Tag Archives: travel

Festive Fall Events in Orlando, Florida

What does Fall mean to me? Crisp air, falling leaves and cozy blankets. Unfortunately, Florida doesn’t lend itself to these luxuries very often.  In fact, the first Florida “fall front” blew through earlier this week and the temperatures finally fell from the high 90’s to low 80’s (we’re even going to drop to 70’s next week!!!!!).

So, while I would love to believe we would have a cool fall season, it likely won’t happen, so fall to me includes theme parks, sunshine, and the great outdoors.

First up, the annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

img_1652

Some of my favorites this year: 

Active Eats: Loaded Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Light Lab: Bleu Spectrum

The Cheese Studio: Savory Caramelized Onion and Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs Cheese Tart and Cheese Trio

The Chocolate Studio: Banfi Rosa Regale

img_2839

And the photos with Remy this year are a lot of fun.

Event Tip: If you plan on spending a majority of the day eating and drinking around the world, pick up a Disney gift card and load it with what you plan on spending. That way you can stay on budget, and you don’t have to pull your wallet out at every food pavilion. 

Then there is my absolute favorite event of the year, Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando.

This year may have been one of my favorites between the terrifying houses and chilling scare zones. Every single detail was on point.

Favorite houses:

Scarecrow: The Reaping (thanks to this house I had no voice the next day)

The Shining

American Horror Story

Saw: the Games of Jigsaw

Horror of Blumhouse

Dead Waters

Favorite Scare Zones:

Trick ‘R Treat (I loved the music, decor, and scare-actors in this zone)

The Purge

Event Tip: Lines get long, so plan before you go and know which houses are ones you want to see. Take it all in, the amount of detail that goes into the houses is incredible so take the time to look around as you walk through. 

Bonus: RIP Tours are a great way to guarantee you see all the houses, ride some rides and see Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure (final year). 

And for a fun local, more laid back fall event check out Partin Ranch Corn Maze in Kenansville, Florida.

snapseed-9

This was my first ever corn maze, so I had no idea how easy it would be to get lost.

After making it out of the maze, there was still plenty to do like the Combine Ride, Corn Cannon, Petting Farm and so much more. So festive!

If you are looking for something fun for the whole family, definitely check out Partin Ranch Corn Maze open on the weekends through October.

img_3535

It’s pumpkin season, get out and enjoy!

What are some of your fall favorites? And, what does fall mean to you?

Leave a comment

Filed under Life, Like a Local, Travel

Ridin’ Dirty in Mexico

Now when I say dirty, I mean dirty. Covered in mud, dust, sweat, sunscreen, bug spray and a wonderful fragrance of rotten eggs. Does that begin to paint a lovely picture for you?

While this might sound horrible, it was actually a pretty exciting day.

During our recent trip to Cozumel, Mexico aboard Royal Caribbean’s Empress of the Seas, we booked an ATV Excursion to Jade Caverns. It was a whole new side of Mexico I had not seen before.

DCIM120GOPROG3033185.

We sped through a Mayan Village to get to the caverns.

DCIM121GOPROG3083317.

DSC_8579

Once we arrived at the caverns, our guides shared some ancient Mayan folklore with us, and then it was time to descend into the cave. The temperature dropped with each step, and the smell of rotten eggs (sulfur) began to get stronger.

DCIM120GOPROGOPR2922.DCIM120GOPROGOPR2921.

Then it was time to jump. I gladly let my husband go first so that I could get photos of course.

It was then my turn. It was only 25-feet which doesn’t sound so bad, but when you are standing on the rock looking down into darkness, it’s kind of terrifying.

DCIM120GOPROGOPR2929.

Those were once black converse

I took a deep breath and leaped off the rock. Wow, what a rush!

I need to go back to get some better pictures. The jump made me a little shaky.

On the return trip we caught a glimpse of the sunset, and all of a sudden I wasn’t concerned with being dirty or smelly anymore.

DCIM120GOPROG3013091.

DSC_0033GOPR3348

Another great adventure for the book, or blog.

1 Comment

Filed under Travel

Plaza de la Catedral, Havana

We are now heading to the final square on our Old Havana walking tour.  As we walk through an alleyway, we pass by this mysterious looking face on the wall of Casa del Marqués de Arcos. Once a mansion, it was transformed into Havana’s main post office in the mid-19th century. You’ll spot a few faces along the wall used for mailboxes.

img_6089

How can I get a mailbox like that?

Directly across from Casa del Marqués de Arcos is a mural done by a Cuban artist depicting 67 of Cuba’s historical figures. Various colors of sand and stone mixtures were used to create this mural.

img_9233

We finally entered Plaza de la Catedral, and as you can see it is a bit more crowded than the previous squares. The streets began to fill with commuters, tourists, and shop keepers as it got later in the day.

img_8155

The Havana Cathedral is one of eleven Roman Catholic cathedrals on the island.

img_8158

The square was originally named Plaza de la Ciénaga (Swamp Square), but it was eventually drained and paved, and construction on the cathedral began. Thus a new name was needed.

img_9234

While the cathedral is the main focal point of the square, you can’t help but notice the stone buildings surrounding it.  The blue accents, columns, and iron work bring these somewhat dull stone buildings to life.

Wealthy families took up residence here after the construction of the cathedral in 1727. These mansions are now some of the best museums, art galleries and dining spots in Old Havana.

img_9235

You may also find some stray dogs making themselves at home and playing with tourists in the squares.

img_7195

Locals give them these name tags, so they aren’t nameless strays

The Commercial Galería Victor Manuel now occupies the former Casa de Banos (public bath house) which was built over the square’s cistern in the 19th century.

snapseed

The door was open, and I’m curious, so I took a peek inside. As our tour guide mentioned, nothing really opens in Old Havana until 10:00 a.m., so the door promptly shut behind me. They weren’t ready for customers just yet.

As a recap, I booked the Old Havana Walking Tour through Royal Caribbean excursions. It consisted of two portions; a walking tour in the morning to the 4 main squares in the city: Plaza de San Francisco Asís, Plaza Vieja, Plaza de Armas, and Plaza de la Catedral.

The second portion of the tour included a bus ride through the more modern parts of Havana. I’ll be sharing more details on that soon, as well as take you for a ride in one of the classic cars (note: the car ride was not part of the excursion).

The actual excursion lasted a little over 4 hours, and I strongly recommend. It was a wonderful way to get our feet wet and get a feel for Cuban history, culture, and lifestyle.

Leave a comment

Filed under Travel