Posts Tagged by California Grill

RAD Recap for August 31, 2014

I want to start by congratulating everyone who ran one of the races over Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend!!  I’ve had a blast following along and have some great guest recaps coming up in the next few weeks, including one from Jenny who completed her first half marathon and runDisney race…CONGRATS!!

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I’ve spent the past week with my favorite people at one of my favorite places, Disney’s Vero Beach Resort.  It was relaxing, fun and full of laughs.  This is a trip I look forward every year and I am so lucky to get to spend this quality time with my friends…I hope there will always be Days Like This 🙂

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Before heading home, B and I spent a night in Walt Disney World at Bay Lake Tower.  If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen all of the fun I had in the Magic Kingdom for a few short hours, followed by dinner at California Grill and Wishes! from the Top of the World.  What a great day!

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After we returned to Connecticut yesterday afternoon, we stopped by the grand opening of Black Hog Brewing Co. before heading home.  Our friends from Caseus in New Haven started this awesome brewery that focuses on craft beer using local ingredients.  My favorite was Granola Brown…YUM!

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Hard to believe that this weekend is the unofficial end of summer, but there are a lot of fun events coming up in the fall.  runDisney races, the Disney Fit Challenge, Epcot International Food & Wine Festival just to name a few!  Oh boy!  What are you most excited about?  

Have a RAD week 🙂

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Fireworks at Walt Disney World!

Well it’s a rainy 4th of July up here in the Northeast which means no fireworks tonight…booooo!  So instead, I thought I’d take a look at some of my favorite fireworks shows at Walt Disney World!

I have to admit that I’ve been spoiled by the fireworks in WDW.  I always used to be so impressed with fireworks shows around the 4th of July, but then I started realizing most of them aren’t perfectly themed to music…what?!?  How could this be??  Yes, I know…you can’t compare the two but choreographed fireworks are really cool!  Here are 2 of my favorites:

Illuminations

The torches are lit around World Showcase Lagoon…

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The wonderful pre-show music is playing and one of the best nighttime spectaculars is about to begin. Where else can you see a lake on fire???

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Or a giant LED globe that spins and shoots fireworks??

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This show is so moving and emotional…it just invokes pure happiness!

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See for yourself…

Apologies for my horrible “singing” in the background, but I just get so into it! Oh and the finale…awe inspiring!!

Hallowishes!

SO. MUCH. FUN!  Anything that incorporates all of the Disney villains and some killer perimeter fireworks around the Magic Kingdom is #1 in my book.  And when Oogie Boogie makes an appearance…the best!

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While the show is great to enjoy during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, my favorite place to watch it is high above the Magic Kingdom at California Grill.  A little wine, a little cheese and the best fireworks show around!  Plus, the perimeter fireworks look like they’re right outside the windows!

Well that certainly helped my 4th of July fireworks fix!  Hope you and your family are enjoying the holiday weekend!!

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Bay Lake Tower Grand Villa Tour

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The Contemporary Resort is a classic fixture at Walt Disney World.  Even after 40+ years, it’s 70’s era charm still seems, well contemporary, in a nostalgic sort of way.  And who doesn’t love gliding through the lobby on the monorail or looking down on the Magic Kingdom from California Grill?  The perks of this resort just go on and on.  So in 2008 when the announcement that a new Disney Vacation Club (DVC) property was being built as part of the resort, Disney fans were thrilled!  This was the perfect addition to the Contemporary and the DVC resort group!

The Grand Villas at Bay Lake Tower are all two stories and located on the top 2 floors of the building.  These are perfect for a big family getaway or a runDisney race weekend with friends, which is when I stayed there.  Let’s go inside!!

Living Room & Kitchen

The first thing you’ll notice when you enter the villa are the GIANT windows!  The windows are two stories and look out over Bay Lake or the Magic Kingdom.  While the furniture isn’t the most comfortable (most contemporary designs really aren’t in my opinion), the views make you forget about that.  Well that and the large flat screen TV 🙂

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I just LOVE LOVE LOVE the kitchens at Bay Lake Tower.  Look at this thing!  Stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, tons of cabinets…how do I bring this home??

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The Views

Our villa had a Lake View, so we were able to watch the Contemporary Resort marina and see Epcot and even all they way out to Downtown Disney!

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Master Bedroom

The Master Bedroom is located on the first floor with a king-sized bed and a bathroom the size of my first apartment in NYC.

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Look at this shower…I was dying to check out the rain feature!  Sadly it wasn’t my room…

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Second Floor Lounge

Heading upstairs there is another seating area to relax in.  This was B’s favorite area 🙂

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You can kind of see why…the couch is a little more welcoming than the one downstairs.

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Also looking downstairs is pretty cool from up there!

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 Upstairs Bedrooms

The two bedrooms upstairs are virtually identical.  They each have 2 queen beds, an over-sized closet, spa like bathrooms and their own balconies.

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Added Bonuses!

There are a lot of added bonuses to staying at one of these Grand Villas.  First (and one of my favs!) is the laundry room.  It’s not just a stackable washer and dryer in a closet like other resorts, but a full on laundry room.  This is so perfect to wash all your nasty running clothes after a race before heading home!

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Next is the additional bathroom on the first floor.  When staying with multiple people it’s nice to have a bathroom off of the living room to quickly use if your bedroom is upstairs.  Oh and by the way, that make 4 full bathrooms.  That’s 3 more than I have in my home!!!

