Coast-to-Coast Trip Part 1: Orlando, FL

Hi everyone!!!

I’m back …I’m back …I’m back!

I’m back from my break – a.k.a “vacation”. It was fun!


That was more than a month of absence and I am finally blogging about this after plenty of procrastinating because I wasn’t ready to admit it was over! Haha!

But on the other side, I did miss my blog so much! I had a super amazing adventure and I can’t wait to share my little get-away with my hubby and show pictures of the places we’ve been to.🙂 If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know by now that we went a little crazy traveling.

> July 6-9: Orlando, FL
July 9-11,14-15: Los Angeles, CA
July 12-13: Boulder & Las Vegas, NV (& a little bit of Arizona :P)
July 16-19: Jackson Hole, WY —> BREATHTAKING!!!
July 20, 26-27: Seattle, WA
July 21-23: Spokane, WA
July 23-25: Vancouver, BC (Canada)

There were a lot of pictures to go through and a lot of activities to recap, so out of courtesy to my readers and their assumed short attention spans, I will try to be as quick and concise as possible.  It was a fun month full of adventure. Squeezing everything in one post would make it uber long and overwhelming. So, I’ll cover one place at a time per post.

So let’s start shall we.

First stop…


We left Ohio on a chilly Saturday (July 6) morning and arrived Orlando past noon. The first thing that came to my mind stepping out of the airport – “oh it’s warm here …and very sunny”.🙂

We were picked up by our good friends Scott and Jennifer. Scott is one of my husband’s good childhood friends from Houston who lives now with his better half, Jennifer, blogger behind dearhealthierme.blogspot.  She’s a very talented artist who talks about healthy lifestyle. So if you like art, healthy living, and into gluten-free recipes, you’ll definitely find a friend in her. Go ahead and check out what’s cooking on her blog!

It was definitely fun seeing friends again. They dropped us off at our hotel,
unloaded our stuff, freshened up, and prepped for our first day, out in FLORIDA sunshine!🙂

loving Orlando’s sun and their palm trees.🙂

I also got a chance to meet my cousins who are living in Tampa.
We had an early dinner with everyone in Ceviche at St. Pete.🙂

pic grabbed from Jennifer!

I absolutely love their sangria and tapas!🙂
Our server recommended their top selling tapas and
we all decided to get the full sized plates of them to share with the table.
That way we get to taste everything.🙂

It was a fun dinner and nice catching up with all of them.
After the sumptuous dinner, we decided to walk around downtown St. Pete.

As the night approached, Scott brought us to Old Town
to get some booze, hung out some more and before calling it a day.🙂

me and my cousin.

On our Second day, we went to Disney World!!!

As a Disney World newbie, figuring out which of the 4 parks to hit first was really overwhelming. We planned to do a day of Magic Kingdom, and a day of EPCOT.🙂

We arrived at Magic Kingdom at around 10am. Walking down Main Street toward the castle was congested, as expected, but still magical nonetheless.

It was hot (90′s), humid, and 40% chance of rain (according to our weather forecast app). NICE! :/

Next time, I think I’d like to visit in the winter months, when it’s nice and cool, as a raincoat or poncho on a hot day is really not my best look.😛

I asked a random lady to take our mandatory photo in front of Cinderella’s castle before we proceeded on with our day.

We immediately headed over to Fantasyland to check out all of this new area at Disney. I loved it! I was very impressed. Ariel’s Grotto is beautiful!  Belle’s home, her father’s house, and the Beast’s castle are AMAZING.

Of course, the kid in me didn’t let the opportunity pass dining-in at the Be Our Guest restaurant. We had dinner here that night and the experience was amazing!

The Grand Ballroom was full so they let us in at one of the rooms called West Wing. The details of this castle restaurant were fantastic! They also made it look like it was snowing outside the windows – exactly like the set up in Beauty and the Beast movie.🙂

The magical cup.

Mix of cold cuts and cheese for appetizer.

