Hi! It feels like forever since I last sat down and wrote a blog post, but I’m back! As you all know, 2020 and the beginning of 2021 was extremely busy for me as I worked the COVID-19 pandemic. I am back to a semi normal work schedule now and I am doing my best to return to the hobbies I love doing (blogging), self care, prioritizing my health, taking time off, and all of the good things we should all be doing!
Since my whole family is fully vaccinated (yay!), we all traveled to Florida in May to celebrate my aunt’s wedding and spend time together on a vacation. We had so much fun together and I can’t wait to share all of the details from our trip with you all.
We took a morning flight from Phoenix Sky Harbor to Orlando on American Airlines and had a smooth travel day. We did notice a significant increase in the number of people traveling, which meant long wait times at the bag drop and security. As a reminder, face coverings are still required, per the FAA. We arrived in Orlando around dinnertime and we were all starving once we landed. After we got our rental car, we searched Yelp for food in the area. We landed on Vanberry’s Public House and had the most delicious dinner! We split the Nacho Mama as an appetizer and I got the Boomin’ Shrimp tacos as my entree. The sauce they put on the tacos was INCREDIBLE and I could honestly eat those tacos daily. I highly recommend going if you are in the Orlando area!
After dinner, we made the roughly one hour drive to Melbourne, Florida and checked in to the Crowne Plaza Melbourne – Oceanfront and got settled in our rooms. We were SO tired after our day of traveling, we all went straight to bed to rest up for the wedding the next day. The picture below is of our room – we got the King room with a partial ocean view.
Shop my day one looks here:
We woke up bright and early to head to a family breakfast at Mel’s Tiki Cafe, which is the cutest little local cafe filled with a variety of healthy breakfast options! I opted for the banana waffle and it was delicious – I loved the cinnamon and powdered sugar it was topped with. After breakfast, we went back to the hotel to change and head out to the beach. Our hotel was on the beach, which made it so convenient to easily access the beach at all times! I mean just look at the view from our room, it was stunning! We stopped at Publix for snacks and drinks and also went to Wal-Mart for a couple of items and I found the cutest $20 swimsuit – linked below! We played corn hole on the beach and relaxed, which was so nice. We then got ready for my aunt’s wedding, which was also at the Crowne Plaza. It was overlooking the beach and ocean and was absolutely stunning! We had so much fun celebrating with extended family and loved celebrating the bride and groom with everyone!
Shop my day two looks here:
We woke up bright and early and drove about a mile down the road to the cutest little beach cafe called Morning Glory. It was right on the beach and we ate outside where we could hear the waves crashing on the sand, it such a wonderful breakfast experience! I got a vanilla latte and the Traditional Eggs Benedict, both were delicious.
After breakfast, we went back to the hotel to change and got ready for another beach day! We wanted to spend as much time at the beach as possible, especially since us Arizonans don’t get to see it as often as we’d like. It was extremely windy at the beach and there was A LOT of seaweed while we were there, which made it not as enjoyable to swim in the ocean. It didn’t stop Charlie and my uncles from swimming in it, but it definitely stopped myself and others in the group from going all of the way in. The water was the perfect temperature though and felt so good to put my feet in! We took a little break to eat lunch at the Surfside Lounge, which was located on the patio at the hotel and overlooked the ocean. Charlie and I split a quesadilla and salad, the quesadilla was a 10/10, I think I had two during our stay since it was so good. I also got a local Pineapple cider and it was so light and yummy – perfect beach day drink!
After our beach day, we got ready and went to my aunt’s house for a seafood dinner with the family. They brought in a local chef to prepare the seafood for us and all of the fish was local to Melbourne. I love seafood and it was all amazing! I also loved spending time in their beautiful backyard, which is right on the water and lush green. We played corn hole in the backyard and all spent time together.
After the seafood dinner, we made the approximately one hour drive back to Orlando. We checked in to the Hyatt Regency Orlando, which we had actually previously stayed at four years prior. We love this hotel because it is so clean, we love the property amenities, especially the pool area, and it is conveniently located close to Disney World and Orlando International Airport. After we checked in to our room, we got a quick snack at the 24-Hour Market, which we LOVE having available to us.
Shop my day three looks here:
Charlie and I woke up early and went to the gym to burn off some of our vacation eating and drinking. The Hyatt’s gym was my FAVORITE hotel gym, it was incredible! They have many different rooms with every type of equipment you can think of – they even have Peloton bikes! It was sparkling clean, they had towels, water, headphones, etc. After our workout, we showered, changed, and made our way to the incredible pool area to relax for the day. We had lunch by the pool and ate at Coconuts Poolside Bar & Grill. Charlie and I split the chicken tenders and fries (classic poolside meal) and we all had amazing margaritas! It was so nice to spend a full day relaxing and lounging by the pool.
