Tag Archives: florida

Missing in action…

…but now I have returned. Sorry for the lack of posts the last couple of days.

Here’s what’s been happening in my world.

Thursday–we spent the day at Universal Orlando and had a lot of fun. I still prefer the Islands of Adventure and mainly the Wizarding World of Harry Potter from that park. More on that later. I’ll do a top 5 or 10 recap of Universal, etc. for those of you who are interested in traveling to Orlando sometime in the future.

Jaws at Universal

Lunch was a chicken panini with fruit and potato salad. I also had an iced coffee from Starbucks.

lunch at Universal studios florida

After Universal, we headed to Menchie’s for the last time and I had a cake batter, cookies n’ creme combo with lots of pb and chocolate on top.

Menchies

Then it was time to pack up our hotel room and get ready to leave early the next morning.

Friday–we ate breakfast, checked out of the hotel, returned our rental car and got to the airport early. Our flight on Southwest was good.

It felt weird to be home again. Once back at our house, it was so nice to see our cats. We missed them a ton and it’s still been fun to spoil them with pets and kisses over the last couple of days.

My parents had picked us up at the airport and before leaving our house, my dad threw the local section of Friday’s newspaper at me and told me not to tell Craig until later. I knew right away what news was contained in that paper. I looked at the obituary section and saw Craig’s grandma’s name listed. She got sick right before we left on our trip and had been in the hospital. She passed away on Wednesday morning and his parents and sister didn’t want to tell us while we were on our trip, because we would have been sad and thinking about it.

Needless to say, it was a sad day yesterday with getting that news. I didn’t really feel like blogging because I was tired, did endless loads of laundry and unpacked in general.

Today–we slept in a little and I woke up craving oatmeal and peanut butter, like I had been having at the hotel. I think this is going to be my new “go to” breakfast before work. The protein in the peanut butter might be perfect to prevent my stomach from grumbling at work mid-morning.

oatmeal with peanut butter, coffee

Craig had to get new lenses in his eyeglasses again, so we were off to the mall and then the grocery store for a huge stock up.

I snacked on half of a Luna White Chocolate Macadamia bar while we were out.

Luna White Chocolate Macadamia bar

We also went to the library and I picked up a few food oriented magazines and the Skinny Bitch cookbook. I have seen it on a few blogs and the recipes inside looked good.

Skinny Bitch cookbook

A 6 inch Subway ham and cheese sandwich was my lunch.

Subway ham sandwich

Dessert was a few mint oreos. See, normally I would never buy those at the store and my husband did. This is why he shouldn’t go grocery shopping with me because he just picks up bad food and I want to eat it!

mint oreo

I relaxed this afternoon, took a nap with the sunshine beating down on me (to remind me of Florida), and then headed to the gym.

I biked for 18 minutes, did the elliptical for 15 and lifted a full circuit of weights. I checked out the Fitlinxx top gym members list for the month of January and guess who made the list? I did! Granted I was 25 on the list of 25 women, but I was still so psyched to see my name up there! One of my goals for the gym was to make that list and I did it! Now my new goal will be to move up a lot and earn more points in a future month. I don’t think that will happen this month because of our vacation. The Fitlinxx program gives you points for the cardio and weight activities you do at the gym or outside of it. I guess I was pretty active in January!

Dinner was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a tangelo.

peanut butter and jelly sandwich, tangelo

Oh and while we were gone, I received the new flavors of Chobani in the mail! I tried Strawberry Banana yesterday and it was so good. I am looking forward to trying Lemon and Black Cherry too. Thanks Chobani!

Chobani Strawberry Banana

Aaah, I feel better now that I am all caught up!

Not sure if/when I’ll post tomorrow because we are going to the funeral. I have to take Monday off of work too because the burial is then. I guess I’ll just work from home a bit on Monday afternoon. I already took a peek at my work e-mail and I have a lot of stuff to go through.

Have a wonderful rest of your weekend!

Our day at the Kennedy Space Center

We really enjoyed the Kennedy Space Center today!

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I started out my morning with the same breakfast as yesterday–apple cinnamon oatmeal with lots of peanut butter and a yogurt.

We had to get an early start because Kennedy Space Center is a little over an hour away from Orlando.

