Monday, September 29, 2014

Resort hopping

Disney World has so many different hotels/resorts that are considered owned by Disney on Disney property. We stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort because of the free dining plan package we got. We originally planned on staying at Port Orleans Resort French Quarter. We will just have to plan another vacation and stay there.
While on our vacation we did ended up checking out a few other resorts. The first one we checked out was the Contemporary Resort. We just hopped on the monorail from Magic Kingdom and went for a ride.

The Contemporary Resort is known for the monorail running thru the middle of the resort. Back in the day before my mother had kinds or was married (over 34 years ago) she went to Disney every year with her girlfriends and stayed here. I honestly wasn't to impressed. I don't know what I expected but I expected more. It would be nice to stay here though with the close, quick access to Magic Kingdom and Epcot. I would stay here. 
Another resort we checked out was Grand Floridian. It was amazing. It has so much elegance and class, was very warm and welcoming, and made you think of a relaxing vacation. (A would be amazing to have a wedding here, just saying) 

The one big thing I noticed was they posted how long the wait was until the next bus was coming for each Disney park. I believe that is the difference between a deluxe resort and a moderate resort. 

We also took a boat and the monorail and saw the outside of some other resorts. They were Bay Lake Tower, Boardwalk, Beach Club, Polynesian, Yacht Club, and Swan and Dolphin Hotel.
I wish we would have had more time to check out other resorts such as:
- Old Key West 
- Polynesian (was under construction)
- Animal Kingdom Lodge 

Where do you stay at Disney? or where would you like to stay? 






Sunday, September 28, 2014

Last country concert


I'm a country girl at heart. Well atleast this year. I will admit I have no always been a fan of country music. I have been known to say I hate it, how can you like it, and I will never listen to country music. Oh how things change when you get older. I now love country music. It is my go to music and is safe for Ella to listen to. You're not going to hear a whole bunch of curse wording every few seconds compared to the rap, pop, hip hop and rock I use to listen to.

Brian is also a huge country fan. This past Valentine's Day I bought him, well us the country mega ticket. We got to see 8 great country concerts, two of which I actually sold the tickets to since I didn't want to or couldn't go to. We had a blast, made some great memories and bonded. As well as enjoyed out summer. The tickets were for Blossom Music Center which is an outdoor concert arena where we sat in the grass and tailgated beforehand.
Two nights ago was the last concert of the year. Makes you realize that summer is coming to an end and fall is upon us. The weather was great for the concert though. It was Dierks Bentley, with Jon Pardi, Chris Young, and Chase rice. What an awesome concert.





Friday, September 26, 2014

Magic kingdom


When I think of Disney World I think of Magic Kingdom and everything Mickey Mouse and Princesses. Even though it was the first week of September when we went, everything was decorated for Halloween and Mickey's Not Scary Halloween Party was already happening during the weekends. Fall and Halloween are becoming on of my favorite times of the years and seeing all the little decorative touches throughout that parks puts a smile on my face.

When you arrive you walk down Main Street and see a whole bunch of shops, restaurants, decorations, random characters (such as Marie), street performers, etc. It leads you straight to the castle. The one morning we stopped at the crazy busy Starbucks cause I need coffee and a delicious pumpkin and cream cheese muffin.

The first day we were are Magic Kingdom, Sunday was perfect picture day. The second day we were there (which was the day we left, Wednesday) there was a crane blocking part of the castle and you couldn't walk all the way around the castle. I'm glad we got the pictures I wanted the first day. Cause who doesn't want a picture of themselves in front of the castle and to walk around and feel like a princess. Inside Cinderella's castle is the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique. It was so cute seeing all the little girls around the park dressed up as their favorite princess and have their hair done by their fairy godmother. 

Like I said we were at Magic Kingdom for two days, well really a day and a half. Even though it was the slowest week of the year we still were not able to see everything we wanted to do in one day. This is partly because of the lines and because it also stormed the first day. Disney shuts down their rides when there is thunder and/or lightening within so many miles for safety reasons. 
Walking around the park you will randomly see not so main characters. We saw characters from Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella. (well atleast that I recognized there may have been more) The two ugly step sisters were riding the Prince Charming Royal Carrousel and being their normal mean selves and interacting with everyone.

I was surprised by how dark even the kids rides gets. We rode "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" and between story book pages in got a little dark that you did hear some kids scream, I somewhat expected it to not so scary for kids, since a lot of kids are afraid of the dark. (Ella is afraid of the dark.)
We didn't watch any parades or fireworks. Next time we go it is a must see. Between the rain and our reservations time for dinner it didn't work to our favor. Now I know better how to plan.
The only place we ate while at the Magic Kingdom was the "Be Our Guest" restaurant for lunch. We received a special invitation to have a fast pass like lunch. We had to select our meal before we even left for vacation. The experience was magical to say the least. You go in give them your name, get your drinks, and find a seat. Magically the servers know what where you sat (self seating), what you ordered and bring you your meal and dessert. I also loved that were we sat it was "snowing" outside the window to give you that more romantic feel. 

