Babymoon with Mickey!

I know it probably seems crazy to most people that we decided to go to Disney World for our babymoon, but if you know me or have read this blog before you know that Ryan and I are major Disney lovers and it holds a special place in our heart. We wanted one last chance to go just the two of us before the style of trip changes with kids, we love the history of the parks and the company and just walking around for hours exploring all the hidden gems and nooks and crannies of the parks. Now I was foolish and thought it would have cooled down from the intense summer heat and humidity by the time we were there in mid September but I was way off! It was so hot and muggy, but only one day did the heat really get to me and I had to go and sit in air conditioning for an hour to cool down. It’s also tough being so pregnant in that humidity walking around for hours and hours because you’re already over heated and some of the time I would be wearing an extra layer to cover my extra large belly (like a bella band or super long tank). I am now over due in my pregnancy and wildly uncomfortable so this post probably won’t be as detailed as my normal travel posts, probably pictures and places we were – would I recommend or not. Overall we had a really fun trip, it was nice to get the time together alone in one of our favourite places and although there were lots of rides I couldn’t go on, I didn’t really notice  it that much, just a little sad to miss my favourites. We broke our camera when it fell off a rock in Maui, so these pictures were all taken with our iPhones. They are subpar to put it mildly…

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Spent our first day in Magic Kingdom, we arrived in time for rope drop and before it got too busy. They had started their fall and Halloween decorations and I love Disney extra when it is holiday themed. Fall is great but nothing compares to their Christmas decor.

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I tried for months to get a reservation for dinner at Be Our Guest in the new Fantasyland to no avail. In the morning they have a quick service breakfast you can go to, but really it’s more than a quick service, they do come by and serve your table and you get a plate of pastries from the “master” of the house as an extra. The breakfast was good and it was fun to see all three different rooms in the palace.

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Amazing weather, a little too amazing, we took a break at the Polynesian resort to get out of the humidity, had a few “drinks” and ended up waiting out a storm. We like to explore a lot of the different resorts while we’re there, there are so many and so many different themes and details to check out. This is at the bar at Ohana.

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We went back to the park after dark for fireworks and a few late night rides, we like the Tomorrowland Transit Authority at night, it’s a good way to cool down and takes you in and out of rides all through Tomorrowland, it really shows a different perspective.

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The next day we spent most of our time at Hollywood Studios which was my favourite park for a long time, but it’s way too Star Wars heavy for me now. It also has more of the big thrill rides (tower of terror, rock n’ roller coaster) which I couldn’t go on this time, but I was still able to go on Toy Story Midway Mania which I love and is a blast.

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Ryan coming off the Star Wars ride, looks like he’s not as bummed as me at all the Star Wars increases!

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There is the a museum here “Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream” with tons of history and paraphernalia from the past, we check it out every visit to see what’s been changed or added and always enjoy it.

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The Goldbergs, my favourite sitcom!

Of course we went to my favourite restaurant in the whole park, Prime Time Cafe, which I love more for the experience, ambiance and my personal memories of going there growing up than for the food but I will probably continue to go every single time and hopefully my son will create good memories from there too.

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At the end of the day we went to the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular which is so fun to watch and a great way to sit and take a load off. We spent most of that night at Downtown Disney, now called Disney Springs, and it has changed sooooo much since last time we were there. There are so many more restaurants and shopping now, tons of options and things to see and do.

Next day was Epcot, our favourite park. It was nice to be able to spend a lot of time here that day because it is a lot less kid friendly than the others (especially Magic Kingdom) so we might not be able to explore and devote as much time to it on future visits.

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The only thing that was a bit of a disappointment with going to this park being pregnant is that we like to do a bit of “drinking around the world” where you get different drinks from a variety of countries. I obviously couldn’t do that this time, but Ryan picked up my slack! It was so hot I was dying for a margarita or an ice cold glass of prosecco, but alas, it was not to be so I had to settle for a popsicle.

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France

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Japan

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Germany

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Italy

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United Kingdom, where we also went for lunch at the Rose and Crown Pub which is really cute and themed and almost everyone orders the fish and chips!

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We spent the rest of the evening on the boardwalk, had dinner at the Yacht Club Resort and took a boat ride back to the park to watch the fireworks.

We were off to Universal Studios the next morning because we wanted to experience the whole Harry Potter exhibit, including going between the two parks from London to Hogwarts on the train and the new Diagon Alley. I’m not really a big fan of Universal, I much prefer Disney but the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is awesome. It’s really well done. Universal is so heavy with thrill rides that I wasn’t able to go on a single ride all day, at least Ryan could get on as a single rider which made his waits really short for the most part.

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Hogwarts

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In Diagon Alley with Gringotts in the background, there is a big ride inside of Gringotts with an excellent themed queue and Ryan reports that the ride is really good.