I got shrimps and scallops for main course. I forgot what’s it called but it was delicious!🙂

The Beast was actually there entertaining and taking pictures with the guests. For such a beast, he was actually quite hospitable. LOL!🙂

We didn’t actually go crazy with meeting the characters on this visit. I feel like I have to save that for next time we go hopefully with our future kids. Those things would be more awesome to do with kids. I like the idea of our children having the perfect Disney experience with us.🙂

My husband and I spent the day riding the classic rides — Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain (TIP: Hit all the mountains first!), Monster’s Inc Laugh Factory (loved this!), Lilo and Stitch, Pirates of the Carribean, etc. It was that day we mastered the art of using Disney’s lingo – “Fast Pass“.🙂

We also found the Disney iPhone app to be a great resource for maps, parade times, wait times, and other park info. Disney World Parks have free wi-fi which is pretty cool. We were able to access the app the whole time we were there!🙂

Of course, I didn’t miss this ride of my all time favorite character
– Ariel from the Little Mermaid!

When it was time for the Magical Parade, lucky for us, we were able to get a good (…and shaded! Ugh thank you, the heat was killing us) spot. The parade was amazing. The characters looked exactly like the ones in the cartoons. It was exactly like them coming to life! They all looked unbelievably sooo real!🙂 I enjoyed the music, the dancing and their floats. Everything looked so magical. Some of the characters even ended up coming super close to us during the parade which was pretty cool.

The most “magical” part for me was the fireworks show later that night. Seriously the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. I was in such awe that it almost made me cry of happiness.🙂

The sky was absolutely FILLED with fireworks synchronized to Disney songs! There was no black to be seen, only dazzling fireworks everywhere you looked.

And, that, my friends is why they say Disney is magical.  The ability to generate memories for ALL ages. Pretty cool!!!🙂

We also caught some of the light parade before we headed back to our hotel.🙂

It was a long day of riding rides and walking.  A little over fourteen hours of walking at Magic Kingdom. We returned to our room exhausted and sore. The humidity was awful even at night.😦 But all in all, I’d say Day 2 in Florida was a success!

EPCOT was our Day 3 destination. I love EPCOT! It stands for Environmental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. If you are childless at Disney World, go to EPCOT! :) It’s just kind of more grown up and futuristic but still very Disney.

I wore my CEP compression sleeves that day since I already knew it will be a long day of walking again.

Florida was still a billion degrees and humid like the Amazon rainforest that day. Apparently the locals thought the weather was lovely, but not for Ohioans. We don’t do well with the heat.😦 I woke up to a burning neck and shoulders the next day.😦


Well, aside from bathing ourselves with sunscreen and bringing our CamelBaks, we decided to hit the indoor rides first to beat the scorching heat and walk around in World Showcase late afternoon when the sun would be milder! The “Fast Pass” was still the way to go to skip all the long lines to all major rides.🙂

We hit Test Track, and Soarin’ first! Loved both!

The Seas with Nemo and Friends which was cute!!!🙂

Spaceship Earth which was fun and was cool inside so …win!😛

We got a preview of our future at the Spaceship Earth.

Apparently, in the future, we are still running.🙂

All the rides people had been raving about – Soarin’, Spaceship Earth, Test Track – lived up to the hype.

Next, we stopped at Club Cool, which is like a mini World of Coca Cola.  We got to try sodas from around the world. My favorite was the soda from China. It had a sweet lemon tea taste.🙂

Then off to the World Showcase!



In Norway, where I discovered this cool brand for running clothes!🙂

Cool Mexican restaurant.🙂

I learned that this part of EPCOT has the best food and variety of restaurants. We went for something different for our “dunch” (late lunch, early dinner). We dined-in at Marrakesh for Morrocan food. I like the ambiance of the restaurant. They even had a belly dancer which made the whole thing come alive and gave the restaurant an “authentic’ feel.🙂

After our “dunch”, we walked some more to visit other countries. We rode Maelstrom, a boat ride in Norway where you travel in a Viking ship and learn about Norway’s history. Pretty cool!

As the sun set, we noticed people were already settling in for the Illumination fireworks show.

As we were looking for a spot for us, we saw people having this ginormous drumstick of meat.

We got curious and devour on one while we sit and wait for the show to start.

There is absolutely no sophisticated way of eating this massive carnivorist delight! LOL! It was tasty and satisfying. It is so huge that my husband and I had to share one. We didn’t even finish it.

