Filed In: Travel
If you don’t already know, I was born and raised in Florida. One of the major things that comes to many people’s minds when thinking of my home state is theme parks, and appropriately so! We have 12 theme parks in the Orlando area alone (including all of Disney’s parks).
Being a Florida native, I would consider myself a little bit of an expert when it comes to theme parks. Jason and I have invested in annual park passes to the two Universal theme parks, and so we know those parks like the back of our hands. (Soon, I think we might invest in Disney passes!)
I figured I would share a little knowledge about how I prep to go to a theme park (specifically Universal), and what I would typically wear for the adventure.
First, I’ll make you a little check list.
#1 Start with an awesome bag. Usually I bring a cross body bag or a backpack. In the Universal parks there are free lockers at every ride, so no worries about bringing in a bag. Plus, its worth it to be a little prepared.
What goes in the bag:
First of all (and most obviously) some hand sanitizer. There are so many people in the park that you’ll want to wash your hands frequently. My secret is scented hand sanitizer. I always like to smell fresh and lovely, which is hard when your in the hot sun and running around all day. Getting a quick freshen up with some hand sanitizer can do wonders without bringing any kind of perfume.
Don’t forget hair ties and bobby pins. It gets hot, and you ARE going to want to put your hair up. There are so many ways to do a cute hairstyles and have it off your neck. Make sure you bring the supplies necessary.
I like to bring a mini bag of first-aid related things, always. When you are eating different foods, and stressing your body walking around in the hot sun, you don’t really know how you’ll be feeling. I usually bring some tums and a pain medication. I also bring come chapstick, bandaids, and antibiotic cream. The last thing you want to do is walk around on a blister forming on your foot, or leave a cut open at a dirty amusement park. You also don’t want to pay a million dollars for the medical supplies they might have in the park. Better safe than sorry, and it takes up hardly any space.
Jason and I go to the parks often, and we don’t always want to spend the money on snacks or lunch in the park. Universal is beautiful and lets you bring food into the parks. I like to bring some kind of fruit (apples, grapes, and oranges work great), nuts and chips to snack on, and sandwiches if we want lunch. (This is when a backpack could come in handy.)
Bring a refillable water bottle! Fill it up before you go into the parks, and you can continue to fill it up throughout the day. The parks have plenty of water fountains and soda fountains with cold water and ice if you like. It is super important to stay hydrated while adventuring around.
What do I wear to the parks?
I have worn several things throughout the year, and they vary according to season. But, I have a recommendation. If you plan to go in any season other than winter, wear a dress or a skirt.
Its really nice because you get the breeze that flows through the skirt. I have found shorts to be restricting and hot. Also dresses and skirts can be so cute! I usually wear little flats that I know I can walk around in for a long time. Little Keds or Converse can look adorable with dresses too!
Because I am a Harry Potter enthusiast, I usually wear my house colors, or something related to Harry Potter when I am in the parks. (Notice the Time-Turner?!)
and have SO much fun!
Jason and I recently went on vacation to St. Augustine and Jacksonville for our (almost!) two year anniversary, and it was amazing! We had so much fun, and took way too many pictures. I wanted to put it all together to have something to remember this trip by, so I made this video, and I thought I would share it!
St. George Street
Castillo de San Marco
City Gates / Cemetery
Eat / Drink:
Cocktails/Food: The Ice Plant (It is also connected to the St. Augustine Distillery)
Ice Pops: The Hyppo
Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grille
Stay in a B&B, there are many lovely ones in town. It is the most authentic way to experience St. Augustine. If you’re looking for a good one, we stayed at Casa de Solana and it was absolutely wonderful.
Three Places to Visit in Winter Park
Today, Jason and I made a little trip over to Winter Park. There are so many adorable spots to see there, and I have a feeling we didn’t even scratch the surface.
The first place we stopped at was propagation.