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The Knight Bus!

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“London”

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The Hogwarts Express between London and Hogwarts is awesome, there are scenes directly from the movie out the “window” and the characters walk by your door in silhouette ordering chocolate frogs and every flavour beans off the treat cart, you also see Hermione, Harry and Ron fighting off dementors in the hallway of the train.

Now that I have experienced the whole Wizarding World  I wouldn’t go again for a long time. It is really expensive to go for one day with a park hopper that lets you travel between the two parks and I don’t really love Universal enough to enjoy the rest of the park, it’s a lot of the same kind of “dark rides” where you are in a car of some kind and moving around in one spot watching a screen so it feels like you are moving.

That night after a late afternoon nap we went back to Epcot to have dinner at the Coral Reef Restaurant. It’s pretty neat, you’re basically eating in the middle of an aquarium full of sharks and stingrays and a variety of fish.

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In the morning we were off to Animal Kingdom Lodge for breakfast at Boma, we’ve now been there twice – for breakfast and dinner – I prefer the dinner buffet. We spent a little time walking the grounds of the resort and seeing some of the animals that are right on site, I think we will try to stay here on our next trip. It must be pretty amazing to wake up in the morning and go out onto your balcony to be face to face with a giraffe while enjoying your morning coffee. This is the day I felt really over heated and not well for some of the time, so we really took it slow but holy mother it was hot. One of my top rated rides in all of Walt Disney World is Expedition Everest at this park, it was probably the ride I was most disappointed about not being able to go on.

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I love all the conservation and preservation they do and promote at this park, I wish all zoos were exactly like this.

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I guess we didn’t take many pictures this day, we went back to the hotel midday for a swim which was such a welcome reprieve. That night we went back to Magic Kingdom because I wanted to see the electrical parade and we really wanted to try to stay late at the park to experience it quiet so late at night and get some pictures without the busy hustle and bustle. After the last of the parade and fireworks they slowly start closing out the different lands but we stayed on main street pretty late and no-one tried to usher us out at all.

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We were excited for the Peter Pan float because our nursery is Neverland themed!

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Until next time Magic Kingdom!

We spent our last full day dividing our time between Epcot and Animal Kingdom,  Epcot there are just endless things to see and do and our Animal Kingdom experience was cut short the previous day and we wanted to see the new additions they’ve added at night.

There is so much to experience at Epcot between future world and world showcase that  you could easily fill more than 2 or 3 days with just being at this one park. We went to La Hacienda de San Angel for lunch at the Mexico pavilion and it was really tasty, I might be biased though because I love Mexican food! Ryan making the most of those margaritas in Mexico!

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We also spent a little time in China, Japan and Norway. Japan is definitely on my bucket list to visit for real.

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We also went on some of our favourite attractions for a second time, like Soarin’ and Living with the Land.

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Then after a mid day break it was back to Animal Kingdom for the evening. We spent a little time in the Maharaja Jungle Trek and watched the new Tree of Life Awakenings which is stories and images projected on the Tree of Life at night, it’s really sweet and pretty. I would recommend sticking around for it on one of your evenings.

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Next time I go I want to eat at Yak and Yeti for dinner, we had a reservation but missed it and it’s supposed to be really good.

We’ll be experiencing a very different trip in a few years with our little boy and although the heat and humidity was pretty intense at some points during this trip I’m so glad we went and had the last experience just the two of us and got to get away before our lives change drastically! Praying this baby comes any minute now because I’m now a week overdue and it seems the more comfortable he gets in there the more uncomfortable I get!

 

 

 

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Adventures in the Valley Isle – three part

I just went for lunch with a very good friend who is counting down the days to her babymoon in Maui, which made me think I need to get on this blog and keep going on my trip diary. There are so many places to go to and so many things to see that I could be writing for days and posting hundreds of pictures. One of our favourite areas to go to was Lahaina, which is located in west Maui and definitely one of the busiest areas we visited. It has a real downtown walking area with tons of shops and restaurants and you can sit at the restaurants that literally sit on top of the water’s edge for hours and hours. It is definitely touristy but it has a ton of history and I found it to have a lot of charm, ultimately we went three times!

One of the most famous sites in Lahaina is the banyan tree, the roots descend from the branches into aerial roots towards the ground where they form new trunks which results in growth of many trunks around the main trunk. It’s like a tree that just keeps expanding and growing down into the ground and back up again. The tree takes up a whole park.

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Cute little waterfront view from the balcony at the Lahaina Heritage Museum.

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Some shots of the town in all it’s cuteness!

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Beachside drinks!

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This was at Bubba Gumps, which is obviously super gimmicky and the menu was terrible for me because I’m allergic to shellfish and I think there was one salad that wasn’t shellfish. BUT the views were amazing and we had a really good time and sat for hours.

