Showing posts with label My Adventures. Show all posts
Showing posts with label My Adventures. Show all posts

Monday, February 26, 2024

Our Anniversary Universal Studios Trip

Our Anniversary Universal Studios Trip
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Our Anniversary Day Trip to Universal Studios

February 25th marks a special day for us – our anniversary! This year, we celebrated 30 years together and 24 years of marriage. The day began with roses, breakfast in bed, and exchanging heartfelt cards.

For our 30/24 anniversary, we chose a simple yet exciting day trip to Universal Studios Orlando. As Universal Orlando Annual Passholders (UOAP), we often find ourselves drawn to this magical place for our monthly travels. It's our go-to spot for fun and relaxation, and our anniversary was the perfect excuse to visit again.

We had dinner reservations at Bigfire, a place that always impresses us with its food and service. We kicked things off with drinks – I enjoyed a refreshing Lakeside Punch while my husband sipped on a Blackberry Citrus. Then came our usual appetizer, the Bourbon cheese fondue with gluten-free bread – absolutely delicious!

For our main course, we decided to switch things up. My husband savored the Dutch Oven Beef Burgundy, and I opted for the Bell and Evans Maple Chicken. I'm usually not a fan of chicken breast, but this dish was moist, tender, and bursting with flavor. A pleasant surprise indeed!

Post-dinner, we strolled into the park. Being pass holders and regulars we are often in no rush to get to anything in the park. Even though we have express passes with our annual pass and are grateful to have them in case we decide to ride that day, we often skip the rides and simply enjoy the ambiance, exploring new attractions and revisiting our favorite spots.

Our first stop was the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, my personal favorite. We timed it perfectly to see the dragon breathe fire in Diagon Alley, which for those curious, it goes off every 10 minutes starting on the hour. After soaking in the atmosphere, we popped into Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes for some window shopping. We couldn't resist picking up chocolate frogs and Butterbeer Fudge – which, by the way, pairs wonderfully with a cold Butterbeer!

After leaving the Wizarding World of Harry Potter we continued our stroll around the park heading in the direction of Men in Black. It was a lovely casual stroll and during our walk, we decided to stop in at the Five and Dime to pick up our UOAP Magnets and head home before the Universal's Marti Gras parade started, with plans to skip it this trip and include it in next months visit. Well, the Universe had other plans.

We miscalculated the parade time and found ourselves amidst the festivities. my husband thought it was supposed to start at 6:30 pm, which with the plan we had just made, we would've had plenty of time to get through and out of there just before the parade started. Well, we had the time wrong... It started at 6:15 pm that day and it was 6:19 pm.

However, what was initially an oversight turned into a fun bead-catching competition between my husband and I, so fun was still had! We did eventually make our way to the Five and Dime store to pick up our UOAP Magnets after the Parade ended in Hollywood, and then we continued on our way out of the park.

Nope, not yet. As we were coming up on exiting Hollywood, the beginning of the parade was making its way back around. So we hurriedly found a spot and continued our bead-catching competition. It was a tie, we both caught eight. After the parade concluded we were able to make our way to the Exit and head to City Walk.

Before leaving City Walk we decided to Stop in one of the many Universal gift shops and pick up some swag before making our way to the parking garages and heading home. 

Disclaimer: This blog is a personal account of our experiences at Universal Studios Orlando. All opinions are my own and do not reflect the views of Universal Studios or any affiliated companies. Universal Studios, UOAP, and all related marks are trademarks of Universal Studios.

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

2024 Rolex 24 Hour Race

2024 Rolex 24 Hour Race
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My Unforgettable Weekend at the Rolex 24 in Daytona

This year's Rolex 24-hour race in Daytona was an adventure I'll never forget. My husband and I, along with our daughter and her boyfriend, made the trip to Orlando Florida for this thrilling event. We stayed in a room with a stunning ocean view at the Boardwalk Hotel on A1A. Waking up to watch the sunrise each morning was a special treat since we're more accustomed to sunsets back home in Southwest Florida.

We arrived on Friday afternoon, buzzing with excitement. Our first night tradition is always dinner at Joe's Crab Shack, and it didn't disappoint. The next day, Saturday, started with breakfast at IHOP - their gluten-free pancakes are a must for me! With full bellies, we headed to the track, hopping on the trams that took us straight to the infield. There, we got an up-close look at the sleek cars and focused drivers along pit road before the opening ceremonies kicked off.

One of the coolest things we did was sign the start-finish line, leaving our mark among the many racing fans. Then, we found our seats in the stands just in time for the roar of engines signaling the start of the race. After watching several laps, we couldn't resist visiting the nearest gift shop to grab some race swag. We also explored the museum and had a delicious dinner at PF Changs across from the track in Daytona One. To top it off, we enjoyed a refreshing cold brew from Foxtail Coffee Co.

The infield festivities were calling our names, so we took a spin on the Ferris wheel and strolled through the garages. As dusk fell, we returned to the stands, the perfect spot to watch the mesmerizing fireworks light up the night sky. Exhausted but happy, we retreated to our hotel to rest up for another day.

Sunday greeted us with another beautiful sunrise. After sharing breakfast at IHOP with our daughter and her boyfriend, they had to say goodbye. But for my husband and me, the race wasn't over. We zipped back to the track on the trams, eager to check out the car tents and pick up even more memorabilia. The highlight was watching the winners triumphantly roll into the winner's circle after the checkered flag waved.

Our journey didn't end there. We drove to Orlando and stayed at the Adventura, taking a bus to City Walk. Dinner at Mythos Restaurant in Islands of Adventure was fantastic, and a leisurely ferry ride brought us back to our resort. By then, we were ready to collapse into bed, utterly spent from the weekend's excitement.

Monday came too soon, and after grabbing Starbucks and breakfast in the lobby, we checked out, our hearts full of memories from an incredible race weekend. But the adventure wasn't over just yet! We had one more stop on our itinerary for our extended weekend adventure.

We set off to explore the Titanic Experience on International Drive. This had been on our must-do bucket list for ages, and we finally managed to fit it into our Orlando adventure. We were so excited to check out the exhibits, artifacts, and all the historical treasures. The Titanic Experience definitely did not disappoint and I recommend adding it to your itinerary the next time you're visiting Orlando. Afterwards, we couldn't resist picking up some swag from their gift shop, rounding off our trip with a little piece of history to take home.

As we drove back home, reflecting on the whirlwind of experiences, I couldn't help but feel grateful for the time spent with family and the new memories etched into our hearts. From the adrenaline-pumping Rolex 24 race to the serene sunrise views and the historical journey aboard the Titanic Experience, this weekend was more than just a getaway; it was a treasure trove of moments that will last a lifetime. If you ever get the chance to attend the Rolex 24 or visit Daytona Beach, take it! It's an adventure that's sure to leave you with unforgettable stories to tell. Maybe we'll see you there next year!

The experiences and opinions shared are personal to the author. This blog is for entertainment only and not related to any official entity or event. We're not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for what you do with the information. All trademarks, service marks, trade names, trade dress, product names, and logos appearing in the blog are the property of their respective owners.