We had pre-booked the bus tour that gets you closest to the launch pads. It was definitely worth it. We got pretty close to the launch pads and went by many various NASA buildlings. We also saw lots of wildlife-hogs, bald eagles (and their huge nests), a lot of alligators, and tons of beautiful birds.

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I won’t go into to too many details, but the tour was great and I also loved hearing stories from a real astronaut, John Fabian, and getting a picture with him after the talk.

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We pretty much took in everything the center had to offer–the Space Station IMAX 3D movie, the Shuttle Experience, the Astronaut Memorial, the rocket garden tour, the early exploration galleries and the Astronaut Hall of Fame. I am “spaced out” but really enjoyed learning more about NASA and space exploration today.

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Lunch was a chicken fajita wrap (which looked more like a panini in the end) with fries and a banana pudding. The one complaint I would have about KSC is the food selection. Not many healthy options, especially when you don’t feel like a salad. I did like what I had to eat though.

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I ate lunch super late, so I wasn’t that hungry when we got back from our road trip. I had a strawberry Chobani, a tea, and half of a Reese’s PB easter egg.

We got back to the hotel late, so I am going to call it a night.

One more day here in Florida and we are hitting Universal Studios. Hoping for my last shot at Menchies fro yo after too!

Rest day recap

Aaah, this rest day was exactly what we needed.

I had a yummy bowl of Apple Cinammon Oatmeal with peanut butter for breakfast. I also had a peach yoplait and coffee on the side.

apple cinnamon oatmeal with pb, yoplait, coffee

After sitting at breakfast a lot longer than we normally have during this vacation, I went back to the Lululemon Athletica outlet. Since last Friday, I had thought about purchasing the Speed Up tank. Sometimes walking away and thinking about purchases is a good thing. I had tried on my normal size and it seemed a little tight in areas. I asked the girl in the fitting room if their sizes ran a bit small and she said they normally are the same size you always wear. She said the top I chose did feature a tighter fitting material, so I went with the next size up.

lululemon speed up tank from outlet in Orlando

I like the mesh features in the back and the little zipper pocket.

lululemon speed up tank

I thought this tank would be perfect for yoga, especially because of the longer length. But when I mentioned the yoga factor at the checkout, the cashier was really nice and reminded me that the zipper may get in the way. I’ll just try it out and be careful when I do poses on my back.

I tried on pants and sports bras at Lululemon too and just wasn’t feeling the way either items fit. The girl at the fitting room was really helpful. Did you know that if you buy Lululemon pants at the outlet (which are about 40% off retail), you can get them hemmed for free at your local Lululemon? All of the pants I tried on today were super long, but I still wasn’t loving how they fit in other areas. I actually think I prefer Gap Body’s pants for yoga and cardio.

When I got back from the outlets, I read a bit of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and then Craig and I got ready to head out of the hotel.

We went to Giordano’s deep dish pizza for lunch. Yum! Seeing that we only have had the opportunity to eat deep dish when we have gone to Chicago, we took advantage of the fact that Florida also has deep dish pizza.

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Two pieces of this sausage and cheese pizza was so filling for the both of us! Leftovers for tomorrow’s dinner!

Giordano's Deep Dish Pizza

After filling up on yummy pizza, Craig wanted to drive by the hotel he stayed at with his family when he was a kid and we knew it was just down the road. It was still there, but too bad it’s probably going to be torn down soon because it’s no longer a working hotel and there are no tresspassing signs all over the property.

When we got back, we sat by the pool and went in the hot tub. We think the hot tub has been broken this whole time, because it really wasn’t that hot. It looks like someone was working on it tonight, so hopefully we’ll get a chance at a real hotub tomorrow night.

I enjoyed reading Fitness magazine poolside.

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My dinner ended up being a peanut butter cookie Larabar and a small apple.

larabar, apple

Oh and my husband scored me a white chocolate chip cookie from the front desk. I savored it’s goodness while watching Watson on Jeopardy. I am a total Jeopardy geek, so I was excited to see Watson in action.

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Tomorrow, we are off to Kennedy Space Center! We chose the best tour to get close to the launch pad. Too bad we are missing the actual launch by a mere 6 days. Boo!

Time to get organized for our little road trip.

