Disneyland Paris


Last summer I had the opportunity to take a vacation to Paris. In addition to site seeing the many attractions, I wanted to visit Disneyland Paris. It took about an hour by train to get there from where I was staying in Paris. Having been to Disney World in Florida more times than I can count, I thought it would be great to experience it in a different country. I knew that it was going to be much smaller than Disney World.


Regardless of the size, it is still the most Magical place on earth! Employees were just as friendly and helpful to you. I think that it must be a requirement to have in order to work for Disney! Even though neither of us spoke French, we were able to get by for the most part. Many signs were in English as well. When we arrived at the gate, there were even maps of the park that were in several languages ( just like at Disney World).


Most of you know that Disney World, is the largest (World, opposed to Land) which has 4 theme parks, Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and Animal Kingdom. In Disneyland Paris there are only two theme parks, Disneyland Park, which is their Magic Kingdom and Walt Disney Studios, similar to Hollywood Studios. In Magic Kingdom in Disney World Cinderella's Castle is the focal point. In Disneyland Paris, it is Sleeping Beauty's Castle. Disneyland Park, just like Magic Kingdom has four lands inside the park, Frontierland, Adventureland, Fantasyland, and Discoveryland.  In each land, many of the attractions are the same as at Disney World, some with a slight variation. In Frontierland we rode Big Thunder Mountain. In Adventureland we did Pirates of the Caribbean and watched Indiana Jones. Of course we couldn't miss riding It's a Small World in Fantasyland, the happiest cruise that ever sailed around the world! In Discoveryland we tested our laser gun skills as we rode Buzz Lightyear trying to aim at the targets throughout the ride. We also rode Space Mountain, my personal favorite! I thought the Space Mountain in Disneyland Paris was faster and had more twists and turns during the ride. You could easily have spent a whole day inside Disneyland Paris, but we only had one day so we wanted to do both parks. We purchased the Park Hopper to experience both Disney Parks in the same day with unlimited access.

disneyland paris
Disneyland paris
Walt Disney Studios was our next stop. In addition to the Park Hopper, the Parks also offered Fast Passes that shortens the waiting time to some of the popular rides, which came in handy when trying to do more than one park a day.


Another nice thing about Disneyland Paris, because it is smaller, we could walk to Walt Disney Studios. No waiting for the bus or monorail that you have to do at Disney World. Walt Disney Studios was broke up into different sections as well, Back lot, Front Lot, Production Courtyard, and Toon Studios. In the Back lot we watched a Stunt Show Spectacular, inspired by Pixar Cars 2. This was an action packed show that was quite loud. This was the original Lights, Motor, Action stunt show that made its way to Hollywood Studios in Disney World.  


Afterwards, they showed the audience their secrets in performing such stunts that look dangerous and how to do them safely. Also in the Back lot was where we experienced the Rock and Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith. This ride went from 0-60 within seconds. If you got a need for speed, then this is your ride! In addition to the speed, there are speakers right next to your ears that have music blaring the whole time. But don't worry, the ride goes so fast that it's over before you know it.

Keeping up with the speed, we went to the Tower of Tower in the Production Courtyard. This thrilling elevator ride drops from 13 stories faster than the speed of gravity! My suggestion is to not eat lunch before these two rides.

Moving onto Toon Studios, we rode Crush's Coaster, based on the movie Finding Nemo. In Disney World the Crush attraction is not a coaster and the Finding Nemo attraction is a moving ride that follows Nemo through his adventure. So because I'm a huge fan of roller coasters, this ride was much more fun. Now this ride is no Rock and Roller Coaster, but rather a spinning turtle shell ride that takes you on twists and turns. This is a great ride that children would enjoy. This was a very popular ride that had a long line. We didn't mind though, since the parade was going on at the same time, we were able to enjoy that while passing the time in line.

