Under the Sea

tankAs mentioned in this post, I love Sharks. This weekend, while browsing Netflix in bed, I discovered that you can now steam Shark Week!! After watching enough episodes to make BaDing* want to never go in the ocean again, I decided we should get up and go see some real life sharks. There are a bunch of aquariums around, but my favorite one is too far away. We settled for a smaller aquarium that is closer to us, and here are some of my favorite parts:

Seal[Seals]Sting Rays[Sting rays and baby sharks]Sting RaysOceanGrumpy Fish[A grumpy fish that reminds me of BaDing in the morning]Jellies[Jellies!]shark[And finally, the shark tank]Shark[I was completely mesmerized]

Ruben finally got me away from the glass and to sit down at a reasonable distance, but after not nearly enough time, a class of about 50 children came in. It was ways too loud and crowded to stay. Maybe I should book an excursion to swim with the sharks for my next vacation. What do you think Krystle?

Meet Me in Atlantis, Paradise Island

I’m sitting indoors and hurricane Sandy is taking over the east coast.. it’s pouring out and the rain and winds are out of control. I am sitting here day dreaming of future and past vacations. Ahh.. to be on a sandy beach instead of in the Sandy hurricane….

One of my favorite places that I have been in the past few years is Atlantis, Paradise Island. Atlantis is a place for everyone – it’s filled with the most beautiful aquariums you will ever see, water rides, pools, beaches, dolphin encounters, casinos and restaurants. It is impossible to get bored there. We were only there for one short day and we were determined to see it all. Ruben and I started off our day attempting to map out our plan of attack. I am obsessed with aquariums so we decided to conquer them first – walking through the amazing hotel that was made of caves, underground tunnels and breathtaking underwater views of sea life. From sharks to jellyfish, from eels to clown fish, they had it all. After hours of amazement, we stepped outside to tour the rest of the property. We had a delicious lunch and gambled enough to pay for the rest of our day there. We continued to sight-see until we finally decided to retire to the beach and the pool and enjoy the rest of our day relaxing in the sun and sipping tropical drinks. We left exhausted, satisfied and sun-burnt.  For any of you cruising through the Bahama’s, make sure to make Atlantis one of your stops!Have you ever been to Atlantis? I’d love to hear about your adventures!

Meet Me in Orlando

[The view from our villa]

I had been anticipating going back to Orlando since my childhood, and let me tell you, it didn’t disappoint.  Going to all of these parks is just as fun as an adult.  Each park is so original and has their own specialties, which made each one of them a completely different type of adventure.

For the Movie Buff // Universal Studios:For the Thrill-Seeker // Islands of Adventure:For the Children | To bring out your inner child // The Magic Kingdom:For the Animal Lover // Animal Kingdom:For the World Traveler // Epcot:For the Artist // Hollywood Studios:

Orlando : Day 5 – Hollywood Studios

For me, Hollywood Studios was the park I was anticipating the most. Hollywood Studios is all about the art and animation of Disney movies. With museums about the “Man Behind the Mouse” (Walt Disney), and rides about the Magic of Disney Animation, it’s a behind the scenes look at how your favorite Disney movies were made.  This was definitely one of the highlights of my trip – I just wished there were more museums! It truly makes you appreciate the hard work and dedication that goes into animation and I could have looked at this stuff for days! It made me want to pick up my pencil and start drawing again.

My favorite rides: Tower of Terror and the Magic of Disney Animation // BaDing’s favorites: Toy Story Mania

Orlando : Day 4 – Animal Kingdom & Epcot

Day 4 in Orlando was spent in Animal Kingdom and Epcot. We really wanted to make sure we saw all of the parks while we were away, so we booked a breakfast with the characters at Animal Kingdom.  We started off the day with Mickey waffles and meeting some of our favorite Disney characters. After the first character came by, BaDing* told us “you guys are like groupies, you’re so embarrassing” – but he shut right up as soon as Mickey arrived at our table [Ruben’s obsession with Mickey will be a story for another day haha]. After an unforgettable breakfast we went on a safari, saw a few shows, and went on a water ride that soaked us from head to toe. We headed out to Epcot where we journeyed around the world through the pavilions and on rides like Soarin’.  Even though we made it through the majority of both of these parks, this day was probably the most relaxing – and it was exactly what we needed.