Have any of the readers out there been to Kennedy Space Center? Any last minute tips for us? We have read that it’s hard to cram everything in during a day trip, but we’re going to try to do it.

Good night!

We need a vacation from our vacation

Happy Valentine’s Day!

We are getting to the point in our trip where we need a vacation from our vacation. So much walking around and waiting in lines today wore me out. Who am I kidding, so much walking the last four days has worn me out. I have also been fighting a cold. Up until today, it wasn’t that bad and was concentrated in my throat. Now it’s in my sinuses and making me feel icky at times.

We got back from Universal Studios Islands of Adventure tonight and both crashed on the hotel beds. When we woke up, Craig said that we should take a rest day tomorrow and I instantly agreed. We still want to get to Kennedy Space Center and the main Universal Studios park, but those can wait until our last days here.

On this lovely Valentine’s day, I spent it with my sweetheart at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and other areas of Islands of Adventure.

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I’ll have to do a separate post when we get home from our trip and include details on the Wizarding World for those who are interested. Let’s just say that I never read the books and am not that into it, but I totally loved this area of the park and considered it the best. Since writing from the netbook has been sort of a pain (mostly due to Internet Explorer), I’ll keep this post short and share just a few photos. I’ll recap our Sunday adventures in a post from home too.

Food today was a huge breakfast. Cheese omelet, hash browns, strawberry banana yogurt and a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese. I knew I needed the energy for walking around the park in the morning, so I ate more than I usually would for breakfast.

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I had an apple while we waited in line for the wand shop.

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Lunch was a Shepherd’s Pie with a side salad. It was really yummy.

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I also enjoyed a Butterbeer. I loved it. It was foamy and sweet. Almost too sweet, but really tasty and had a butterscotch flavor.

butterbeer

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The rest of the day were the usual theme part eats. After the free fall ride and another rough roller coaster, I wanted something to eat. We shared a sour apple frozen drink and a churro. Two hours later, we had pretzels with cheese and mustard.

Then when leaving the park, we had TCBY white chocolate mousse frozen yogurt. That flavor brings me back to getting frozen yogurt as a little girl with my mom. She loves that flavor, so when I told her we had it today, she was jealous! It was Craig’s first time trying it and he was pleasantly surprised at the different flavor.

TCBY white chocolate mousse

No fancy Valentine’s Day dinner for us tonight–we snacked our way through dinner and our lunch was a fun and unique experience.

Be back with more tomorrow from our rest day. It may have to involve another trip back to the Lululemon outlet. Hopefully we can also rest by the pool and just read or nap there.

Super busy Saturday

I’ll recap what we did yesterday and then summarize today in a separate post, but the post about today may have to wait until tomorrow. We were constantly off to somewhere new yesterday, so I had no time to blog.

On Saturday, we had breakfast at the hotel and they had a pretty good spread. I had eggs, potatoes, a yoplait yogurt, coffee, and a chocolate muffin. I think I accidentally deleted the photo, oh well.

We didn’t have formal plans for the day, but decided to head to Mead Gardens in Winter Park, just north of downtown Orlando.

It was a pretty park to walk around in and had completely free entrance and parking. I think this park would be beautiful in the summer, especially with the flowers all blooming.

Mead Garden, Winter Park, FL

Mead Garden, Winter Park, FL

We saw a bunch of beautiful bushes of flowers, so I snapped some photos.

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After walking for a while, we headed to downtown Winter Park. It’s a cute area with lots of shops.

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Both Craig and I are/were shopped out, but we hit the Farmer’s Market for a bit. Apparently, kettle corn was all the rage because almost everyone we walked by had it in their hands and the line was super long.

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Making Kettle Corn

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All of the fresh fruit and veggies looked so yummy. I cannot wait for spring and summer!

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It was sort of cool out, so I warmed up with an Awake Tea Latte at Starbucks.

We hit the road again and weren’t sure what to do, except that I knew I wanted to hit the Ugg outlet on the way back because we had spotted it on our way north. I need Ugg boots so badly for the Wisconsin winters. Back to that in a bit.

Driving in Orlando, I remembered that Dandelion Communitea Cafe was in the area we were around. Luckily, we had GPS on Craig’s phone and found it really easily.

me at Dandelion Communitea Cafe (Vegan food)

It was really cute and cozy inside.