In Paris, it rains a lot. I think it rained everyday at some point, while we were there. The only day it did not was when we went to Disneyland. We could not have asked for a more beautiful day to visit a theme park. To celebrate their 20th Anniversary, Disneyland offered extended hours to both theme parks, which meant more time to experience the magic of Disney. You can never have too much! If you are a fan of Disney (which we all are) and love to travel, I highly recommend putting this on your bucket list!

disney tips
 Here are my top 5 suggestions for things to See/Do in Disneyland Paris:

1. Experience both the awesome Rock and Roll and Space Mountain Roller Coasters
2. Enjoy a tasty treat at Fantasia Gelati
3. Take on new heights at Tower of tower(before your gelati)
4. Arrive at the parade early to get a good spot
4. Visit the Backlot at Disney Studios to watch many stunts and specials effects
5. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes because you will be doing a lot of walking and waiting in long lines.

Have you visited any of the Disney theme parks out of the United States (Paris, Tokyo, or Hong Kong)?

Thanks for reading. ~L

Color Me Rad 5K

Have you ever wanted to do a color run?  If that is something that is on your running "to do" list then you won't want to miss out on the Color Me Rad 5k.

race discount code

Fairytales and Fitness has been chosen to be an ambassador for the Color Me Rad 5K race and because of that, we are able to offer you and your friends 20% off the registration fee, regardless of the price or location. Use the code "radfun" at checkout. You will have to act quickly though because this discount expires on Thursday August 1.

The Color Me Rad 5K is a fun run and is walker friendly, so even if you're not a runner, you can still partake in the fun!   If you want to see what this race is all about, check out the Official Color Me Rad 5k video.  To find a race near you ( or your friends) check out the official Color Me Rad 5K Location Map.

Have you ever done a color run similar to this?  What fun runs have you done?

A Run Through Syracuse, NY

Last night I was in Syracuse,  NY. When I woke up this morning I was excited to go for a run knowing that it would be much cooler in upstate NY. Well, having been used to running in the 80s with humidity. I woke up to find it a little too chilly out. Only in the upper 50s. So I had a good breakfast and waited until it got in the 60s, which didn't take long.

I made my way through a park that led to a housing development. Even passing a yard sale, too bad I didn't have any cash on me! I didn't have a goal in mind of how far I would be running or even where, that is where my gps always becomes helpful.  I just kept running around the huge development passing many beautiful houses. I even ran some steep inclines along the way to mix it up a bit. I ran until my gps showed 5 miles. After that, I thought it was time to find my way out of the development and back to the hotel to get ready for work.

When you run, do you always have a goal in mind?

My Fitness Friday FAIL


I had an 18 mile bike ride on the agenda for Friday.   The weather was perfect for a ride so my mom and I loaded the bikes up and drove them to the starting point on our trail. By the time we rode to the park, which was the halfway point, we got a call that my Nana was taken to the hospital.  At this point we turn around and start making our way back down the trail so we can load up the bikes and go to the hospital ourselves.  The nurse told my mom that my Nana would probably be waiting for an hour or two, so we didn’t have to be in a great big hurry.

Well, about mile 11 I had my first bike wipe-out and it was bad!  I don’t even remember going that fast either. We were entering a section of trail that has those yellow caution bars on it.  Quite like the picture below. 
The purpose of this is so bikers slow down because they are approaching a crossroads were there may be traffic. It’s probably meant for only one biker to pass at a time, so I went ahead of my mom.  Apparently I wasn’t over as far as I thought. The left handle bar on my bike just grazed the yellow caution bar and literally spun my bike around throwing me to the ground. I remember trying to catch my balance and then thinking “ o my gosh, I’m gonna fall on this pavement”.  And then I was down! I thought I would be able to move, but my whole body was just stinging so I laid on the ground for a moment just to take in the actuality of what had happened.  I knew my mom was really worried. As I laid there I didn’t know if I wanted to laugh or cry at what had happened.  My mom helped me off the pavement and we sat in the grass so I could assess my injuries. I tried to break the fall with my hands, so of course my palms are all scuffed up.   The inside of my left ankle is pretty scratched up, and my right knee was bloody.   She kept asking me if I was okay as she poured what was left in her water bottle over my scrapes. An older couple and their friend must have saw what had happened because they came right over to me and asked if they needed to call 911.   I told them that I would be okay, but thank you. The ironic part was that we were on our way to the hospital anyway!  The gentleman then picked my bike up and noticed that it wasn’t working properly. The break wires had got twisted during my fall.  He fixed it for me and then after assuring them that “yes” we did have a cell phone, and that I would be okay, they went on their way.  Several other people stopped as well.  I was overwhelmed at the generosity and concern that complete strangers gave.

