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  • Memorial Day Weekend in Orlando

    I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day Weekend!  We headed to Orlando to visit Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure for the first time with the girls!  We were trying to figure out the last time we had been there.  It was so long ago, I think I owned this phone: original-nokia-8210-blue-colour-classic-phone-tradehouse2u-1205-05-tradehouse2u@1   Funny story about that phone.  While we were on the E.T. ride, the phone slid out of my pant pocket and I lost it.  I called the next day to report it lost and they found it!  The employees walk the rides every night and pick up tons of lost items.  It all gets catalogued and if you contact them, they'll ship it to you at no charge.

    Loews Royal Pacific

    Universal Studios Orlando So, now that we were going with the girls, we decided to stay at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort, or as I kept calling it, the Royal Poinciana.  Don't make that mistake. Once we arrived at the hotel, we were greeted with leis.  So very cute.  We arrived on Saturday night, and headed straight for the pool.  They were playing Kung Fu Panda 2.  The girls kept going back and forth between the pool and the movie.  I had to call it a night, otherwise I would have fallen asleep on the chaise lounge.   Memorial Day Weekend Orlando   The pool was definitively very kid friendly with a "boat area" full of water guns and water splashing everywhere.  There was also a zero entry area and a separate kiddie pool.  During the day, there was a dj getting people to dance and play games with hula hoops.  Here's a better shot of the "boat area". Memorial Day Weekend Orlando   One thing that surprised me was that even though the hotel was full, it never felt like we were bumping into people.  Even in the pool area, it was never full to capacity.  I was skeptical about going away for Memorial Day weekend because I was afraid wherever we ended it up it was going to be packed.  However, that was not the case here.

    Emeril's Tchoup Tchop

    Memorial Day Weekend Orlando

    The hotel has three main restaurants inside: Islands Dining Room, Emeril's Tchoup Tchop and the Orchid Lounge and Sushi Bar.  While we were there, we decided to have our "Wedding Anniversary" dinner.  This year, we celebrate 10 years of being married, so we chose Emeril's Tchoup Tchop.  We shared the Chopped Salad and the Korean "bulgogi" BBQ.  Both delightful.  Jim ordered the skirt steak and I ordered the Snapper. Memorial Day Weekend Orlando I grew up eating Snapper every chance I had while living in Puerto Rico.  And while this dish is nothing like I've had before, I will forever remember that deliciously sweet and salty broth.  Words fail me. Memorial Day Weekend Orlando The restaurant itself is quite beautiful.  There is a water feature sort of like the one in Batman begins where the models go "swimming" and Bruce Wayne buys the hotel.  If you decide to go to Emeril's restaurant, please make a reservation.  We saw so many people being turned away because they didn't have one.  To make a reservation, they ask you to use Open Table.  I'm sure you can probably call and make one too.  While making the reservation under special requests, I told them about our anniversary and our server treated us to this delicious surprise: Memorial Day Weekend Orlando

    Tips

    If you decide to stay at the Loews Royal Pacific Hotel, here are some tips:

    1. Make your reservation online through Universal Studios so you can get your Xpress pass along with your park admission.  Trust me, you want to get an Xpress Pass.  For example, the line at Despicable Me had a waiting time of 75 minutes.  We used our Xpress pass and got in the ride in less than 15 minutes.
    2. When you check in, ask if you can stay in Tower 3.  It seemed like we were always heading that way to get to the water taxi.  The gym, arcade and kids' club is also in Tower 3.
    3. If the water taxis are shut down because of rain, it happened to us, you can go to the Hard Rock and ask a valet attendant for a ride back to your hotel.  Yay!
  • Disney on Ice Let's Celebrate

    Disney on Ice Sponsored Post

    Last night we had the pleasure of attending Disney on Ice Let's celebrate opening performance at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Downtown Tampa.  As I mentioned before, we received free tickets in return for a this blog post.  Coming from Plant City after work, I was concerned we might not make in time for the 7:00 pm showing.  Thankfully, the new I-4 Lee Roy Selmon Expressway connector is now open and oh boy is it worth it.  The connector opened earlier this year and it has made our trips to downtown Tampa so much easier and enjoyable.  It used to be I'd always get lost getting from I-4 to the Forum.  Last night, it was the easiest and fastest route there.  I think it costs $1 which was totally worth it to me!

    Disney on Ice Tampa Bay Forum

    Once we were there, its so easy to pickup your tickets at the Will Call window.  They had so many employees working we barely waited two minutes to get our tickets.  Love that! The girls were ready to see their favorite characters, so we headed straight to our seats.  On our way we noticed all of the Disney on Ice merchandise and the girls decided on these souvenir cups.  Super cute.

    Disney on Ice

    If you've ever been to a hockey game, the ice rink is half it's normal size for the Disney on Ice performers.  Although my girls had been to the show last year, this was my first time seeing Disney on Ice.  Without giving too much away, I was very surprised and entertained during the almost 2 hour show.  There is an intermission which was greatly appreciated.  Disney on Ice Let's Celebrate definitively lives up to its name.

    Disney on Ice Tampa Bay Times Forum

    The show kept our girls interested and my husband and I thought the performers were excellent.  Some of the ice stunts performed were above what we expected.  All in all, the show was very well put together.  Next to us was a toddler who was captivated through the entire show.   If you have any doubts about whether your kids would be into the show for the entirety, I'm willing to bet they will.  I know all the kids around us were so well behaved because they were so excited about all the characters.  There are some surprises throughout the show with special effects which definitively captivated our girls.

    Disney on Ice will be at the Tampa Bay Times Forum May 17 and May 18.  If you are looking for something to do this weekend, go check them out before they are gone!

  • Color Me Rad 5k Tampa

    Disclaimer: I have received a free entry to the Color Me Rad 5k through my relationship with the Tampa Bay Bloggers. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are my own as always.

     

    There seems to be a new breed of races.  Back in March I participated in the Electrodash 5k and this month I will be running the Color Me Rad 5k.  The race will be May 24th at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. A great thing about that venue is the location. It's so close from Plant City. There's ample parking and there are real bathrooms! A win in my book.

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    If you haven't heard about the Color Me Rad races these types of races are really fun. There's no one timing you and there are no "winners" per say, just a bunch of people wanting to have a good time while excersicing. The point is not necessarily to finish forts, but to get as much different color paint on you as you possibly can.  There are special "cannons" that fire off a blaze of color bombs throughout a multi-toned course. In other words, get ready to look like a messy bag of skittles!

     

    This will be my first time running Color Me Rad but here are some tips:

    1. Make sure to wear white. You want to get all the colors to show off nicely. Think of it as your trophy shirt!
    2. You might want to bring some sunglasses to shield your eyes.
    3. Don't worry if the color gets in your match. It's just colored corn starch.
    4. If you have light colored hair, you might want to use some leave in conditioner before hand.
    5. Just remember to have fun! This is not a timed race so enjoy the course.
    You can join in the fun by entering our giveaway! Two winners will be selected to win a free entry to the Color Me Rad 5K at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa May 24th. Good luck!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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