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This is Koa’s Seaside Grill, if you go to this restaurant try to get a table on the rooftop.

Fleetwoods, also on the rooftop. The food is great here and they do a lot of shows, events and specials. It’s super popular but it’s for a reason – we would recommend it. IMG_0625

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It was our three year wedding anniversary while we were in Maui. We spent part of the day on a “hike” (waterfront walk really if I’m honest) in Kapalua and most of the day at Hotel Wailea relaxing and then having our anniversary dinner. The hike was cool and there was lots to see, but the humidity you guys – it was pretty outrageous that day.

We started the walk at Dragon’s Teeth at Makaluapuna Point which is a rock formation created by one of the last lava flows in Maui. Many of the rocks have formed into sharp peaks, hence the name.

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We walked down the waterfront for about an hour, there are spots you can climb down the rocks and there are these quiet pools that sit up against the shore where the water is so clear, calm and quiet.

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We didn’t spend a lot of time in West Maui as we were staying in the south but I know a lot of people recommend the Kapalau/Kaanapali area. The views were gorgeous.

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Hotel Wailea is not on the water, it is set back and up a bit but has sweeping views of the ocean. We spent hours there just lying in a hammock in the breeze. It’s much quieter here then a lot of the beach front mega resorts of Wailea and whole beach town area of Kihei. We found it a great place to spend some of our anniversary, it was just so serene and relaxed with lots of greenery and floral.

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We also had our anniversary dinner at one of the restaurants at Hotel Wailea called Capische. It’s all outdoors and if you get good weather you can eat in the garden which is supposed to be super romantic. Unfortunately we had some rain that night, but still ate in the main open concept restaurant at a table with a view of the sunset.

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My favourite outfit of the trip, so comfortable but also got so wrinkled.

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Just havin’ a time!

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Just a few more of our favourite sights and odds and ends to round of this trip report. Next up a little babymoon to Disney, our long standing favourite and last chance to experience it kid free! Enjoy the rest of summer and these long days!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adventures in the Valley Isle! Part Deux

I know the is a very long overdue part two of this trip, since I just noticed I published the first part a month ago. But you know how it is, growing a human inside you is tiring! I need to take several naps! There are seriously endless amount of sites to visit in Maui and there is a trip you can customize for anyone. Whether you’re looking for an adventure trip, a foodie trip, beach and relaxation – it honestly has something for everyone. Since it was our first time there, and we may not be back for a while as our lives are soon to change in a major way, we tried to sample a bit of everything.

We spent a day doing a lot of driving and went up country to the Iao Valley and to see the Iao Needle. Ryan videotaped some of it and said it felt like he was in Jurassic Park. You can see why they choose so to film so many movies and shows there, the scenery is so lush and the valley is all dense rainforest. The temperature changes significantly when you are upcountry compared to being at the beaches.

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The Iao Needle, a lava remnant rising 1,200 feet from the valley floor.

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It’s beautiful in such a unique way up there, totally different vibe than down on the water.

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Next we went to check out La Perouse Bay, which is the most recent volcanic site in Maui. You have to drive past Wailea and Makena to get there, and made several roadside stops for tacos and coconuts.

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Tacos have really been my only pregnancy craving.

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I loved La Perouse Bay, I thought it was so gorgeous. On the drive up you can see where all the lava flowed down and  basically got frozen in time. There is hardly any sand and you wouldn’t want to swim there but the water is so clear and blue and it was a great walk. One word of advice, it is very windy so don’t put your camera on a rock with the timer on to take a picture – if you’re like me it will fall and break.

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Look at that water!

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Indeed!

That night we went to dinner at our favourite hotel (again!) The Four Seasons at the restaurant Duo which was delicious (one of the best meals we had) and went for drinks at Ferraro’s which sits right on the water with incredible views and is a sweet and romantic setting. I would recommend both.

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One of my absolute favourite things we did the whole two weeks was take a snorkel excursion to turtle town (a spot with lots of sea turtles to snorkel with) and Molokini. Molokini is a partially submerged volcanic crater that basically creates a naturally protected habitat for sea life. It was incredible, I have never seen water that clear or that many fish so colourful and vibrant.  At turtle town I was snorkelling about a foot away from a huge turtle, if you stay calm they will just swim right on by you and check  you out – they’re so chill. I loved snorkelling, it is really a whole different world down there. Ryan did snuba which allowed him to go deeper while still attached to air on a float above him, he ended up being able to see a bit more than me that way but they say it’s not safe for pregnant women because of the pressure.

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Molokini in the background.

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We did the excursion through Snorkel Bob’s which was pretty bare bones, but I think it’s all you need. Doing a smaller boat I felt was better because it was not a party vibe at all and you got a basic breakfast and lunch, but really the same snorkel experience for a better price.

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Lots more to come! Stayed tuned, I’ll try not to make part three a month away!