After doing a little maintenance on my bike, we were back riding again, albeit a bit slower.  We stopped at a little shopping center right off the trail. We went into a Sheetz store so I could use the restroom to properly wash my hands and clean my wounds.  We were going to get a bite to eat here too, but this particular Sheetz did not have any tables or chairs and with the way my right leg was feeling, I really needed to be able to sit down.   A lady at Sheetz suggested that we go next door to Weis Markets (which is a grocery store) and sit at one of the tables they have at the deli.  I do remember the Weis near my house has a nice deli section with tables and chairs, so I thought this was a good idea.   We get to the deli and ask where all the chairs are and the lady behind the counter tells us that management recently got rid of them. Well that stinks! The employee wasn’t too happy about this change either. She said that she had regular customers that would come in every day and have lunch there.  We ordered two slices of pizza and the nice employee told us that we could eat in their break room if we wanted to.  What!!! Since when is the general public allowed in someone else’s break room?  We politely declined the invitation to eat in the break room.  However, she did tell us that there was a patio set (couch, chair, and table) sitting out in front of the store and that we should take our slices of pizza and eat out there.  This is too funny, but that is what we did.  Every person that walked by us to go into the store either looked at us funny or made a comments like “what a good idea”, or “that looks comfy”.  No one said anything mean but I’m sure people thought we were a little weird and totally out of line eating on a “display” patio set.  We certainly got an evil look from a little kid about 5 or 6 years old as he walked out with his parents. He was staring at us the whole time he walked by that he almost ran into the side of the wall.  But hey, the employee said people eat out there all the time and really what was our other option?  Sit on the curb outside? 

After we ate, it was time to make the ride back.  I assured my mom I could ride it. It was about four or five more miles back to our car.  Before we got back on our bikes, my mom called her brother to tell him we were going to the hospital to see my Nana.  As luck would have it, he was just driving by the Weis Markets so he came and picked up our bikes and put them in the back of his truck and took us to our car.  I am so glad he did this because during the ride to the hospital my leg was feeling progressively worse.  I just know I’m going to have a massive black and blue mark very soon.

My leg was so sore that I sat with an ice pack on it for the rest of the afternoon.  I really could have used like three more packs!

I really feel that this cross train activity turned out to be a #Fail, which is so disappointing. I’ve rode this 18 miles of trail before with no problem.  I’ve never had to get picked up mid run or mid ride before!  I’m really not a reckless rider, but just to be safe let’s just say that I will refrain from participating in the Five Borough Bike Tour in NY ( ha ha)!
I only completed 11 miles of the 18 that we set out to do.


Have you ever had one of your fitness activities turn into a Fail?


Healthy Lunch with Kale Chips

Since we talked about some fast food and unhealthy options yesterday, we thought it was only appropriate to talk about some healthier alternatives today.  Here is my take on Burger and chips!
After I got home from running 7 miles today, I was hungry for lunch. Since I ate out a lot this past week, I decided I would go to the store and make meals at home for this week, cheaper and healthier. Today I made a black bean burger with kale chips. Now I am no vegetarian, although I do try to eat that way several times a week, just for health purposes.  After making the burger I put it on a whole wheat bun, topped it off with fat free cheese, fresh tomato, lettuce, and some guacamole. With all the toppings you couldn't even tell it wasn't the real thing(maybe not so much) but I didn't mind it. As for the Kale chips. If you have never tried them you should. They are so easy to make. Kale is very inexpensive. I got a whole bushel of Kale for $1.29.

