4. Disney World
2014 began with a trip to Disney World for a week of amusement parks and the first half marathon of the year. The highlight of the trip was a behind the scenes tour of EPCOT – The UnDISCOVERed Future World. We stayed at a zoo, visited all four parks, visited several of the resorts and ate more on the meal plan than anyone should. Awesome trip to start the year and a great way to relax after the holidays.
And to put another Disney bookend on the shelf we went to the ‘happiest place on earth’ near the end of the year. Another Disney park and another half marathon. How did I choose to give this a higher ranking on the ‘Best of’ list? Disneyland was the better park in a lot of ways. The two parks are very similar but Disneyland has a different feeling – smaller but a deeper sense of tradition rooted in Walt Disney’s creative vision of what a park should be. Fan of Disney World? It is worth the trip to see the original design in California and the Disney California Adventure park. Christmas was a bonus with several of the rides themed for the holidays.
Some of the coolest parts? The original Haunted Mansion pet cemetery hidden from view, the Iron Man tech exhibit and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride which has been retired from Disney World. And of course the Avengers Half Marathon.
2. Los Angeles, California
From great food to amazing art galleries to historic tar pits to high-end shopping and even a visit to see a space shuttle – Los Angeles could have been a ‘Best of’ list on its own. It was another spot on this list where we crossed paths with Travis and Claire. They did an awesome job finding some of the cooler stops and the best ice cream I had all year.
Yes – it was better than the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck. (Who deserves an honorable mention for coming to Raleigh.)
Tomorrow – 2014’s #1