Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Disney, Universal, & The Classy Dinner!

Bright and early Tuesday morning Jordan Seigen, and I headed out to Walt Disney World, Magic Kingdom. While Patricia, Cindy and Margaret headed over to Universal Studios.
(Yours truly at the second happiest place on Earth!)
It was a bit overwhelming for the three of of, Jordan cried during the park opening ceremony. I too was over come with joy, as this is the EPITOME of American tourism, and here I was its tourist.

(Swiss Family Tree house.)
(The Enchanted Tiki Room!)
Luckily at the advice, and Disney pro of friend Kelcie, we went against the flow of park traffic and in turn had short lines and got to do everything we wanted! Since the park is a big circle there were quite a few rides that had no line at all, as no one had made their way around yet!
As this was a "vintage themed vacation" we had a few must see rides, they included- Big Thunder Mountain Rail Road (A favorite ride of Mamie Eisenhower's at Disney Land),
(Tom Sawyer Island)
Haunted Mansion, 
The Carousel of Progress and many many more! 
But no trip to Disney World would be complete without...
 (I don't care HOW OLD you are!)
After the Tea cups we wandered over to Dumbo's Big Top gift store to do some shopping.
 (From a set dressers point of view, I was astonished and delighted at each themed store!)
(This was the ONLY souvenir I HAD to get!)
( Worth it!)
We saw two parades, had Ice cream on Main Street (where I nearly got kicked out of the park, haha) We tried to stay a FULL day at Disney, but we got there at 8:00am, and by 4:00pm we were all beat, my feet hurt, I was out voted on staying, and the "happy" was wearing thin at the "Happiest place on Earth". I definitely want to go again though, and with a park hopper pass so we can go all over!

Bright and early the group headed out together to spend the day at Universal Studios Adventure Island.  Since we stayed at a Universal Hotel we were granted one hour early entry into Harry Potter World as part of our hotel package.
After we explored and rode all the rides in the Harry Potter world we spent the rest of the day enjoying the park!

(Margaret, Cindy, & Patricia!)
After a full day of theme parking, we headed back to the hotel to freshen up and decided to make Wednesday night the night we would go stepping out for dinner!
(Seigen, Cindy, Patrica, Margaret & Jordan.)
We set out from our hotel room, dressed to the nines, and turned all kinds of heads in the lobby. Miss Casablanca 1960 brought her crown all the way from Texas, It felt like we were in a movie. Hotel staff and guests even said we looked like we were in some kind of 1950's movie, class, class, class. Cabana Bay has four vintage restored cars out in the drive, we posed for pictures on our way to the "City Walk".
I wish we had had the keys to the Plymouth, but we took the complimentary shuttle.
(Jordan, Seigen, Cindy, Myself, Patrica & Margaret.)
While we waited in line, a nice little old lady spied us and said "I was just telling my grand kids that no one dresses up anymore, and here you all are. You all look so sharp!" That made my night!
("Standin' on a corner...")
Once we arrived to Universal's City Walk, the only ones in formal dress, We  daced in the square to the "cha cha slide" and our Casablanca favorite "The cupid shuffel"! We posed for pictures with an Italian guy, who was enamored with my black and white shoes. We all just looked so all around classy, we felt and acted like movie stars. We finally decided on a nice homemade Italian restaurant called "Vivo" to have our memorial dinner in.
You see, Wednesday August the 13th, marked the one year anniversary of the passing of our friend Andrew Duncan. To honor him, we dressed and went to dinner.
We couldn't help but smile, the night was so perfect! We had a very late dinner at 10:00pm, the food was fabulous, It was honestly like a scene out of the original "Oceans Eleven". Since we were in Florida it was a swanky night club, the Coconut Grove, or the Copacabana, and each of us was a star.
(A star studded table!)
 Here we see Mickey Rooney, Sophia Loren, Chita Rivera, Judy Garland, Lauren Bacall, and Sammy Davis Jr!
 (Old meets New)
Once we returned to the hotel, we stopped in the lobby for a few pictures. At this point it was close to midnight, but we never wanted the movie to end.
 (Me and Miss Casablanca 1960!)
It was truly a wonderful Tuesday and Wednesday, so relaxing, and we had each other to lean on during the hard times. I love these people! When we got back to the hotel a couple just checking in stopped and asked us if we were "Part of the hotel, like entertainment or singers" and we said no, we just went to dinner, to which the man said "Well, you guys look like you belong here! You fit right in!" That sealed the deal on an enchanting evening!
Tune in Friday, to see bowling, and our trip to the Silver Moon Drive-In Theater!

Wish you all were here!


Monday, August 25, 2014

The Trip of a Life Time! Cabana Bay Beach Resort!

(Universal Studios Cabana Bay Beach Resort!)
As some of you may know, a few weeks ago Patricia and I, along with friends Cindy, Seigen, Margaret and Jordan went on a week long trip to fabulous Orlando Florida! The main focus of the excursion was to stay at the brand new, 1950's themed hotel, and Readers let me tell you it did NOT disappoint! This post will be mostly about the hotel itself, the night that we arrived!

After two days of driving from Texas we finally made it to Orlando around 9:00p.m. on Monday night. a slight drizzle covered Orlando, but as we turned into the driveway of the resort the rain didnt matter, it was beautiful.

All lit up and Chuck Berry pouring out of the lobby speakers it was a welcome sight to walk into after a full days drive. Once we stepped through the doors, we stepped back in time.
(Floridians LOVE their terrazzo tile floors!)
The check in went swiftly, and we got to pick our room. So we went big, booked a room on the 4th floor of the "Castaway" wing, with an outside walkway/balcony. It didn't face into the court yard, but it was great!
It was absolutely better than anything I could have imagined! We carried our bags across the court yard and went up to the room. I had been concerned that the rooms would not be as good as they had looked in online pictures. However it was just exactly what they had promised.
(Stock photo, but it really did look just like this!)
Back in March we booked a family sweet, so there was room enough to sleep six. I'm sure the maid was surprised when she cleaned our room. We had all kinds of props with us! Cameras, radios, bowling trophy's, clothes... all of which looked like they'd been furnished in the room.

After a full days drive, and each others company... we decided to split up for a few hours and explore the hotel on our own.

So away I went with my trusty camera to snap a few photos in this neon wonderland!
(The main neon sign of the hotel.)
(The food court/restaurant.)
(Even the salt packets have star bursts on them!)
(A sputnik or three in every hallway.)
The clocks, chairs, and everything else was to die for!
(Even the signs had vintage font.)
Past the Starbucks and up the grand staircase was the Bowling alley!
(The stair railings were a super cool combo of metal and glass.)
The gym was also upstairs, and it too keeps with the 1950's theme... We didn't use it though!
Two swimming pools, a lazy river, AND when you jump in the water they even have 50's music playing in the pool!  Let me say, I fell in love with this place! It was constructed the way old hotels of the 1940's and 50's were, with lots of public space and ample seating in the lobby and public areas. It really feels like a hotel from the 1950's. The gift shop is good sized, but it is dwarfed by the massive two story lobby and botanical terrarium.  Which again I love, because the focus is to relax. Not to shop and buy. (Haha, you'll do plenty of that at the theme parks!)
Having explored all I could at night, and having a cocktail or two. I returned to the room with the rest of the group and we went to bed to get a good nights sleep. Tuesday morning Seigen, Jordan and I would be heading to Disney World, while Patricia, Cindy, and Margaret were off to Universal Studios!

Tune in wednesday to see our visit to Disney World, Universal Studios Adventure Island, and the straight out of a movie evening and Dinner we experienced!

I wish you all could have been there!