*Preheat oven to 400 degrees

*Place kale on a baking sheet, you will want to rip the leaves off the stems, not too small because they do shrink up quite a bit.

*Sprinkle with olive oil, salt, and red pepper flake(you can omit the red pepper flake if you don't like spicy food, but I don't think it becomes too spicy and it gives the kale a nice flavor).

*Bake for about 10-15 minutes, turning leaves over every few minutes.
*Eat directly after they are done for a nice crunch (if not, they do become soggy quickly).

What are some ways you make healthy foods tastier?

We ~Heart~ the East Coast

We ~Heart~ the East Coast

When we were younger we dreamed of living in far away places like California.  When you grow up on the East Coast, California is considered a “far away" place.  Afterall, who wouldn't want to visit Hollywood?  I guess it’s not until you get older that you really appreciate the place that you’re planted.  ( And realize that you can easily go to California just to "visit")

With that said, we love living on the East Coast! Yes, I will agree that sometimes the winters can get cold, but in return the summers get very hot!  ( I think it hit 95 degrees today)
Baylee all bundle up

Drenched 5K : A COOL Giveaway!

It is a scorcher here today so this give away couldn’t have come at a better time!  Many people slow down their runs during this summer heat, decreasing their mileage, and even opting out of races because it is so hot.  If this sounds like you than you won’t want to miss the Drenched 5K! 

Cotton Kills.....Runners Beware

I've always been a runner, that being said, it wasn't until this year that I've become a long distance runner and completed several marathons. There is a difference in going out to do an easy 5 mile jog and completing a training run of 18 miles. Last year when I was training for my first marathon, I kept getting blisters on my feet. I just assumed that it was part of the training and running longer distances than I've done in the past. It wasn't until I was telling my friend in my running group about it, and he said “It's because you are wearing cotton socks”.

From that day on, I stopped wearing cotton socks. Now I'm not here to tell you that you will never get a blister by not wearing cotton socks, but it does make a huge difference. So if you're not wearing cotton socks, what type of socks do you wear? Synthetic. I never liked running in thin socks, that's why I've always chosen a thick cotton sock, but it wasn't until I went to look for synthetic socks that they do come in thick as well. Brands like Thorlo and Smartwool are well padded at heel and toe. If you want a thin sock, brands like Defeet and Patagonia are a great choice. My personal favorite are Asics. Whatever your preference, you will be able to find socks that fit well that are not cotton. In addition to socks, same goes for your workout attire. Try not to wear anything cotton for long distance running, you run the chance of chafing. To help prevent chafing, try applying Bodyglide to areas that may become irritated during your run. One rule to remember.....Cotton Kills!

Am I the only one that didn't know not to run in cotton socks?  

My favorite pair of non cotton running socks.
Label on socks. Notice there is no cotton listed!

Uncork Your Tastebuds....

Uncork Your Taste Buds!

This is the slogan behind Mercer’s Dairy Wine Ice Cream.  We will make a disclaimer right here that this post may not have anything to do with fitness today but sometimes you just need to indulge yourself in something delightful and this wine ice cream certainly does not disappoint!

We discovered this wine ice cream last year around Christmas time. This was a great find as we were able to serve it at our annual Holiday party and even give some as gifts. I have to admit it was the flavors (and the really snazzy packaging) that drew my attention to the product, but it is definitely the taste that keeps this ice cream a favorite of mine.


Wine ice cream flavors include Cherry Merlot, Chocolate Cabernet, Peach White Zinfandel, Port, Red Raspberry Chardonnay, and Riesling.   I have tasted 4 out of the 6 flavors and have to say that the Chocolate Cabernet is my favorite. It is a smooth chocolate ice cream with pieces of shaved chocolate and a hint of Cabernet.  It is just a delight to the taste buds!  Mercer’s wine ice cream is so good that it has won awards both nationally and internationally.

