Hiking the National Wildlife Refuge

Last week my sister and I had an opportunity to hike at a National Wildlife Refuge.  I admit we should have taken more photos of the gorgeous land and visitors center (which was more like an education center), but we didn't think about sharing it on the blog at the time.

There were many different trails on the refuge but I think the outer loop was a 10 mile loop.  We hiked on our own without a map and ended up doing 8 miles.

                                                  The refuge had this great boardwalk area.

There was also this great overlook that was up in a high tower. I know from the pic it doesn't look like it was up high, but it was.

Among all the wild life we did see, we saw this rather large turtle.  We thought maybe he needed a little help because it looked like he was stuck in the mud. In the end we thought it was better to let him keep on trying! 

                                           A great stretch of  paved trail to run on.

                                                Some fun things we saw along the trails.

We finally made it to the visitor's/education center.  We walked around and looked at the exhibits, grabbed a drink, and emptied some stones out of our shoes.  This was actually a great place to sit in the air conditioning for a while before turning around and heading back on the trail. 

What's your favorite nature trail like?

We will be linking up with the gals from TOTR.

Weekly Wrap ...July 29

Greetings, and welcome to the Weekly Wrap! Things have been a little interesting here since we got back from vacation. 

The East Coast experienced monsoon like weather earlier this week, so that was fun waiting around in an airport to see if our flight was actually going to take off after many delays. About 7 hours LATER we were headed for home. Once we got home the weather did not stop. We had to prepare for flooding. I live up on a hill so I was not effected, but I helped my Pap prepare since he lives near the water. Thankfully his home did not flood this time. However, some of our running routes did, and our Island has been closed all week.  I've been walking around my neighborhood but no real runs for me this week.

Although we shared some photos on IG, we didn't do a recap of our trip so here is a quick highlight reel.

Horseback riding at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort. You can check out our post about it HERE.

                                                                         Park Time

                         Disney's Beignet  Dash Fun Run. You can Read about that HERE.

We also did a Culinary Tour that I hope to talk about and we did a nice long Nature Hike.

Also Lacey registered for something exciting and started her training this week so maybe she'll share more about that soon as well.   Lots of fun stuff coming up. Stay tuned!

                    Thank you to Holly and Wendy for letting us share our week with them.

Horseback Riding at Disney World

On of the days we were in Florida we booked a horseback riding excursion at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort.

We were a little worried because

Beignet Dash Disney Fun Run

This past week we were vacationing in Florida, and while we were there we decided to take part in one of Disney's new fun runs.

We had gotten information about the fun run just a few days before we were ready to leave and heard it was called the "Beignet  Dash" so of course we had to make fun running outfits.

I was told you could register ahead of time by phone, but quite honestly not a lot of cast members knew about the race or how the registration worked so we just ended up registering and paying when we got there.

Okay, so here are the details if you are interested in this race.

It's called the Beignet  Dash" fun run and it takes Place at Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter so of course there is a Mardi Gras theme to it. It takes place on Sundays.

We were told to be at French Quarter by 7:30 am for registration and the race would start at 8 am. When we got to Port Orleans French Quarter we were immediately impressed that the cast members there knew about the race and could direct us right where we needed to be.

The race was directed by the resort's recreation department (Erika and Carson) and they did a fabulous job.  We filled out our paper work, paid (they prefer cards or magic bands to cash), and were given a resort themed bib to personalize.

After some jokes and a description of the course we were off.  The race was only a 3K, but seriously that was the perfect distance for a fun run in this Florida heat and humidity.

We followed the path along the Sassaqoula river, ran through the Riverside resort, and crossed the bridge back to French Quarter.

 The route was clearly marked with fun run signs and there were cast members at each turn cheering for us.  Some of the resort guests may not have had any clue what was going on so they looked at us weird.

This race was was not timed, but as we crossed the finish line we were presented with a fun run medallion (and a bottle of water).

And of course no Disney race is complete without a character photo. This jester was so sweet and told us we just had to get a picture with him because he liked our outfits!

