I’d rather be in Orlando.

It’s been almost two years since I visited Orlando and since we’re gearing up to go again next year, I thought a blog post dedicated to it would be a good idea. Orlando is not the place to go if you’re looking for a relaxing holiday by the beach. It’s the place to go if you’re looking for adventure, sun and most of all FUN!

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We spent 3 weeks in Florida in September 2015 and it was 3 of the best weeks of my life. We stayed in The Avanti Resort on International Drive which is the perfect place to stay if you’re going for the theme parks but don’t want to stay in the likes of Disney or Universal Hotels. The Avanti Resort is a massive hotel with a beautiful big pool and jacuzzi perfect for relaxing in after a long day at a theme park. The rooms are standard, spacious and clean with a huge King Size Bed. The Staff were so friendly and couldn’t have been more helpful. The Resort offer a free shuttle to the Disney, Universal and Sea World Parks and you can book on the bus each evening for the next day.

IMG_0717The first theme park we visited was Universal Studios. This is definitely my favourite park. I’m not a fan of Rollercoasters but this park has so many Simulator rides and gentler rides suitable for people just like me. My favourite rides at this park were Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Spiderman, E.T Adventure and Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges. We really enjoyed Harry Potter World and spent quite a while there. I even got to try Butter Beer! It was very, very sweet and I only managed to drink about a quarter of the glass. The theming around the park is amazing and it really makes you feel like you’re walking down Diagon Alley.

We also visited Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. We LOVED Epcot. It is such a fun park and we loved every ride we went on especially Mission: Space and Test Track. Animal Kingdom was also such a beautiful day and we really enjoyed the Kilimanjaro Safari. We went to Animal Kingdom on a really, really hot day and there’s a LOT of walking to do around that park so you could say we were a little tired when we got back to the hotel. Hollywood Studios is definitely worth a visit. Go see the Beauty and The Beast Live Show if you get the chance – It is quite enjoyable (and not just because it’s one of my favourite Disney movies). The day we went to Magic Kingdom was such a let down. We left it until near the end of the holiday because we were most excited to go there and unfortunately it just so happened to be the start of Mickey’s not so scary halloween party, which was a sold out event which means we had to leave the park by 6pm and leave Orlando without seeing the magical Wishes fireworks – gutted. There was also a lot of Thunder and Lightening storms that day and so most of the rides were shut down which resulted in us walking around with those silly plastic bag things over us in the rain for quite a while.

I wasn’t sure whether to go to Sea World or not and in the end we did out of curiosity. I’m not one to jump on a bang wagon and I believe there are two sides to every story and so I had to see it for myself. I hated the animal shows. I just couldn’t stop thinking about how those animals should be out there in the wild not squished into a small tank staring at fullsizeoutput_5adthe same glass every day. We also had tickets for a dolphin swim in Discovery Cove and although I felt the same as above, it was an amazing experience. I didn’t like how the dolphins were treated. The first dolphin we had just wanted to play and because she wasn’t listening to what the trainer was telling her to do, the trainer got really annoyed and sent her off back out to a gated part of the pool and brought in a new dolphin. We were told what to do and when to do it and you got a 30-40 second swim with the dolphin. There’s also a massive pool full of Manta-Ray that you can swim with and you really feel like you’re in the sea. You’re provided with a snorkel and a life vest if you wish and you can spend as much time as you like in the Manta-Ray pool. Discovery Cove is a all inclusive park and you can eat and drink as much as you like when you like.

We visited two water parks while we were there, Wet N’ Wild (which no longer existsIMG_0439) and Aquatica which has the best lazy river in the entire world – Roa’s Rapids. I spent most of my day in this river while Aiden went on all the crazy water rides, I went on a few but I just loved the lazy river so, so much.

We also visited Busch Gardens so that Aiden could go on the crazy big coasters such as The SheiKra. I went on a Giraffe Safari whilst he went on the rollercoasters and it was quite fun. The Giraffe’s weren’t forced to come over and them seemed to be in a semi-natural habitat. We were given a Lettuce to feed them if they came over and it was just such a lovely morning.

While we were in Orlando we visited the Mall at Millenia and The Premium Outlets. The Mall at Millenia is amazing. I could have spent a lot longer there. I definitely enjoyed splurging in Sephora, Bath and Body Works and treating myself in Micheal Kors. I may have gotten a little obsession with Bath and Body Works Hand Sanitisers whilst in Orlando and bought over 40 of them…

Old Town is also worth a visit for an evening if you fancy walking around little shops and a small amusement park. I also recommend visiting The Olive Garden and Bahama Breeze for dinner. The upside Down Pineapple cake from Bahama Breeze is AMAZING.

I am super, super excited to return to Florida in 2018. I think it is definitely the best place to go for adventure and fun and it is perfect for couples, friends and families.

Until next time,

Elisha.

 

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Paris.

Have you ever visited a place that doesn’t really feel real? A city bursting with life. The city of love and romance, History and Art. Paris is one of those cities that never gets boring.

After weeks of browsing Booking.com and looking at hotel after hotel we found a cute little hotel just a short walk from the Eiffel Tower. We wanted something close to a metro station as it was our first trip to Paris, so that we could easily move around the city and so ‘Hotel Eiffel Petit Louvre’ it was. This quaint little contemporary hotel (with golden bug wallpaper) was the perfect stop for a young couple on a city break.

We didn’t wait around to start exploring Paris and the first place on our list was… The Eiffel Tower (duh!). For an iron tower it is pretty amazing, especially at night. We decided against climbing it as Aiden couldn’t bare the thought of listening to my constant whining (I’m not what you would call the athletic type, but I blame asthma). Instead we pulled out our trusty travel companion (Citymapper app) and started our 35 minute walk to the Champs-Élysées. From a young age and watching many Mary-Kate and Ashley movies, Passport to Paris being one of my faves, I always wanted to see the Arc de Triomphe and I’m not gonna lie I was slightly disappointed. I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting but having to stand in the middle of a very busy Parisian road to take a picture of it was not it. It was still a beautiful monument though, don’t get me wrong. We had a lovely lunch in a little restaurant with a really nice view of the Arc de Triomphe which was probably our best meal in Paris! I actually enjoyed the Pizza in France more than in Italy, how strange.

As we were in Paris for my birthday I just had to go to my favourite place on earth…Disneyland! We have already been to DisneyWorld Florida together and unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to see the fireworks display which I was very disappointed about as it was something I had always wanted to see so we knew it had to happen this time. We spent day two in both disneyland parks going on all the rides in the freezing cold. Can I just say that I am not a fan of rollercoasters, so when we got on ‘Crush’s Coaster’ expecting a kids ride, you can imagine my reaction.

There is just something so special about Disneyland that makes you feel like a little kid and fills you with so much happiness. It finally came to night time and I was super excited for the Illuminations Fireworks. We found a nice little spot to stand and watch and they began. Now, I was emotional enough just watching the display but when I looked around and Aiden had pulled a little black box out of his pocket and gotten down on his knee, I probably looked as though I was ready for a breakdown. So yeah, we got engaged in Disneyland and it was probably one of the most perfect days of my life.

We spent our last day wandering around Paris but didn’t go far as it was raining pretty heavy and we spent some of the day in the hotel room watching ‘Can’t Pay, We’ll Take It Away’. We didn’t make it to the Louvre or Notre Dame this time unfortunately but that definitely gives us an excuse to go back.

Paris was definitely an experience and a trip I will never forget.

Until next time,

Elisha.