I loved the Seven Dwarfs Mine ride and the Jungle Cruise. I want to do the jungle cruise again and see if the jokes are the same from each cast member. The haunted mansion was a little scarier than I expected also. I wasn't impressed with "It's a small world" they need to label all the different countries instead of making you guess. I was also very disappointed and confused on Stitch's Great Escape. 
When I go back with Aubriella I know we will have to do some of the character meet and greets and ride all the kid rides again. I can't wait to take her back and see her reaction to such a wonderful place. 





Monday, September 22, 2014

Pumpkin Patch fun

Its officially that time of the year again. Fall is here and all the activities that go along with it. Yesterday we went to the first pumpkin patch of the season. Every year as a tradition we go to Brasee Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch in Wellington. I have taken Ella every year, even when she was two weeks old.


This year was just her and me. We get there and she heads straight for the wooden train that she can crawl all the way from the front to the back. She has an obsession with trains as it is so this just caught her eye. 

Then we headed over to the kids straw maze. It just zig zags back and forth. Along the way there are little Halloween decorations to catch the kids eyes and a few blow ups also. All over the maze was grass hoppers. Ella kept stopping to look at them and talk to them. She kept telling them to get out of her way. 


Now came the bad part of the trip. My phone decided to freeze. I have an iphone with touch screen that decided to lock up. I couldn't unlock my phone or turn it off. Where I was at also had no cell phone service (I hate going out to the middle of nowhere) so I couldn't use Siri to try and do speak commands. That also means no more pictures for the rest of the outting.  I was more upset about not being able to take pictures than my phone not working right. I couldn't leave just cause I couldn't take pictures. We still enjoyed the rest of our trip.
After the straw maze we went and played in the corn pit. Ella had fun laying in the corn and making "corn angels" and putting it in her hand. She then went in the bounce house. I had never taken her anywhere that had a bounce house before but she had a blast. There were two other kids in there with her. One boy who looked to be 5 or 6 (whose parents were no where to be found) kept jumping right by her so she couldn't stand up and would stop her from getting in and out the bounce house from the slides. I eventually asked the little boy to move so she could get out. 
Brasee's has an adult 8 acre corn maze. Ella decided she wanted to venture in there. We lasted 10 minutes before she said "Lets turn around I'm done." Luckily I was able to find the way out. I forgot how long that maze can be. One year I went through it, we were in there 45 minutes trying to find out way out. 
For an extra $2 per person we got to go on a horse drawn hayride. Minus the hay and was a really nice comfy wagon. We were the only one on it at that time and had so much fun. The driver kept going faster and would slow down to look back to see if Ella was enjoying herself. She loves the wind in her hair and speed. 
The only disappointment was there were no pumpkins in the pick your own pumpkin patch. Due to the horrible winter and not very hot summer they, like many others, didn't have much luck with growing pumpkins. They however did have pumpkins from someplace else for sale. 
All in all we had a blast and will continue with this tradition every year. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Animal kingdom

On the Saturday of our trip we planned on going to the Animal Kingdom with hopes it would be less crowded then the other parks. To our surprise it took a while to get on a bus from the hotel to go to the park but the park wasn't to awfully busy. 
When you walk into the park there is little pathways to the side that take you over to animals, plants, and waterfalls. It was a nice little treat if you walked off the main bath and away from the rush of crowds to see something special. Here is us with a waterfall behind us. (I love the romance of waterfalls)


When your walking down the main strip you also have an excellent view of the Tree of Life. It is immaculate with detail. Unfortunately it was closed when we were there, which was a huge disappointment that you couldn't get up close. (which we had not heard about before our arrival) 



The first thing we did at the park was check out Dinoland. I dragged Brian on the Triceratop Spin and he dragged me on Primeval Whorl. We had a fast pass for the Dinosaur ride but it was having issues when we went to ride it the first time. We did got back later in the day and got to ride on it. (wasn't to impressed.) 


I loved the Finding Nemo Musical. I was very impressed with all the shows at Disney World in general. The Festival of the Lion King was amazing. When everyone tell you that it is a must see it really is. It was nothing what I expected. Because of this show Brian said he will eventually go see Cirque De Sol. (I won't let him forget it either)
Since we had an early reservation for dinner at 4:15 we agreed to not have a big lunch so we just had ice cream. It really hit the spot since it was so hot out. We also chose not to ride the Kali River Rapids since we didn't want to walk around all day soaked. (we also have something like it at Cedar Point at home) 
We had a fast pass for Expedition Everest. It was a fun ride. I worked myself up thinking it was going to be worse than what it was, but I am comparing everything to the real roller coasters of Cedar Point. 