Jason and I were fortunate enough to meet the owners, which were the only two people working. They were super friendly and made an excellent latte for me, and a flat white for Jason.
Not only was the coffee fantastic, but the space was absolutely beautiful. The design was minimalistic, and had touches of vintage throughout. (Of course, I loved all of the gold accents.) Oh, and the natural light was GORGEOUS.
If you’re in the area, definitely stop by for a coffee. It is SO worth it.
Our Next Stop:
East End Market: Central Florida’s Food and Culture Hub
The outside garden was beautiful, and full of life. Porch Therapy does a wonderful job making the market look fresh.
Regrettably, I was too preoccupied with all of the great (and delicious) things inside, that I didn’t capture too many great photos of the market.
The businesses that the market included are :
(looked super cool, but they were booked for the day, so perhaps calling ahead is a good idea.)
(Which is where propagation got their supply of coffee from. Yum.)
(Holy Moly, fresh homemade pretzels…. and we just HAD to take home a loaf of fresh bread.)
(MUST try the carrot cake smoothie… it’s drool worthy.)
(has a surprisingly lovely selection for being in such a small space)
They also have an array of event coordinators, food catering, designers, and photographers.
Jason and I repeatedly said that we wished we had something like this in Tampa. I would be here every day! The local food, the fresh bread, sauces, juices, raw meals, locally roasted coffee, books, plant life.. it was breathtaking!
If I am ever in Winter Park again, I will be hanging out here.
They also have various cooking classes to offer, and they host other community events. I am so sad that I probably won’t ever make it to any of the events because of the distance, but how lovely for the Winter Park community.
This place is a definite must-see. Check out their site to see (better) photographs and for more information.
Our Next Stop:
I will have to say, this was the saddest part of our day. I have been waiting to stop into Rifle Paper. I love their products, and I have heard such wonderful things about their location in Winter Park. I was practically jumping up to the front door, and as I tried to pull it open, I realized it was locked. I just about cried! They are closed on Sundays! No! It couldn’t be! (But it was to be.) I peeked through the windows and promised I would be back.
It is still on my list of must-see places in Winter Park, because I still believe it is. Even though I haven’t ACTUALLY seen the inside. So what.
(I might be a little bitter still.)
For more things Rifle Paper related: https://riflepaperco.com
Winter Park was quaint and full of beautiful little spots, and if you’re ever finding yourself in the area, you’ve got to see these places!
(Oh, I also highly recommend BB Junction if you’re looking to grab some grub while you’re in town.)
At the beginning of January, I received an amazing opportunity to travel to Philadelphia for two days to visit the home office for URBN Inc. It was such a wonderful experience, and it was so inspiring to see the corporate offices of my company. I attended the URBN interview day for the possibility of a summer internship. Though I did not end up landing the internship, it was wonderful to visit nonetheless. I thought I would share some of my photos from the experience.
The Ringling Museum was just so beautiful that I wanted to upload a couple more photos to the blog! If you are ever in Sarasota, this place is worth the while.
Its been a long time since my entire family has been on a vacation together. Its been long overdue, that’s for sure. Last weekend, my mom booked a cabin for the whole gang, in the middle of nowhere. My mom, her boyfriend Charles, my sister Jillian, her best friend Kristen, My dad, Jason, and I. It was so nice to see everyone and actually spend some time together. Usually a visit with my family only lasts a day or so, and I am running around trying to see everyone. It was great to have everyone in one place, and having the opportunity to do some really cool activities. It was truly a really fun experience, and we did things I never really get to do ordinarily. We went to a rodeo, rode horses, hung out with buffalo, drank at the saloon, did archery, went on an air-boat ride, and ate barbecue food every night. It was beautiful. So beautiful that I thought I’d share some of the pictures on here for everyone to see.
It felt so nice to breathe in some fresh air, and get away for a little while. It was a wonderful vacation… But now its back to putting the new place together and working super hard. Back to the grind.