Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Recap Part 1

I had a BLAST this past weekend at the Wine and Dine Half Marathon at Walt Disney World!  So much fun, in fact, that I'm gonna have to break my recap into parts to cover it all.  So today I will give you guys all the deets on most of that first day - arrival at Port Orleans French Quarter and the Wine and Dine Half Marathon Expo.

W&D Weekend held many firsts for me, and one of those was staying at the Port Orleans French Quarter Resort (POFQ).  It's a Disney moderate resort, so similar in amenities to the Caribbean Beach Resort we stayed at back in 2010.  When I landed at the airport Friday morning I was given a Magic Band (surprise since I wasn't expecting one!) that would serve as my room key.  They also serve as your park tickets (if you have them) and you can link a credit card to it so you can use it to pay for your purchases.  When I arrived at POFQ their systems were partially down so I was unable to link my credit card to it for purchases so it just served as my room key for this trip.



POFQ was designed to make you feel like you are walking the streets of New Orleans.  When I stepped off the Magical Express bus I was given Mardi Gras beads and greeted by this gorgeous hotel lobby:





I was the first in our room to arrive and to my pleasant surprise, our room was ready for us already!  I decided to go on over to the room since it wasn't a far walk from the lobby so I could drop off my bag before heading to the expo.

Of course there's a Mickey towel on the bed!!



DisBroad Suzanne arrived shortly after me and I met her at Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory  for some lunch.  I felt like I had walked right into a Mardi Gras parade with all the decor in this quick service restaurant!





Lucky for us, POFQ was a host resort for the weekend's race festivities so we were able to catch event transportation right at the front door!



After a short drive we found ourselves at ESPN Wide World of Sports for the expo.  The expo in January had been held there so it was not my first trip to WWOS but I was still just as excited as we walked up to the field house for bib pick up!







DisBroads Julie and Tania and our BRF Bonnie had already been to the expo that morning and warned us that it was a little crowded but by the time we got there, the crowds had thinned out and we walked around with ease.

After retrieving our bibs I hit the runner relations booth to try to upgrade to a different corral (note here - this was the last race where you can do this; beginning in 2014 you will not be able to submit new proof of time at the expo) and was pleased to be upgraded to corral F.

I signed up too late to get my name on the bib #sadface

I also snagged a pic with Suzanne next to the event signs before we headed to the Josten's Center for the remainder of the expo.



The Josten's Center was a tad more crowded than the HP Field House had been but it was still very manageable.  We made pit stops at Sparkle Athletic, Raw Threads, Sparkle Skirts, and several other vendors, including the official runDisney booth where we got a sneak peak at the medals for next year's Princess Half Marathon Weekend

Inaugural Enchanged 10K medal

Princess Half Marathon Medal

Inaugural Glass Slipper Challenge medal - come here my pretty!!!

All new medals for the 2014 January and February races!  That Tinkerbell Half bling is pretty sweet.

We also stopped in the runDisney merchandise booth so that I could try to snag a few race keepsakes.  Sadly, it was pretty picked over by the time we got there but I was still able to pick up the finisher's shirt, Sweaty Band headband, and magnet that I wanted.  I was hoping for a hoodie but they were all sold out - oh well, that's the perk you get of being early I guess!!

We had a great time at the expo; there was no pushing, shoving, or yelling, and all of the voluntEARs and exhibitors were extremely friendly for having been on their feet all day!  And before we left, we could not pass up the chance to get some bubbly!




Cheers to what would be fabulous race weekend!!!

Next up:  Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party!!!  Stay tuned :)

QOTD:  Have you stayed at POFQ?  What did you think??