We did the Kilimanjaro Safari later in the day and it worked to our advantage. We saw all the animals except the Lions. It was neat driving around with the elephants, zebras, giraffes, etc. The vehicle in front of us actually had to stop for an animal to cross the road. 
Ella would have loved to ride the Wildlife Express Train, she loves anything with trains. Brian loved petting the animals in the petting zoo. I not so much.



To end out day at the park we had reservations at Yak and Yeti. We got seated right away. The restaurant wasn't very busy at all. Our server was great. He was very attentive and knew what he was talking about. I had the best ever Crispy Mahi Mahi. 


Brian had Bourbon Chicken which also was really good. 


For dessert we both had fried Wontons which were also so very good. I would recommend this place to anyone going to the Animal Kingdom. 

Since we had a long day at Animal Kingdom we ended up spending the rest of the evening back at the hotel in the pool, game room, and relaxing.
We had an awesome day at the Animal Kingdom. I have heard people say it is just an expensive zoo, I disagree since I feel like there isn't to many animals. If I didn't have the discount of buying multiple days of tickets probably not. I could not see paying $94 to go to there alone. But I do plan on going back and taking Ella.




Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Downtown disney


Our first day at Disney we checked out our hotel then headed to Downtown Disney. There was a lot of construction going on but it was nicely blocked off so you didn't see the mess and there were pictures and advertisements on the walls so it wasn't just blah to look at. It also rained while we were there, but that didn't stop us from having fun.
We had dinner reservation at Paradiso 37. We started off the week right with some drinking and amazing food.

I have to say the food was amazing. (yes I know I just said this) We both ordered "From the Sea." It came with fire roasted salmon, baja fish tacos, and shrimp ceviche with tortilla salad. The fire roasted salmon was the best salmon I have ever had, and I eat a lot of salmon. 

There are so many shops and restaurants in downtown. I could have spend atleast a full day of just walking around and window shopping in all the stores. My favorite store would have to be the World of Disney. It is the largest Disney store in the world, hence the name. There are so many different rooms, each categorized, you can get lost in the place. (I did a few times) 


The nice thing about all the Disney stores throughout all the parks and resorts is their prices are the same. The price of a coffee mug at one store is going to be the same at every store that has that mug. The selection does vary by store though. 
We ended up going to downtown Disney twice during out stay. We could have went more if it hadn't been raining every day and we weren't in the mood to get wet. On our second visit we at lunch at Eat of Sandwich. It was also really good.

There is so much in downtown that we didn't get to do that I would love to go back and do such as:
- Disney Quest
- eat at Fulton's Crabhouse
- build my own Lego person (even though I wasn't impressed with the store)
- eat at T Rex

Can't wait to go back in a few years. 





Tuesday, September 16, 2014

First trip to Disney

Where do I start? I had so much fun on my first real vacation to Disney World. My parents did take me once when I was 2 years old but that was 27 years ago and I don't remember anything, plus everything has changed so much in that time. When Brian surprised me with my plane ticket for my birthday I was so excited to be going and nervous to be leaving Ella at home with my parents for a week (I know I am a horrible mom.) The countdown began.


We flew out of Cleveland Hopkins airport at 6:30am. We were lucky to get bumped up to the faster lane through security and everything went smoothly. Can you tell we were excited to go? 


We had a layover in Chicago. Flying into Chicago was very picture perfect. The view of the city is gorgeous. I plan to one day (hopefully soon) visit Chicago. 

At the Midway airport the bathroom signs caught my attention. They don't say "restroom" or "bathroom" they say "Toilets" I think that is so weird. Out of the 4 airports we were at on this trip it was the only one that was weird. 


After our short layover we are off to Orlando airport to hop on the Disney Magic Bus. It was so nice to not have to pay for a taxi or rent a car to get from the airport to the hotel. We got to relax on a 40 minute drive to the hotel in air conditioned and comfy seats. 


We stayed at the Caribbean Beach resort on Disney property and loved it. All the details on the resort will come in a few days.





Sunday, September 14, 2014

Happy Birthday


Today's a special day for my mom. It's her birthday. Not that she is excited about getting a year older, but the rest of us are happy to celebrate it with her.


While she was away my sister decorated the house with balloons and banners. She also put streamers outside and a sign in the front yard.


Happy 60th Birthday to the best mom a girl could ever ask for. You have been there when I needed you and when I haven't. Your an awesome grandmother to Aubriella. I don't know where I would be without you in my life, loving and supporting me in whatever I decide to do. 




Saturday, September 13, 2014

Happy Home

I came home from my wonderful, much needed vacation late Wednesday night. Aubriella was wide awake excited to see me. She was so happy when I walked in the door. Since I have been home I haven't been able to leave her sight. If I walk out of the room she comes running after me, "mom, mom." She also have been very cuddly, wants to hold my hand, etc. I don't think I am going to get another vacation without her. But I think I am ok with that. Well atleast for now. I did miss her so much.
What would I do without my little princess.




Thursday, September 4, 2014

Disney

Vacation has started. Ill be back next week with all the details of Disney