This run really was fun but what made it even better was at the bottom of our bib we had a ticket to redeem for  Mickey shaped beignets at the Sassaqoula Float Works which was right around the corner. We never got a ticket to redeem for food during a Run Disney race. I've always said that I thought that was something Run Disney should be implementing.

This is a pilot program for these fun runs and they do have them occasionally at other resorts.  Currently there is a week day run called the Derby Dash at  Disney's Saratoga Springs resort and there was the Southern Most Race that took place at Disney's Old Key West resort but as of right now that is less frequent.

So if you are visiting Disney during a non race weekend this may be a good way to get in a little Disney running!

We will be linking up with the gals from TOTR.

Weekly Wrap...July 22

Back in June, my sister and I realized that we both had some free time during this week/weekend, so we thought it would be fun to run the Rock n Roll half marathon in Chicago.  As far as I know, RnR Chicago is the only summer time RnR race in the United States. Since I don't work over the summer, that's the one I always had my eye on.  This would also help me continue my goal of running in new "large" cities.

We found out that many other running bloggers would be there, so we were excited to join in the fun!  As our planning progressed, we were getting a tad stressed. Our flights didn't seem to line up the way we had hoped and the temps were getting WAY too hot to get myself into half marathon shape. The 10K started to look like it was more my speed (but I didn't find the finisher medal very appealing (not that that was a deal breaker). In the end, it didn't sound like it was going to be a very "relaxing" vacation for us so we decided to stay on the East Coast and vacation in Florida. 

It actually ended up that we did run a race while we were there. This was so much fun and I can't wait to talk more about it.

We are still enjoying our vacation so hopefully we will have more to add to our weekly wrap next week.

Thank you to Holly and Wendy for letting us share our week with them!

Tell us your Instagram Story

I started Instagram a few years ago but I didn't really start using it consistently until the last year or so. I can now say it is my favorite form of social media.

If you have been following @Fairytalesnfit you would notice that it was sort of a joint account between Lacey and I.  Lacey now has her own IG @Lacers02 so you can now follow her running and flying adventures over there but please stick around @fairytalesnfit to keep up Baylee and I. I've also been thinking of starting a second IG account about homeownership and decorating but I don't know if I'm ready to take the plunge with 2 IG accounts and how that will effect my logins and what not.
But this post is not about promoting ourselves on IG. No.

I want to learn about Instagram stories. What is the purpose of them?  Some people post videos on them, but you can post videos on your Instagram feed as well. Some people just post a picture. But what is the purpose of posting the picture on the story when you can post it in your feed as well?
I've heard that IG stories are only there for 24 hours and then they go away. Ok, what's the point of that?
But there has to be another side to that because some people have all these cute little icons on their account that house all their IG stories.  

I am totally confused. Please tell me what the purpose of the IG story is and how it is beneficial. Should I be using stories?  I've scrolled through a few and so far it's pretty much people talking nonsense.  Why?

While we are at it, can you tell me about IGTV? 

Tell me what you know! -M

Run to Vacation OR Vacation to Run?

Are you someone who plans your vacation around the races you want to run? Or are you someone who is looking for races to run while you are on vacation?

I will admit that over the past several years, we've both picked out races based on their locations.

Here are just a few of the "Racecations" We've been on in the past few years.

*Las Vegas

*Disney World in Florida

*Disneyland in California

*Baltimore, Maryland

*Atlantic City, New Jersey

*Virginia Beach,

*New York City

*Hershey, Pennsylvania

*Runner's World Headquarters in PA

*Honolulu, Hawaii

*Las Angeles, California

*Dallas, Texas

*Big Sur, California,



Posts from all the above races can be found HERE.

What we've found from this, is that when we travel strictly for a race, it makes our time there exhausting! We leave there wanting to go back and visit that area again sans race.  Which I guess isn't exactly a bad thing. However, it can be difficult to visit places multiple times when you live on the opposite side of the country. Someday I will get back to Disneyland!

