Frolicking in Orlando

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Many months ago, I was trying to change a hotel reservation for my uncle when I unwittingly agreed to a discounted vacation in exchange for a timeshare presentation. I chose to go to Orlando since it had been so long that I don’t remember last time I was there. Everything actually worked out really well – Panda and I got a nice little vacation out of it and right before we went, he was able to earn some free Disney gift cards that we could use on our trip. Plus, he actually had some training out there a few weeks before we went so he got to scout out the area first. Here’s a picture tour of our trip:

annie's mini hot dogs wrapped in pretzel bread

Our trip started with a snack I’d never tried before! Hot dogs + pretzel bread = delicious!!

old school united plane design

Our plane had a cool retro look.

rainbow arching over planes at iad dulles international airport as seen from window seat of plane

As I buckled in for takeoff, I saw nearly a full rainbow!

planes stuck on tarmac waiting for storm to pass

After leaving the gate, we found ourselves stuck waiting for a storm to the south to pass.

sitting waiting on plane with other planes on tarmac grounded due to storm

We waited for nearly three hours! I was lucky Panda gave me his first class seat so I got served drinks the whole time.

united first class meal collage with shrimp salad and hot tea

Once we finally took off, I got a nice meal to tide me over. The pattern in the tea reminded me of cirrus clouds!

collage of dragonfly on ground right side up and upside down

The first thing we saw upon arriving at the hotel was this dragonfly! I went to poke it and it flew off only to land upside down. That can’t be good.

tiny frog blending in with wood chips

Then we nearly stepped on this little guy as he hopped on by!

bright moon over hotel in distance

The moon was super bright and our parking spot was rather far, but it was a nice walk.

collage of anole lizard on porch

The next morning, I found myself a new pet!

square outline created by mirror light in pupil of eye

The mirror in the bathroom made square outlines in our pupils. Fun!

lush green grass growing thickly

I haven’t seen such thick grass in years! I miss that.

downtown disney marketplace entrance

Off to Downtown Disney!

taking a go at the t-shirt designing machine

The first shop we stopped in had these t-shirt designing machines! We just had to play around with one.

giant mickey face rice crispy cake

Goofy’s Candy Shop included all sorts of yummy sweets.

giant world of disney store at downtown disney orlando

Here we go into the Disney store, gift cards at the ready!

testing out the basin lip scrubs

I loved the Basin store with all its skincare goodies, like these lip scrubs that I tried.

collage of basin store products

Panda knew right away I would love this store! Can I bring it all home??

collage of various bath bombs at basin store

They had so many bath bombs, including adorable mini ones!

basin sinks with body scrubs and body butters to test out

Everyone enjoyed the sinks the middle, where you could try out their body scrubs and butters.

caffeine and mosquito fighting soaps

I found some pretty cool soaps with other purposes too – one with caffeine and one to ward off mosquitos!

large soap logs stacked up

I wonder if they ever sell their soap by the log.

basin products including solid shampoo, conditioner, and facial soap

I got two solid shampoo bars, two solid conditioner bars, and a charcoal facial soap.

bird standing by waterfront with wings outspread

That random bird stood motionless with wings spread out for so long I started to think it might be fake.

collage of fulton's crab shack in day and night

Panda made a reservation weeks ago so we could eat here. 🙂

view of sunset, clouds, and water from fulton's crab shack

A great view where we sat!

collage of bread, crackers, seafood pasta, and crab leg meals

The bread and crackers with dip were delicious! I also gobbled up my crab legs. NOM

collage of bird on tip of pointy tree and bird poo on table

The area was plagued by birds. They even attacked a squirrel!

string of lights at dusk on boat

These lights are so nice; I want some for my own home!

collage of pleasure island area of downtown disney

The Pleasure Island part of Downtown Disney is much more adult-oriented.

la nouba cirque du soleil mug

Love the pattern on this mug. If we actually saw La Nouba I probably would have gotten it.

twinkling lights in trees at downtown disney

They had twinkling lights in the trees to make it feel like there were fireflies. I wish there actually were some!

disney institution graduation mickey ears cap with tassel

We brought along Panda’s graduation cap that he got just a week or two before.

minnie mouse red and white polka dot bow tank top

One of the very first items I decided to buy. So cute! See what else we got.

comparing murano glass on tous ring to disney mickey ears

I just had to compare my Murano glass to theirs. I like mine. 🙂

sonic's chili cheese tater tots and hot dog

I love all things chili cheese. I’d never had chili cheese tots before and they are my new fav!

bright sun shining over dark cloud

You never know when you’ll get sun or clouds around here.

red car with crazy air fresheners

That red car strung up like 50 of those tree air fresheners. Can you see it? Hilarious.

disney boardwalk lake

We arrive at the Boardwalk area and explore the stores overlooking the lake.

small turtle in lake among plants

I found some fish and a turtle to feed!

disney tugboat on lake

As we crossed a bridge, this tugboat came scootin’ along.

collage of girl feeding ducks bread

On the tiny beach they created, there were ducks eager to eat my bread. I had so much fun feeding them!

mickey golf globe

These fun globes tested your ability to get the ball to balance on the peg.

disney character pens with ends bent into head shapes

Such cute pens!

disney credit card swiping machine

Even the credit card machines have Mickey’s head on them.

collage of handicapped room features including automatic door, bars in restroom, and no closet doors

We got a handicapped room, which I quite liked – our door had an auto open button!

collage of buena vista palace rooms

We stayed at the Buena Vista Palace and our suite was nice and spacious.

collage of buena vista palace public areas

Here are some of the public spaces at the Buena Vista Palace.

collage of exterior spaces at buena vista palace

And here are some of the exterior spaces at Buena Vista Palace.

large three-row golf cart outside buena vista palace

That golf cart is practically a tour tram!

ming court dim sum

Before heading to the airport, we stop for some dim sum at Ming Court.

anole lizard blending in with sidewalk

Tons of lizards around here (or anoles). Masterfully blending with the sidewalk.

silver tea pot with spill-free spout

This tea pot’s spout is perfect for spill-free pouring!

long escalator going up multiple floors

After returning the rental car, we took a super long escalator up to the gates.

collage of disney character-shaped crayons and green turtle t-shirt

We did a little more browsing at the airport before checking in.

disney tron-themed airport tram terminals

The tram terminals were Tron-themed, I believe.

hangers in first class seating

If you need to hang up your coat in first class, they’ve got that handled.

reflection of sunlight on ring

As I wait for takeoff, I admire how my ring catches the light.

jetway outside airplane viewed from window of plane

Back in Dulles, I actually see the jetway from my seat. And soon enough we were home!

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