During the last week of March 2013, we went to Orlando for Spring Break. This was Brian’s last spring break with us. Mike’s mom, stepdad and stepbrother met us in Orlando. We stayed at Vacation Village Resort, thanks to Mike’s mom and stepdad.
We had a three day pass to Universal Studios. With the exception of Brian and Ethan, this was everyone’s first time to visit Universal Studios. Brian actually went to Islands of Adventure the weekend before, as part of his senior class trip. To the right is a photograph that we took on our last day.
On Tuesday, we visited Universal Studios. On the rock it ride, Brian’s eyeglass arm broke off. Brian was pretty bummed because it was his Oakley glasses he just got on his last birthday. While we were waiting in line at the Twister ride, Susan saw an eyeglass arm lying on the ground. The arm was Brian’s! The arm clipped right back in and was not damaged. What are the chances? Brian’s day was brightened. He didn’t wear those glasses back to the parks the next two days. To the left is Brian holding his glasses right after Susan found the arm!
On the same day, we all got stuck on the Mummy Ride. We were told that someone tried to get off during the ride. After waiting in line for about an hour, Mike, Susan and Aaron got stuck during the first five minutes of the ride. Mike’s mom, stepdad, stepbrother and Brian got stuck on the very end of the ride. Since we were stuck, we received an express pass for one ride. We actually were able to use it for four rides. Here is a photograph of several of us stuck on the ride. This has never happened to any of, so we wanted to memorialize it. Some girl that worked at Disney World was also stuck with us.
We had a very nice time. This is the first time all of Mike’s family got together in about five years. We look forward to our next vacation that is just several months away! We will be going to Las Vegas in June.
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During the first weekend of January 2012, Mike completed the Goofy Challenge. The challenge consists of running a half marathon (13.1 miles) on Saturday, and then completing a marathon (26.2 miles) on Sunday. Susan and the boys took a couple of days off of school and traveled down to Orlando with Mike. Also, Mike’s friend from the Army, Bill Kendall and his wife, Melanie, flew in from Maine to run in the marathon with Mike. On Friday, everyone visited the expo to pickup the running packets. The expo was held in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. It was very crowded, but well organized. On Friday evening everyone relaxed at the resort pool, which was heated. Mike’s mom was kind enough to set everyone up in an upscale condo for the weekend.
On Saturday morning, Mike and his family departed the condo about 3:45 in the morning. Traffic was very heavy. Mike barely made it to his starting corral for the 5:35am start. Susan and the boys were able to see Mike at the start and at the finish line. Mike ran through Epcot and Magic Kingdom during the half marathon. Mike held back during the half marathon to reserve energy for the following day. Mike finished the half marathon in 1 hour, 55 minutes. After the half marathon, Mike’s thighs were a bit sore. Mike rested Saturday evening while carb loading. Sunday we decided to leave a little bit earlier. This time, Mike made it to his corral with plenty of time to spare. Mike, Bill and Melanie all started the race together. They ran almost the first mile together. Mike never saw Melanie again on the course. Mike saw Bill at a turnaround, near mile 21. The marathon course took Mike through Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and MGM Studios. Mike had thigh discomfort the entire marathon. He finished the marathon in 3 hours and 54 minutes, which was a new personal record for Mike.
Mike enjoyed completing the Goofy Challenge. After doing it once though, he has no desire to do it again. The course support was very good. Disney did a superb job of distracting runners from the pain of running 26 miles. Mike’s favorite sight was when he first entered Animal Kingdom. Several Disney employees lined the roadway with various animals. Birds, an owl, a lamb and a pig watched as crazy humans ran by them for hours. The photograph on the right was taken right before the full marathon. The photograph on the left is of Mike finishing the full marathon.
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