We then went back to the room to relax and got ready for an off-property happy hour and dinner. Another thing I love about the Hyatt is the close proximity it is to so many incredible restaurants in the area. We first walked to The Hampton Social – Orlando for a drink before dinner. We have been to The Hampton Social – Chicago and LOVED it so much. It is so aesthetically pleasing and the food/drinks are delicious! I love how the Orlando location was different from the Chicago location, but has the same coastal vibe. I got a frosé for my drink (always my go to) and it was so refreshing. After having a drink, we went to Yard House for dinner and split some wings, a burger, and a salad. They also had a great selection of local beers on tap so we each tried one with our dinner. The restaurant has an amazing view of The Wheel at ICON Park from the outdoor patio, which was fun to watch as we ate. We then walked around the outdoor shopping center for a bit, but it was SO incredibly crowded, we quickly got burnt out and walked back to the hotel.
Shop my day four looks here:
We woke up BRIGHT and early to make our way to Walt Disney World – yay! You can’t go to Orlando or near Orlando and not visit one of the Disney parks. There are definitely a wide variety of theme parks in Orlando, but I am a huge Disney fan and always be so I’m a little biased when it comes to theme parks. Our original plan was to only visit Animal Kingdom… but we ended up visiting three parks in one day (more to come on that later). We started the day at Animal Kingdom and had an absolute BLAST. We went straight to Pandora to get on Avatar Flight of Passage since it has the longest wait time. I recommend getting there before the park opens, we got there around 7:30ish and the park opened at 8 am to get in line for the ride. Shortly after the park opens, the line gets to approximately a 90 minute wait. It is definitely worth waiting in line for though! Pandora was incredible to just walk around and explore, we all loved it. I also love the Tree of Life and the Safari – they are two of my favorite things to see at do at the park as well. We went on Everest and I honestly didn’t remember it being as intense as it was. My dad and I both felt SO sick after it, but Charlie of course loved it. We *thankfully* waited to eat lunch until after Everest and went back to Pandora for lunch. We ate at Satu’li Canteen and I got the Chopped Wood-Grilled Chicken Bowl with sweet potato and it was a 10/10 – I love how it is also a much healthier option than your typical theme park meal! After lunch, we had to get soft serve ice cream, which was very much welcomed since it was SO hot outside around lunch time. I got the swirl soft serve and it was everything I had hoped it would be… & more. 🙂 We did all of the rides and shows at Animal Kingdom and all had so much fun exploring the park. While we were there, masks were not required while being outdoors, but we wore ours while we in crowds outdoors. Masks are still required in lines and on the rides to protect yourself and others.
As mentioned, we had planned to spend the day at just Animal Kingdom. The park was not very busy when we visited so we finished all of the rides (we even did some of them twice) and we finished everything around 3 pm. Charlie and I had park hoppers and if you follow me on Instagram, you know I have over 150 of the Starbucks You are Here and Been There mugs so I had to get as many of the new Disney World Starbucks mugs as possible! We made our way to Hollywood Studios to get a Starbucks mug and also walked through the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge while we were there. The Florida version is much better than the California version in my opinion, it was amazing! I am so glad we got to make a quick stop and check it out. I also LOVE Toy Story Land, which we walked through on our way back out of the park.
We then got back in the car and headed to Magic Kingdom to pick up another mug and see the castle! We got on the tram from the parking lot, picked up my Starbucks mug, then walked over to the castle to take some pictures. When we visited in May, you were still required to make park reservations in addition to your purchased tickets. Be sure to do this in as much of an advance as possible, especially if you are visiting during peak season. If you have a Park Hopper, you can hop to other parks after 2 pm, but you must visit your reserved park first. We were going to visit all four parks in one day, but we were unable to visit Epcot after 2 pm due to the park being at capacity that day, but I am so glad we still got to visit three parks in one day, it was so much fun!
We were absolutely exhausted after visiting the three parks, but still had to make a visit to Disney Springs. We went to dinner at City Works Eatery & Pour House and got the buffalo chicken dip as an appetizer then Charlie and I split the Nashville Hot Chicken Wrap, which was delicious! After dinner, we walked around Disney Springs and went to the Boathouse to watch the famous car/boats drive into the water. It was such a fun last day and night of our trip!
Shop my day five looks here:
I hope you all enjoyed this recap of our Florida trip!