Sep 12, 2013

Disneyland Half Marathon Trip Report: Health and Fitness Expo, Goofy's Kitchen, Storytellers Cafe and the Rest

Raisin Bread and I took Friday off from work and flew to LAX that  morning on my favorite airline, Virgin America

Who's going to Disneyland? We are! 

This will be the last post of my trip report, so it might be a little longer than usual. If you missed my race recaps of the Disneyland 10K or Half Marathon, check them out here:

After picking up our car, we stopped off in Torrance for lunch at Mitsuwa on the way to Anaheim. We both had ramen from Santouka despite it being in the 90s that day. We don't normally have easy access to good, authentic Japanese food where we live, so we needed to take advantage of being close to Torrance. 

Spicy miso ramen with pork cheek meat

After lunch, we continued our drive to Anaheim and checked in to our hotel to take as short nap before heading to the Disneyland Half Marathon Health and Fitness Expo at the Disneyland Hotel.

Image Credit: Cruising Goddess

I am glad we arrived at the time we did because I had been following the progress of the Expo earlier in the day and it seemed to be mass chaos. One of the people I follow on Instagram said it took four hours to pick up all of their stuff. Crazy!

By that time, bib pick up was a breeze. The only problem I had was that they couldn't find the stickers for my bag check, but I wasn't planning to check anything anyway so it wasn't a big deal to me.

We then went up to the Expo Hall to pick up our t-shirts and gear bags and walk around the booths. 

Disneyland 10K, Half Marathon and Dumbo Double Dare T-shirts

Ali Vincent from The Biggest Loser at the Expo

We eventually met up with the sister and brother-in-law in the afternoon to take photos and have dinner together. 

For dinner, we went to Goofy's Kitchen, which was also located at the Disneyland Hotel.

Goofy's Kitchen is a character dining restaurant with a buffet. I helped myself to barbecue ribs, mac and cheese, a variety of salads and mashed potatoes, followed by a variety of desserts. 

With character dining, Disney characters come to your table and you can talk to them (if they are a face character) and take lots of pictures with them. These are just a few of the characters we got to see. 

Us with Goofy, Pluto, Minnie Mouse and Belle

Brother-in-law's birthday had been a few days prior but we were able to celebrate together this night! 

Happy birthday, Chris!

Following dinner, we walked around Downtown Disney for a little while before heading back to our hotel.

On Saturday, my parents decided to drive down to Anaheim to have lunch with us after I finished the 10K. We met at Storytellers Cafe in the Grand Californian Hotel. Although they don't typically have character dining during lunch time, we ran into Dale and a few others while we were there.

I forgot to take pictures of my food, which I didn't think was great anyway. I ordered the jumbo shrimp cocktail to share and a burger. 

After lunch, we showed my parents around the hotel before saying good bye. For the afternoon, sister, brother-in-law and I hung out by the pool and went on the awesome monorail slide. There are actually three slides: a baby one, a medium one and the big slide. It was so nice to be in the water after my 10K that morning! 

Disneyland Hotel pool

For dinner that night, we wound up back at the Grand Californian Hotel at Napa Rose. We changed our dinner plans at the last minute and couldn't get a new reservation anywhere else we wanted to eat. Napa Rose had lounge seating that was available, so we went that route.

Although the food was good, the service was painfully slow. It took us about 2 hours to get out of there, which was way past what we were planning for. Sister, Raisin Bread and I were all going to have to wake up super early the next day to make it to the half marathon!

I created a mish mash of a meal: I ordered the portobello mushroom bisque "cappuccino" with brandied thyme froth, the salad of summer with peaches, hickory smoked pheasant and french green beans with California almond vinaigrette and shared a side of truffled "mac & cheese" orecchiette pasta with parmigiano-reggiano. I especially loved the soup and salad. The mac & cheese put me over the edge of fullness, which is not ideal for a meal before a half marathon. Oh well.

On Sunday after the race, we headed up to the South Bay to Raisin Bread's old stomping grounds. We had lunch at a place we used to frequent quite regularly: OB's in El Porto. 

Not much has changed there: still has free peanuts and their stir-fry is still amazing! 

We decided to stay the night at my parents' house so we could spend some more time with them. We headed there in afternoon and took a long nap before dinner. More Japanese food was requested by Raisin Bread and me for dinner, and we went to Tampopo in Gardena. 

I ordered the ten zaru soba. The tempura batter wasn't that great, but the soba was delish. Sigh. I miss authentic Japanese food when I'm here in DC. 

The next morning, we left early to catch our flight back to DC.

Well, that was my trip to LA and The OC. It was fun and I feel like I achieved a lot, my first double, my second half marathon and my fourth 10K. I am also glad that I got to spend some quality time with the family!

Until next time, California!

Mitsuwa Marketplace
21515 South Western Avenue
Torrance, CA 90501

Goofy's Kitchen
Disneyland Hotel
1150 Magic Way
Anaheim, CA 92802

Storytellers Cafe
Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
1600 Disneyland Drive
Anaheim, CA 92803

Napa Rose
Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
1600 Disneyland Drive
Anaheim, CA 92803

OB's Pub & Grill
3610 North Highland Avenue
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 

Tampopo Restaurant
15462 South Western Avenue
Gardena, CA 90249

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