Before we went however, I used my amazing Disney Family Holiday pass to get me, Lindsey, Leslie, Michael, and Nikolas into DisneyQuest at Disney Springs! It was a lot of fun and I was glad to see DisneyQuest before it is taken over with a little Disney magic!
PS: Linsey and I tried to new pumpkin flavored pretzel. We thought it was "eh" (not very pumpkin-y to me!), but Nikolas LOVED it!
PSS: If anyone was driving through Disney on Friday November 27 around 11 PM and heard a car full of people blaring Adele's "Hello", you're welcome. =P
I hope everyone had a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving! Mine was spent in beautiful, sunny Florida with my family. We had delicious food and I got my favorite BABY TIME with my niece Mary Jane and nephew Nikolas :)
As for hotels, we started at the Hard Rock, which is a long time favorite of everyone's. Then, me, Drew, and his brother stayed in Cabana Bay - super fun and cool! Last, we moved to Coronado Springs at Walt Disney World. We really liked this hotel and the pool was sooooo dope!
We also got to see the new Hocus Pocus show starring the Sanderson Sisters. Holy smokes, it is soooooooooo good! I would pay to just see that!
We ended Fall Break with a weekend trip up to the Outer Banks. I had never been before, but it was always on my to do list. I ADORED the Outer Banks and want to go back as soon as possible. We saw wild horses and a bald eagle; we went swimming in the ocean and star gazed at night; we had delicious meals with all of Drew's closest friends. It was a really nice way to end such a GREAT vacation!
GUYS! Drew, his brother Matt, and I had the best time two weekends ago when we did ALL the things! I'm talking Star Wars weekend, Universal + Islands of Adventure, loads of shopping and eating (like three stops at The Boathouse!), and even got a coveted spot in the new it bar Trader Sam's! (I really hope some of you read that last sentence as if Bill Hader's Stefon was giving use clubbing advice =P)
So, we learned that Trader Sam's over at The Polynesian can only hold 50 guests at a time. We also learned that people wait in line (and wait early) to get inside. Luckily for us, we arrived at the exact right time and claimed spots 37, 38, and 39 when the doors opened at 4 PM.
Now, I won't lie to you: the drinks are pricey. Most come with an optional souvenir glass the spikes the prices up to the near $20 range (or more). I of course picked the drink that HAD to be served in the souvenir glass (or pearl I should say), but it was worth every penny of its $16 price tag. The Polynesian Pearl was described as "tasting like Christmas" and it definitely was something worth celebrating over! It was probably the yummiest drink I had ever had.
Also, cool thing about these specialty drinks is that there is some sort of reaction within the bar when they are served. Now I am no surprise ruiner, so I won't say what happens for each of them, but I will tell you they are FUN. To give you any inclination about how much we enjoyed our experience, we spent three hours inside the bar and ordered about half of their menu. It was the BEST time.
We also spent quite a bit of time over at Downtown Disney's newest sit-down restaurant The Boathouse. Drew has been drooling over it since the concept art was first released. The boys went three times; I went twice. We obviously loved it! The bar is expansive, the food was incredibly fresh and tastey, and the entertainment was really cool. (Be sure to stop by in the evening for their live music!)
Also, despite initial reports, there are affordable options on the menu. In cases like these, I tend to have the "quality over quantity" mindset. In other words, I rather pay more for sustainable, organic, good food then cheaper, "Is this even beef?" type of entrees. That being said, we all three got really big portions and were stuffed afterward. So we go quality and quantity!
PS: The open area bar on The Boathouse's dock is so relaxing. A must do!
I think I was most excited for Star Wars weekend shenanigans! I have gone to these weekend events that past two years and think they are one of the shining moments throughout the Disney year. There are SO many cool things happening: loads of Star Wars merchandise, a special motorcade featuring all your favorite characters, celebrity sightings and signings, dance parties, the coolest firework display around, and (as always, my personal favorite) limited edition food items!