Mercer’s Dairy is located in New York, but fortunately there are other dairies across the nation ( and now the world) that sell this great treat!   Check out if there is a dairy Near You that sells this product.    If you don’t see your state or city listed, no worries because you can order a pint ( or more) and have it shipped right to your home.  We do not have to have our ice cream shipped but we are only able to buy it by the pint at the store.   If you order it online you have more sizing options. 
 At the dairies a one pint container cost around $7.  This seems expensive for just a pint but if you think about it, one pint offers you four servings ( if you are practicing your portion control).  You probably can’t go to your local ice cream parlor and get 4 servings of gourmet ice cream for $7.

Peach white Zinfandel with chunks of real peaches

Keep in mind that because this is wine ice cream ( with 5% alcohol) you must be 21 years old to enjoy this tasty treat!

Okay so who’s thinking that this sounds like a great post run treat?
What flavor would you choose?


"Treasure Hunting" in Epcot...A Great Souvenir

(A Great Souvenir for commemorating a Run Disney Event, Wedding, Anniversary, Birthday, or any other special event at Disney)

epcot center
Japan pavilion in Epcot
When we visit Disney parks and resorts we always try to look beyond the “obvious” attractions. That is why my husband and I were so intrigued the first time we discovered the large oyster tank in the Mitsukoshi store in Epcot’s Japan pavilion. This was a “Pick a Pearl” station.  We watched a few people through their process of picking their pearl before we decided to do it too.  This is how it works.

Once you decide you want to purchase a pearl, you will get a number from the nice Japanese lady or gentleman behind the oyster tank.

Once your number is called, you point out the oyster shell that you want.  Since doing this I have heard rumors that the ugliest shells produce the best pearls.  I can’t confirm this because I do believe I got some nice looking pearls and I don’t remember looking for the “ugly” oysters. 

The lady or gentleman behind the tank will pull out the oyster you’ve selected and cut it open. They do this in front of you so you can see the pearl as it is revealed.  The pearls will vary in size and color. The colors range from white to what they call a champagne color and all shades in between.  Some oysters even produce black pearls. I have also heard of people receiving “twin” pearls in their oyster.  That is great luck if you are trying to make a pair of earrings with matching pearls.

My husband and I each picked an oyster. Inside the first one was a cream colored pearl with a pinkish tint.  It was a pretty decent size at 7.5 mm.  When the employee measures the pearl to find out how large it is they will than pound on a drum in celebration of your “treasure”. All the employees behind the counter will clap and cheer!

The second oyster that we picked produced a pure white pearl that measured 7mm.  We were told that getting a pure white pearl was pretty rare and that both pearls measured larger than normal.  

After our pearls were cleaned and polished, we had the option of taking them home as is or purchasing a setting for them. We decided to have the pure white pearl set into a ring and the other set in a necklace. We waited about 30 to 40 minutes for our settings to be completed and were told to wait several hours before wearing them and to not get them wet.  This is true for all pearl jewelry whether it is new or old, you should not get it wet.  

This is one of our favorite activities in Epcot. I love that my husband enjoys it so much as well. He refers to is as “treasure hunting”. It is exciting not knowing what exactly you are going to get. I’ve done this activity in Epcot about 10 times. I’ve made rings, necklaces, and pendants and I have about a half a dozen loose pearls that I’ve packaged up and brought home.  At some point I thought I would get two pearls that are similar so I could make a pair of earrings.   I haven’t been lucky enough to find “twin” pearls in my oyster yet!

When we first discovered “treasure hunting” for pearls, the cost was $13 an oyster.  At the time of this post  it is now up to $17.  This does not include the cost of the setting .

Although we enjoy the experience at the Japan pavilion, there have also been pick a pearl stations set up near the Beach Club Resort and at Downtown Disney.

                   Have you ever done the pick a pearl at any of these locations?