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If you have a lake view villa (which I actually prefer!), you get your own “private” show of the Electrical Water Pageant.  You just can’t been that music 🙂

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And last but certainly not least, because the 2nd floor of the villa is on the 16th  floor there is easy access to my favorite lounge on property…Top of the World!  It really is the best place to end a magical day at Walt Disney World 🙂

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I can’t say enough good things about the Grand Villa at Bay Lake Tower.  Basically, I’d just like to move into one.  Or at the very least stay there for every runDisney race weekend.  Now how to win that DVC lottery???

Which DVC Grand Villa would you most like to stay in?

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RAD Reads and Weekly Review: September 15, 2013

So you really want to know what bloggers do on vacation?  Well we typically start our day doing this:

Bloggers-Vacation

This photo cracks me up.  Not only because it’s slightly ridiculous, but I just love how I have friends who are all on the same wave length.  Obviously we didn’t spend the entire trip hidden behind our laptops.  We went kayaking, swimming, played mini-golf, ate a TON of food and had numerous adult beverages.  The 2nd year at the Disney Beach House was the best yet and I can’t wait to share more details with you about Disney’s Vero Beach Resort…it’s quickly topping my list of favorite resorts!

As a great way to end the week, a few of us headed out to Walt Disney World on Friday to not only play in parks for a bit:

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But most importantly to eat here:

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O.M.G. I can’t even begin to describe how amazing the renovations are at California Grill.  The decor, the food, everything…wonderful.  Be sure there will be a full detailed review to come shortly, but for now you can check out all the food porn over on my Instagram page.

Here’s what I’ve been up to on Running at Disney this week:

And here’s what’s been happening over on RAD Living:

Now on to some RAD Reads from some of my favorite bloggers!

Running & Fitness Posts
Mommy Run Fast tackles the Yasso 800s.  I’ve always been interested in adding this into my training plan.

The Misadventures of a Darwinian Fail talks about her sugar addiction…are you secretly an addict??

Gabby’s Gluten-Free has a great look at her goals including perception, pressure & doing your own damn thing…I love this!

Disney Posts
Eating WDW shares a her favorite vegetarian dishes at WDW and they all look delicious!

This Happy Place takes an interesting look at the price of being a fangirl.  I love this take on the Disney community and what fandom actually means.

Imagineering Disney has great construction photos of Cinderella’s Castle.  Do you know how many bricks make up the castle?

Sparkly Ever After visits the new grand and miraculous Starbucks in Epcot.

Weekly Review
My past week definitely involved a TON of relaxation, but I did manage to squeeze in a few good workouts.  Our kayaking trip was an incredible upper body workout!  Here are all of my workouts from this week and to view a complete list of WODs, visit my dailymile page.

Sunday: Rest
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Kayaking: 4.7 miles (4 hours)
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 20 min amrap: goblet squats, db thrusters & pushups
Friday: Magic Kingdom Walking (4 miles)
Saturday: Magic Kingdom Walking (5 miles)

The 20 minutes amrap I did on Thursday was at the resort gym called Anchors A-Weigh.  Love the name!

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Didn’t love the gym…

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Definitely not my style…  But I made the best of it, grabbed a dumbbell and made up my own workout.

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I did a quick 1/4 mile warmup run on the treadmill, which was awkward because I had a mirror right in my face…yikes!  Then I did the following 20 minute amrap (as many rounds as possible):

  • 15 goblet squats (20#)
  • 10 dumbbell snatches (20# x 4 & 30# x 4)
  • 10 pushups

I started with 5 burpees instead of the pushups, but realized by quads were quickly going to get burnt out with those, so I switched to pushups for round 2.  I got in a total of 8 rounds and was a sweaty mess after.  This workout was so tough that my quads and glutes are STILL sore 3 days later…crazy.

Tomorrow I will be starting the Lurong Living Paleo Challenge which is 8 weeks on the Paleo diet along with 10 workouts.  My weight will be taken, my measurements will be taken, photos will be taken…ahhhh!  I’m a bit nervous and excited at the same time.  I will be covering the whole thing over on RAD Living, so make sure to head over there and check it out!

Have a great week and remember to Be RAD!

Friday Feast: One Day in the World

Next Saturday I will be in Walt Disney World for only one day, my shortest trip ever.  Since dining in WDW is one of my favorite things, I’m having quite the dilema trying to figure out where to go.

Here’s the scenario:
Arrival: 11:00 pm Friday night
Departure: 9:00 am Sunday morning
Resort: Beach Club Villas (BCV)
Priorities: Star Wars Weekend (SWW)
Transportation: Rental Car

My original thought was to go to SWW in the early part of the day, returning to BCV for a short rest, then head to Flying Fish Cafe for dinner, and finish the night back at the Studios for the Hyper Space Hoopla.  But my plans have derailed due to a few factors…

1. Tutto Gusto opened.  Wine, meats, cheeses…who can pass that up?  After seeing all of the recent reviews on sites like the Disney Food Blog and Eating WDW, I NEED to go here!  My mouth is watering just looking at the photos!  These are some of my favorite things.  Since I’m staying at BCV, I can probably pop over there, but will have to sacrifice some SWW time.  Is it worth it?

2. Hubs has requested sushi at California Grill.  How can I say no to this??  This is one of our favorite things about WDW and something we look forward to every visit.  Sushi back home just doesn’t compare anymore now that we’ve been privileged to California Grill’s Sushi.  The Dragon Roll is simply life changing.  This will take a serious chunk of time to get over to the Contemporary Resort, but it will also make us both VERY happy.

Who can pass this up??

So what to do??  We are both HUGE Star Wars fans and this will be our first SWW, so we want to take in as much as possible.  On the other hand, this is our first vacation in a while so we feel we should indulge in our favorite thing…dining.  Oh the first world problems we have… 🙂

I want to hear from you!  

What would you do?  If you had only ONE day in WDW, what would your priorities be?  What would your dining priorities be?