The Illuminations was again another incredible fireworks show.

And the end of Day 3.

I feel like we didn’t get to really enjoy the World Showcase because it was scorching hot the day we were there. Hopefully, the next time we visit, which I’ll make sure will be in the colder months, we’ll get to do more in this part of EPCOT.🙂 We surely got plenty of sunshine from the “Sunshine State” and I left Florida with a tan, unfortunately not from the beach but mostly from our time at Disney World.🙂 LOL!

The following day was our flight to California!

So ’til my next post for my recap of my California adventure.

Stay tuned!

Have a great day, everybody!

xoxo, JOTR

Other places to legally stalk me:
> My blog’s facebook page: Ja-ontheRUN Blog
> Check out my silly photo adventures on Instagram: @ja_ontherun


How was your spring break? Did you go anywhere fun? Did you stay at home?

Have you ever been to Disney World? How old were you when you first went?

Who is your favorite Disney character? I love Ariel!🙂

{Part 2 here}

20 thoughts on “Coast-to-Coast Trip Part 1: Orlando, FL

  1. Pingback: Coast-to-Coast Trip Part 5: Sleepless in Seattle | Ja on the RUN

  2. Pingback: Coast-to-Coast Trip Part 4: Jackson Hole, WY | Ja on the RUN

  3. Pingback: Coast-to-Coast Trip Part 3: Hoover Dam & Las Vegas | Ja on the RUN

  4. Pingback: Coast-to-Coast Trip Part 2: Los Angeles, CA | Ja on the RUN

  5. Nicole

    Just found your blog! Love it! I am originally from Cincinnati (born and raised). I now live in Chicago but go back often. Your trip looked like a lot of fun! My husband and I did Disney Land when we first married (on our honeymoon, actually). I can’t even fathom doing it now, with kids in tow. It would be so different.

    1. Ja @Ja on the RUN Post author

      Hi Nicole!
      Thanks! I’m glad to meet a fellow Ohioan here in the blogging world!🙂 That’s awesome. Most of my family are actually in Chicago. Hubby and I are here for work but we are thinking of staying here for good. We’ll see.🙂 We are actually going to Chicago in a few weeks for a race.🙂
      Thanks! Yah, glad we did Disney just the two of us for now. We are definitely going back when we have our kids. I agree! It will be different!🙂

  6. ko0ty

    Wow you travelled quite a bit. I can’t wait to see your Vancouver photos. I live there and I’m always curious as to how tourists find our city.🙂

    1. Ja @Ja on the RUN Post author

      OMG! VANCOUVER is amazing!🙂 It’s definitely one of our favorites from this trip!!!🙂 I can’t wait to make a recap about it! I’m a bit slow ‘coz I want to complete downloading all our pictures from our friends. I’m a little OC like that. LOL!🙂
      Thanks Kooty!🙂

  7. Tink

    Great to have you back, we missed you! I am sooooo jealou about you going to Disney! But you’re right, you really should try it in the winter months. There’s a whole different feel, and I think its even more magical! Especially when the Christmas decorations are up.

    1. Ja @Ja on the RUN Post author

      Thanks TINK! I missed everyone too!
      That sounds wonderful! I saw pictures of the park during Christmas season and they’re gorgeous with all the lights and decorations. It looked colder but sunny. They were all wearing just hoodies (sweater) which seems like the weather is perfect around those times of the year.🙂 I will definitely consider going back in the colder months!🙂

  8. Brittany

    WAAHHHH I AM SO JEALOUS!! I LOVE all things Disney!! I have only been to Disneyworld once, but have been to Disneyland A LOT! I want to go every year! HAHA! My favorite character is BELLE! I am so glad you were able to get away and even get away from blog land and have a blast!! Such a great idea!

    1. Ja @Ja on the RUN Post author

      I’ve been to DisneyLand in California and California Adventure years ago during my highschool days. Those were so much fun too. Nothing beats Disney!🙂 After seeing Disney World, we might have to consider going there often! LOL!

      Thanks Brittany. It was nice to take a break from my computer.🙂 I definitely needed that!🙂


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