin, Tiffany, the rest of the "Sparkly Moms", Amanda, Zanna...I adore you all and am so happy to have you in my life.

And now....I'm looking to 2013 and the Princess 1/2 Marathon. We all said we'd do the BIG race next year. We said we'd start training now. We know it can be done. We are strong enough and fast enough and we can do anything!


  1. Now I'm crying! Love you so much! Next year will be amazing!

  2. Oh jeez...where the heck are my tissues?

    I absolutely cannot wait till next year. I had the best time walking with you and Tori and getting to know you & Jackie over the weekend. It was truly a life-changing weekend for me. Get a job? I can do this! Get out the door and walk? I can do this? Plan a wedding? I can totally do this! Because I know that when I need a boost or a place to vent you fabulous, wonderful women are going to be there.

  3. sending hugs to you both (and some Kleenex!) xoxox

  4. Sounds like you had a great time! So happy for you all and you're motivating me to get moving myself! Just reading this was pretty inspiring.

  5. Such an amazing weekend Traci! And you are totally doing the 1/2 in 2013. I'll be there to hold your hand through it!

  6. Aww, I absolutely LOVE your recap, Traci!!! I had the best time ever this weekend! I truly enjoyed spending every moment with the #PrincessPartyCrew and I can't wait to do it again next year! I'm not promising to do a half-marathon, but I'd love to do the 5K again! I'll definitely be in the cheering section for you!!

  7. When you run your first half I will be at the finish line with your medal and LOTS of #HugsWithJugs !!!!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxox

    1. I cannot wait for that!!!! See you at the finish line :)

  8. I'm always so happy for you every time to start gearing up for a trip to Disney :)

    1. Aw, thanks! It was a great trip...and a much needed time away to refocus on what's important :)