I don't have a lot of experience finding races while just on a family vacation. I suppose if I did, it would have to be a fairly small race that wouldn't monopolize a lot of my time and where logistics would be easy.  I would love to do the Castaway 5K while vacationing on a Disney Cruise!  Maybe someday I can get my whole family on board.

I have to admit that while on family vacations I don't even do a whole lot of running. If I'm on vacation, that's usually my time to relax. Of course if I'm traveling for leisure with a runner friend (like I did with Heather), we will find a way to get a fun run in.

 We took our first run around Disney, and our second run around the the island of Coco Cay.

 I also did a run with my sister in Niagara Falls because who can resist that beauty!  Other than that, I can't remember really "running" while on a true vacation. I definitely get in enough activity though even without running!   -M

Have you ran any races from our list above? Any that you'd like to run? What are your non running vacations like?

We will be linking up with the gals from TOTR.

Weekly Wrap...July 15

In an effort to make the most of my summer, I've been trying to keep myself busy.  I admit my mileage and my running is definitely not impressive (and sometimes I wonder if it's even worth mentioning on the weekly wrap) but I am reminding myself that I am not training for anything yet and that I am just running for fun. You all understand, right?  At least I'm being consistent with 3 runs per week.

So here's are some highlights from the week.

Run 1 (Tuesday)

I decided to start my run at the island and then cross the bridge into town. I haven't ran in town for a while because of the construction going on (we are getting new sidewalks, Yay!).  I did bring a hand held water bottle with me. I had this water bottle in the fridge overnight and it wasn't until I got to the island that I took a sip of it. Oh yuck! It tasted like onions.  We had previously made burgers and had the fixings (lettuce, tomatoes, onions), in the fridge and the smell must of made it's way to my bottle.  I ended up leaving the water bottle in the car. I figured I could get through at least 3 miles without it.

Turns out at 3 miles I was looking forward to ending at a park in town, sitting on a bench, and enjoying some water. But wait, I forgot, I didn't have water!

Luckily the kind employees at the subway across the street saved my day!  I will be a customer for life!

As I was walking through the park, I saw this! I did not know that was there! (Ray is my Pap if you didn't already know).  It was fun to walk around and see bricks dedicated to other people I knew from around town.

Afterwards I planned to foam roll but I tell you my dog is like a magnet to my yoga mat. Every time I roll it out she just HAS to be on it. This day I thought I would foam roll close to the pool so I could watch her swim but as soon as she saw the mat, she was out of the pool and on the mat!


Later at night I walked at the island with my sister and it was like animal kingdom down there.  We came face to face with a deer,  had a groundhog scamper in front of us, saw a possum, a skunk, and as I was leaving the island I saw a beautiful Pekin duck. Yes, I had to look up the name of the duck.

I saw one "sleeping" on the side of the road the other day and I thought it was so odd to see these kind of ducks out in the wild. Usually they are pets (my dad use to have one). Well, I saw this second Pekin Duck in the same area, so perhaps they are someone's pet who lives on that road.

Run 2 (Thursday)

I planned to do the same route as I did on Tuesday but it was just so hot that I could not make myself leave the island. I didn't want to run in town because I knew there would be very little shade.

Later that afternoon, My sister and I did some boating. This is my favorite summer activity and I am so glad we live close to the water.

Run 3 (Saturday)

I actually planned to do a long run on the rail trail today but I didn't get out the door as early as I had hoped and then got caught up in doing errands. I figured I'd run later when it cooled down. At 6 pm it was STILL 95 degrees!

I waited till 8 pm and went to the island to do a 2 miles loop.  It was a pleasant run and I saw 2 deer run in front of me. ( you can barely see one of them in the above pic) This doesn't happen often so it's still exciting to me when I see them.

Tell me something interesting that happened on your run this week?  -M

Thank you to Holly and Wendy for letting us share our week with them.


I have a Currently post for today's Friday Five.  This is all about what's currently going on with running and other aspects of life this summer.

Current Running Situation

Now that it is July, I've been pretty consistent with running.  I'm not currently signed up for anything so I don't feel the pressure that I HAVE to run. However, I WANT to run because I want to take advantage of the free time I have this summer. More importantly I want to keep a good base for any fall races that come up.

