Friday, January 11, 2013

Have a Magical Day!

I admit I'm a huge Disney fan. My family owns a Disney timeshare, and we've been to a number of their resort locations. One of our favorite Disney hotels is in Vero Beach, Florida. I mentioned in a previous post that my family and I traveled over Thanksgiving. Disney's Vero Beach Resort was our destination.

Disney does a really fabulous job catering to families, and Vero Beach is no exception. It may not be on a theme park property, but there are a wide variety of activities available to resort guests. The resort's cast members host programs for kids and adults all day, every day. From learning to surf to painting a plate it's on the agenda.

Disney's Vero Beach is immaculate with amenities galore. Nestled along Florida's Atlantic Treasure Coast, cabanas, umbrellas, lounge chairs, boogie boards, wave runners, sea kayaks and sailboarding rentals are available seaside. Poolside features a sparkling, freshwater, Mickey Mouse-shaped swimming pool with a 2-story water slide, pirate ship splash area and outdoor dining. A mini golf course, ping-pong table, sauna, spa, workout center, an arcade, tennis/basketball/shuffleboard courts and bicycle rentals offer fun for every one in the family. There's just so much to do!

Well, I promised myself that on this trip I'd set aside some time to workout or run. I managed to fit in a nice run one morning. There's an endless paved trail along the A1A. My plan was to run half of a 5K north along the path, turn around and head back to the resort. Instead, I took a slight detour running for a small distance along the "Historic Jungle Trail." It was a sandy old-world road winding through the hammock habitat of the barrier island. I read later that it was built in the 1920's so citrus growers could haul produce. The only other soul I saw along the way was a man grading the road with heavy machinery - so much for rustic.

As I emerged from the "Jungle" rejoining the modern Route 1A Trail, I felt a genuine sense of relief. I hadn't been attacked by alligators, snakes or other Florida creepy crawlies. Even though I thoroughly enjoy the outdoors and sleep soundly in my hammock overnight, outside in the wilds of Minnesota, I am uneasy in unfamiliar environs. In Minnesota, I know what to expect. Bears, deer, moose, coyotes, wolves, chipmunks, loons and nonvenomous snakes - whatever. Florida is a completely different ecosystem that sports gruesome bugs and poisonous snakes. Eek!

I hurdled a disgustingly ominous black snake slithering across the sidewalk! This was NOT in the "Jungle" where I had mentally prepared myself. This little guy chose to sun himself on the warm concrete rather than the sandy jungle trail. "Black Beauty" pretty much put me in sprint mode, and I raced back to the resort. I discovered later after talking to one of the always friendly Disney cast members that the snake is called a "racer." Hmm... I can see why! Apparently, southern black racers are nonvenomous - FYI.

The workout facility at the resort is well-outfitted with elliptical trainers, stationary bikes, treadmills, free weights and a whole circuit of strength training machines. There's also a scale! At the end of the week I decided to step up and assess the damage. To my complete and utter surprise I lost 15 pounds! Now, I am no fool. After days of delicious dining, decadent desserts and delightful drinks this Disney scale was definitely duping me.

I merely smirked and snickered, "This must be Disney Magic! The Imagineers, once again, delivered a Magical Day."

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