Radiator Spring before Sunrise
Travel

26 years.

Alas, I’m 26. I can’t believe it’s only been 5 years since I was able to legally go up to a bartender and ask for the cheapest drink in the house. Oh how times have not really changed.

This year I was so excited to spend my birthday with my sister and cousins at “The Happiest Place on Earth.” It was our second time participating in Disneyland’s Family 5K! We walked to support The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

If you’ve never done a RunDisney event, you should definitely look into it. I’m not a runner, but I do love Disney. (I’m okay with admitting that I’m biased.) Picture yourself speed-walking throughout the empty running rides of California Adventure and Disneyland parks around an hour before sunrise, weaving in and out of lines of adults who are actually running, and little kids who are in better physical shape then you will ever be. And that’s exactly what it feels like. I love it. Hopefully I can run/speed-walk at next year’s Disney Wine and Dine run. There’s nothing like vomiting up fresh Pinot Noir!

Disney Run 5K

The race started at 5:30 a.m. Still dark outside.

Disney Run 5k - Before Race

On your mark, get set, cosplay Disney characters!

Disney Run - Cinderella

Apologies for the blurriness, but this chick walked the whole 5K wearing a Cinderella gown (a la the new and excellent live-action Cinderella) and heels. She’s my hero.

Radiator Spring before Sunrise

Radiator Springs before sunrise.

Disney Run - 60th Celebration

Diamonds, diamonds, diamonds.

Malicifent - Disney Run

Malicifent told us to find Aurora. We did (not).

Disney Run - Teacups

Empty cups. So cool.

Funny Sign Lady - Disney Run

This random lady showed up at different parts of the race. She’s amazing.

Disney Run - End

Happily ever after.

Disney Run - Bib

My beautiful bib.

I had such a fantastic birthday, I can’t even fathom how I deserved any of it. It was as if the shittiness of last year conglomerated into one big mass that dissipated into a really fucking great time. Here are highlights:

1. I took my sister to La Descarga in Los Angeles. This Cuban bar is one of my favorite bars/speakeasys in Los Angeles because you enter through a wardrobe. Every time I walk through, I pretend that Mr. Tumnus will receive me and that the White Witch will give me her Turkish Delight recipe. It’s fantastic. Also, Wednesday night is apparently Salsa Night, so it feels like you’re in a remake of “Dirty Dancing: Havan Nights.” PS the drinks are dangerously tasty.

2. The boyfriend and I threw a little bash in honor of us both turning a year older (our birthdays are 4 days apart). The intent was to play board games. The result was a hot lovely mess filled with Two Rooms and Boom, Heads-Up, jamming on my guitar and keyboard, and eating amazing YASS QUEEN brownies while wearing my new Sailor Moon backpack. And I heart my friends for that.

Yass Queen brownies

My friend Barb made us these Broad City brownies. Yass Queen!

3. Ben and I went to Long Beach to have a little getaway from Los Angeles. It’s not that far away from our apartment, but it’s far enough that we can call it “a little getaway.” Kind of. Anyway, we ordered Chili’s pick-up and watched “The Muppets 2” (our first time watching it!), “Die Hard” (my first time watching it!), and “22 Jump Street” (our first time watching it!). A little R&R goes a long way.

Long Beach

View from our room. Not too shabby.

Long Beach Room

This art was in our room. Cubism?

4. On my actual birthday, we went to the Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney. It was around 9:30 p.m. or so at night and places on Disney property surprisingly close really, really early. But I didn’t mind the 15-minute intervals of fake rainforest thundering, animatronic gorillas, and overpriced cocktails. This Rainforest Cafe reminded me of Orlando and its equally shitty Rainforest Cafe that I know and love. I had steak and shrimp that wasn’t very good, the service was slow as molasses, and our waiter seemed to not know what deodorant was, but I loved it all the same.

5. My cousins gave me a plush BB-8–the cutest little thing after Dany cat girl. I love him and he makes noises!

Stuffed BB-8

BB-8 watching the sunset from Newport Beach.

6. Two parks, one day. I’m not a huge fan of cramming two Disney Parks into one day, but staying on Disney property helped in a few ways. Did you know there’s a SPECIAL monorail only available to Disney Hotel guests that goes from inside Downtown Disney to Tomorrowland? Yeah, I had no idea either. And when we boarded the monorail, I knew exactly how Charlie felt when he found his golden fucking ticket and it was wonderful. We shed at least 20 minutes of wait time going on what I now call Disneyland’s Blessing to Baby Jesus.

Disney with Family

Disney with Pascua cousins!

Duck - Thunder Mountain

They had to postpone Thunder Mountain for a few minutes because this little guy was blocking the track. What a quack.

View from Mickey's Fun Wheel

The view from Mickey’s Fun Wheel. Because of its constant back and forth, I almost vomited on all of California Adventure.

Frozen Cousins

At Anna and Elsa’s Boutique with my sis Row and cousin Didi. Frozen 4 ever.

7. Within 12 hours we rode 16 rides covering both parks. My cousin calculated that we walked a total of around 15 miles throughout the whole day! My MyFitnessPal was congratulating me as if I actually ran the 5K!

8. My cousins and I played a version of The Game of Things into the wee hours of the morning. God, I love my family and I love The Game of Things. I lost my voice for a few days from laughing so hard.

9. I was able to eat a Filipino meal with all the fixings while with my cousins. I really missed eating Filipino food, and I really missed being around Filipinos conversing in Tagalog and me having no clue as to what they’re even saying. It was like my childhood all over again!

Eating Filipino Food

Tanola, pansit, lumpia, Filipino barbecue, and lots of other yummy stuff.

I’m hoping my birthday celebrations are a sneak peek at what’s to come for my 26th year of existence. Here’s to it not being complete shit so far!

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