My favorite ride of the day: Soarin’ // BaDing’s favorites: Spaceship Earth [the Epcot Ball ride]

Orlando : Day 3 – The Magic Kingdom

Day 3 in Orlando was mental and physical overload. After walking around for 14 hours a day for two days straight, all of our legs were killing us. We were literally limping at the end of each day. While our bodies were slowly giving up on us, our brains were on a serious high. The Magic Kingdom is seriously the happiest place on earth. Just walking through the gates made me feel like I was a kid again. Everything seemed so beautiful and surreal like it was out of a dream.

The Magic Kingdom wasn’t really about the rides, but the experience. The first thing we did was buy autograph books. We were determined to run into all of the celebrities of Disney… aka Mickey and the gang. We went on all of the classic rides that I have been wanting to return to since I was a kid – Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, the Mad Tea Party, and It’s a Small World were rides that I was sprinting to, no matter how much my feet hurt.

Probably one of the most disappointing things about this day was that they removed Mickey’s Toontown. Toontown holds a very special place in my heart and mind- when I was little [could-barely-read-little], I was walking through Mickey’s house in Toontown and stood there reading his grocery list of assorted cheeses. When I turned around I couldn’t find my family and I was lost in a crowd of people! Luckily it only took them a few seconds to find me – but I’ll never forget that list! I couldn’t wait to go back and see Mickey’s house and read his grocery list. We couldn’t find it anywhere! It turns out that Toontown has been removed indefinitely for the construction of the Fantasyland extension. So sad 😦

Disney has so much to do, it’s hard to imagine ever getting bored there. We saw three parades- 2 regular, 1 electric,  multiple shows, and a firework show – and this isn’t even including all of the rides we went on. It was an amazing day full of a ton of excitement, and this is definitely a place I would recommend, no matter what your age.

My favorite rides: Splash Mountain, the Mad Tea Party, and the Philhar Magic Show // BaDing’s favorites: The Philhar Magic Show

Orlando : Day 2 – Islands of Adventure

Day two of our trip we headed to Islands of Adventure at Universal Studios. If you like big rides, this is your place. This is the only park that had huge roller coasters. We didn’t wait more than 15 minutes to get on any rides and got to go on some of our favorites twice. We got to go on and see everything that we wanted, from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, to the world of Jurassic park, we got to meet all of the Marvel characters, and that doesn’t even cover it all. It started raining but we managed to stay dry. Considering we got hurricane warnings we were lucky it only lasted for a about 15 minutes. After buying poncho’s and barely getting wet, we went on the Jurassic Park water rafting ride and got completely drenched from head to toe. This park was definitely one of my favorites!

My favorite rides: The Hulk & both Harry Potter coasters [although I would prefer the blue one] // BaDing’s favorite’s: Spiderman

Orlando : Day 1 – Universal Studios

Last week I was getting in touch with my inner-child in Orlando, Florida. Like I mentioned here, I haven’t been there since I was a child and I couldn’t wait to go back – especially with 3 people who had never been to any of the theme parks before. We started our adventure at Universal Studios. I was a little disappointed that a few of the rides I was looking forward to like Jaws and Back to the Future were removed since the last time I was there, but I don’t know why this actually surprised me because that was over 15 years ago.

Being at Universal Studios is literally like being on the set and behind the scenes of some of your favorite Universal movies. All of the rides are interactive and half of them have a little “show” before hand. I loved Universal, but I’m a kind of a thrill seeker so I was looking for the big rides, which they didn’t have much of. Even though it started raining half way though the day, nothing was going to ruin our fun [plus, luckily most of the rides at Universal are indoors ;)] We had an awesome day and stayed until the closing light show and fireworks display  – despite the downpour.

My favorite rides: The Mummy & The Simpson’s // BaDing’s favorite’s: The Mummy & the turkey legs