We also had lots of fun times over at Universal! I was just happy to get my favorite Otter's Fizzy Orange drink, Matt realized his love for LITs, and Drew was obsessed with Sean Paul. =P We also saw the new velociraptor exhibit over by the Jurassic Park area, which was really neat!
We stayed at Port Orleans: French Quarter, which we all loved. We also looked at Riverside's food court and I was pretty impressed with the southern+modern offerings. Plus, the boat transportation from both resorts make it really easy to get to DTD.
It was another successful trip! Can't wait to have more =)
So out of all the hotels Drew and I have ever stayed at, Portofino takes the cake! It is so beautiful, and as an Italian, I really enjoyed the theming. Also if you can, upgrade to the concierge lounge. It is awesome! They provide breakfast, lunch, dinner (with wine and beer!), and snacks in between!
The nice thing about staying at a Universal hotel is that you are within walking distance to both parks and City Walk! The first evening we got some dinner at the concierge lounge and then headed to Diagon Alley. We ended out night at City Walk's Breadbox for grilled cheese and fries. =)
The next day we got lunch at one of Drew's FAVORITE places Mythos. He got his all time favorite burger (and it was good!) and I got the risotto. Yum :)
In the afternoon, we checked into Royal Pacific. Look how pretty it is!!
We also had a little photo shoot... =P
It was Universal again on Saturday, and I finally got to attend the park's Mardi Gras festival! And guess what: Phillip Phillips was there!! #blessed =P
Drew and I still had to work during this mini-vacation, but after we would always do something. One night we headed to International Drive and had dinner at Yardhouse. And the cool thing was it is located right by Orlando's newest Ferris wheel. Even though it is not open yet, we still got to snap a few photos.
Thursday was our day for relaxing! We watched The Guest, lounged poolside, I made breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and then we went to Player 1 for some drinks+video games. It was a very fun day; both of our favorite day! (PS: Bioshock is an awesome video game and everyone should watch their boyfriend play it :D)
Our last day took us over to Epcot's Flower and Garden. Although I was a little slow moving that day (thank you Drew for taking such good care of me!), it was such a lovely day! We both really enjoyed Flower and Garden, learning more at the various exhibits and sampling the dishes. (More to come on the food part =P)
12. Go to Washington DC to see the sights - monuments, museums, zoo, etc!
13. Go to Washington DC to see the White House and look for Obama. (ha!)
14. Go to Washington DC and slowly chant "USA USA USA" and never feel more patriotic in my life =D
16. Go to Washington DC to see a PANDA BEAR!!!!
17. But most importantly go to Washington DC to see my favorite boy :)
(this was a VERY big life moment y'all, HA!)
My 25th birthday was truly a wonderful one. Thanks to everyone who made it oh-so special! And here is to 25 more years of happiness, love, positivity, and adventure! <3
Although it is not officially on my Bucket List, going to Hollywood Studios for a "Frozen Summer" is something I have been wanting to accomplish for months. A last Thursday, this wish finally came true!!
Second favorite part? WHEN IT SNOWED! (Which reminded me of my beloved The Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights...which I refuse to believe is disappearing, no matter how much Mike Hansen tries to convince me otherwise! =P) Third favorite part? Elsa's sassy walk. Get it gurllll!
We waited to get the Olaf Cupcake, which is carrot cake topped with cream cheese icing, until Ben arrived because that boy loves him some dessert. (Aren't we sweet?! =P) For a split second though, I did get sad because in typical Florida fashion, rain appeared. On top of that, the crowd was getting thick.
But the Frozen gods blessed us with not only a short sprinkle, but also (almost magically!) a table perfectly protected from the rain. The four of us each got our own Olaf, and we were not fully prepared for the food heaven that was upon us. This moment - all of us raving about the deliciousness that is the Olaf Cupcake and just having a grand ole time - has become one of my favorite moments. =)
And in conclusion, if you have not had a Frozen summer yet and have the opportunity to do so, GO HAVE ONE! You'll be one "happy snowman!" ;)
A permanent believer that "Adventure is out there" and a DAK girl for life!