Current Races
Like I mentioned, I'm not currently registered for anything but there are a few local 5K's I might run in August and two in the fall I definitely want to run. I'm hoping to do a longer distance race with my sister this fall but because of her inconsistent schedule it will have to be something we sign up for last minute.

What I'm Currently Watching
I am in LOVE with the show Younger.  I am SO GLAD that I started watching it from season one. I wish it was an hour show and I wish it was on all year long. I just can't get enough!  It's been a great treat this summer! If you aren't watching it, it's on Tuesday's at 10 p.m. on TV Land. (You might want to binge watch the previous seasons).

Also, I started watching this show called Diet Land.  It just started this summer and I think they are on episode 6. It's got a kind of The Devil Wears Prada theme to it.  Actually, both Diet Land and Younger take place at a Publishing house, hmm, I see a theme here with the shows I'm loving.  Anyway Diet Land is on Monday nights on AMC.

What I'm Currently Reading
I've completed 5 books already this summer. I think I have a theme going on as all my book titles have something to do with vacation or summer. The last one I just read was called Beachcombers. It was about three sisters from Nantucket Island.

What I'm Currently Worried About
Baylee did something to her paw and it was bleeding for several hours. I'm not sure what she did, but I cleaned it up and put first aid cream and a bandage on it. The next day it seemed to be better but then last night we went swimming and she must have scraped it on the concrete out at the pool and it bled a lot more. I cleaned it up again and bandaged it. I'm surprised how good she is about keeping the bandage on. I hope this heals soon.

What I'm Currently Looking Forward to
Vacation!!! I didn't do any trips during the month of June so I'm looking forward to some vacations in July and August.  One of these trips requires me to be on an airplane. I know I always get so stressed out ahead of time about the plane and about leaving Baylee.  I guess I can't control the plane but at least I know Baylee is in good hands while I'm gone.

Have you been watching any of the shows I mentioned?  What are you currently worried about? -M

4th of July 5K Race

Every year we have a 4th of July race near my hometown and I always seem to get stuck working. My sister has run it a few times but always says it is a very hot race. This year I finally got off and I was going to run it. Since it is always so hot this year they changed the time to an hour earlier.  Thank goodness!

Weekly Wrap...July 8

What a festive week it was! Actually it kind of seemed like a long week and I had to think back to what I even did in the beginning of the week and then I remembered we had that holiday thrown in right in the middle! I don't mind long weeks that feel long though. I wish I had more of them. I never want summer to end!

Here are some highlights from the week! The ones I can remember anyway.

Ultimate Coffee Date -July

                                   It's time for the Ultimate Coffee Date with Deborah and Coco.

I was sick last month when I got my Starbucks reward for a free birthday drink but I didn't want to let it go to waste so I got a chocolate smoothie instead.

If we were having coffee (or smoothies), I'd probably want to reflect on last month. I like to look back and see what I've accomplished on my time off work this summer.

A Mini Vacay

Last week I had a few days off of work so I went to Virginia Beach to visit some friends. I thought I'd share a few highlights for our Friday 5 today.

 I didn’t get done working until very late the night before so I didn’t get on the road as early as I would have liked to the following day.

I didn’t arrive to my friend’s house until early evening. We hung out by the pool and then she made spaghetti with homemade meat sauce……delicious! We started to watch the 2nd season of 13 Reasons Why. I didn’t think I would like it but it has me intrigued and I will continue to watch it. 

Weekly Wrap..July 1..My Favorite Weekend

This is probably my most favorite time of the year.  This weekend was the Monumental Mile Race, the Veteran's Parade, and picnic / pool party with my family. Not to mention I am probably in the minority with loving the heat. Aww, all the essence of summer right here!

Because I've been so focused during the month of June on my triathlon, I did not really do any speed work to practice for the Monumental Mile.  I did exactly 2 runs.  I was extremely happy with my effort last year during the Monumental Mile race but was doubting I would do as well this year.  I figured as long as I could keep my pace around 8 minutes, I'd be happy with that.