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I had a Buffalo 66 wrap with fruit on the side. It was really yummy and exactly what I was craving for lunch.

Dandelion Communitea Cafe

It was my second day in a row eating tempeh. I like it, even though I think I prefer tofu more. Tofu seems softer and tempeh is harder and chewier. Anyone else agree?

Then it was time to endure getting off the freeway to get to the Prime outlets. I have never had such a crazy experience as we had trying to find a parking spot at these outlets! We parked along the side of a lot after about a half hour of trying to find a spot. Craig stayed in the car and I quickly ran to the Ugg outlet.

Ugg outlet

I got warm Ugg boots in Florida of all places

I found the boots I wanted, noted they were $20 cheaper than online or in the stores, tried them on (it was my first time trying them on), loved them instantly and bought them right away. It was the fastest $120 I have ever spent in my life. I have been wanting them all winter. How odd that I ended up buying them in Florida though!

new Uggs

I quickly ran to Victoria’s Secret outlet, which had some amazing deals too. If I really needed anything, I would have spent more time in there. I wish we would get one in the outlets in WI.

I was just happy with my Ugg purchase! I know some people don’t like the looks of them and I simply don’t care because warm feet in brutal Midwestern winters is key. My current boots just aren’t cutting it. They leak and my feet are cold constantly

Once we got back to the hotel, we rested a bit, took a little nap and went to mini golf! I did pretty good this time, but Craig definitely won!

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After mini golf, we went to Pinkberry for frozen yogurt! I think I have a problem. I am addicted to frozen yogurt.

This lovely cup of blood orange fro yo piled with fruit was my dinner.

pinkberry fro yo-blood orange with fruits

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The interior was so sleek and modern. I wish we could incorporate some of these design elements into our house.

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The last event of the night was Downtown Disney. It’s totally free to enter and park there. It’s full of restaurants, shops and other attractions.

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I liked this shirt.

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And this one too.

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Well, it’s late and we need to get up earlier tomorrow for our day at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure. We’re going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter first thing in the morning. We have to get to the parking lot by 8:30 so we can get in the park right at 9.

Be back tomorrow with our adventures from Cocoa Beach and Merrit Island National Wildlife Refuge today. We saw a HUGE alligator, two armadillos, dolphins swimming, and some beautiful birds.

Night!

Off to the ocean

We are headed to the Atlantic Ocean today! Yesterday was quite busy, but we had a great day again. Hiked, checked out Winter Park, ate at Dandelion Communitea Cafe, mini golfed, ate more fro yo and went to Downtown Disney at night!

Have a wonderful Sunday! I hope to be back later with a post about yesterday and one about today’s adventures too.

Vacation on my mind

I had a typical Sunday around here. Read the paper, watched my show (CBS Sunday morning) and then went to Body Pump at the Y. The new release was pretty good. I liked some of the songs, but didn’t love all of them. It was so packed that I had to go in a spot without a mirror, which made it tough to keep my form in check.

Before pump, I had Kashi Autumn Wheat and coffee for breakfast.

kashi autumn wheat coffee

And about 1/4 of the PB & J Larabar.

Larabar PB and J

When I got home from the gym, I had string cheese with a cup of greek yogurt, chia seeds, honey and almonds.

string cheese, yogurt with almonds, chia seeds, honey

Lunch was a salad topped with tofu and a side of Food Should Taste Good sweet potato tortilla chips.

veggies and tofu, sweet potato chips

Then it was time to plan our February vacation to Florida! In 2010, we just stayed around Wisconsin and went to Chicago for our wedding anniversary. I am definitely looking forward to getting out of the cold Wisconsin weather and having a break from work in February. We found a good flight deal on Southwest (no baggage fees and nonstop, phew). We just have to find a hotel or condo to stay at in the Orlando area. We are on the fence about which type of place to stay at. There are pros and cons to both.

Now that we’ve booked our flight, it all feels so real and I cannot wait. I definitely have a week of vacation on my mind! :)

Dinner was penne pasta with mushrooms, artichokes, olives, & garlic.

pasta

I wish I had one more day off of work (like my lucky husband), but it’s back to the 40 hour work week tomorrow. :(