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Tampa 2017 Continued

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We spent the next couple of days with quality family time with my grandma, aunt, uncle, cousins, and my aunt & uncle from Oklahoma who actually happened to be in town at the same time.  My cousin had her first baby in January 2017 so this was also an opportunity to meet her and get lots of baby snuggles.

My cousin's fiance's dad owns a boat and we took it out for a leisurely couple hours on the water.





The last night we spent walking down to the water to take in the sunset. It was incredible.






We headed back to Orlando and stayed at a hole in the wall hotel by the airport for the final night because we had a very early flight the next morning...all i can say is you get what you pay for when it comes to hotels in Orlando...next time I'm in Orlando I will definitely not be looking at hotels in that low price range.

WOW! It's Been A While! What Have I Been Up To?

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I'm going to give this blogging thing a go again. I find that it's a good creative outlet for me and a place for me to memorialize my travels and experiences.
My last post was April 2017 and since then I've been on a few more trips:
Vegas June 2017
Caribbean September 2017
Florida and Caribbean January 2018

Up Next:
Greek Isles September 2018
**** September 2019 (shhh it's a surprise for someone's 40th Birthday)

I will try to finish up my posts from April 2017 before I move on to the next trips, but honestly I'm so excited to put into words all of the planning that I've done for our greek isles trip in a few months.  94 days to go to be exact!

Let's see...I ended with Day 2 of our trip in Orlando.
Day 3 we spent at Animal Kingdom & Hollywood Studios which were amazing. The safari ride and Lion King show at Animal Kingdom were all of our favorites.  At Hollywood Studios Jess of course loved Tower of Terror which Hayley took her on.



We ended the night…

Spring Break 2017 Day 2

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I think I was running on excitement because when my alarm went off that morning at 6:30 I jumped out of bed and started getting ready. Today was Universal Studios! My youngest sister, Hayley, works for Disney AND Universal and offered to get us passes for the day.  I can't tell you what a huge savings that is! Once we got to the park and saw the prices at the gate I was mystified.  How do people afford to pay for these parks?!  And then add on food and all the extras? Just wow.

Our hotel offered "continental breakfast" with the room fee. We quickly found out that that meant waffles, fruit, and yogurt....not a completely filling breakfast and very low protein. Luckily I had brought along protein powder, precooked meat and turkey jerky from home. Our hotel room had a nice view of the Four Points Hotel (which my sister later told me she had stayed in and it's not as great as it looks).


La Quinta offered a free shuttle to the theme parks so we waited outside for it to ap…

Spring Break 2017 Day 1

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Wow! It has been quite a while since I have posted here. The vacations I've been on since Ireland have all been cruises and I have documented them on Cruise Critic instead of this blog.  I just returned back from a week in Florida visiting family in both Orlando and Tampa and wanted to document my trip for my own memory's sake.  

The week after my Ireland trip in 2014 I moved to Colorado to live with my boyfriend.  We then immediately followed that with a cruise to the Caribbean. 2015 was another cruise to a different part of the Caribbean and 2016 was a cruise to Mexico. Later this fall we will cruise to yet another part of the Caribbean!

This spring break trip 2017 I was joined by my boyfriend's daughter and his mother. Our flight out of Colorado Springs departed at 5pm MST so we arrived at the airport, parked my car in long term parking, and headed inside to check the bags. I had pre-purchased everything on Frontier as it saves quite a few dollars.



We got inside to the lo…

Ireland Day 8: Dublin

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This European holiday is drawing to a close...Devastating.  The week here has been better than anything I ever imagined or planned. It's made for some amazing memories...memories that I will take with me forever. 
I decided for my own memory sake to list my top 5 highlights and then lowpoints.  I've considered this blog to be my travel journal and I gotta get it down while it's still fresh or it'll be gone tomorrow...seems to be the way my brain works these days.

Top 5 High Points:
1) The people of Ireland in general, many offered directions without us having to ask, most have been gracious and welcoming, curious about us and always greeted with a kind attitude.
2) The proposal we witnessed at the Cliffs.  I just can't get past that. I'm such a romantic and that just made the already spectacular day even more incredible.
3) The Avis rental car agent.  Her attitude and excitement were so positive and she was just a really genuine person
4) The Marless House B&am…

Ireland Day 7: Cahir Castle & Rock of Cashel

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One more day to go before this adventure ends...we are terribly saddened by this.
The day started with breakfast at the Belvedere Lodge, which I believe was prepared by Vince.  On the road we went after that, headed for Cahir Castle, built in 1142 (pronounced Care Castle).  I'd seen many pictures of it already and read several blog posts from other visitors.  We pulled into Cahir and there it was, downtown on the main road.  The town was built around it.
I paid the 2 hour pre-paid parking fee and we strolled across the street to get some shots of the town and the hatchery...We had arrived a few minutes before it opened so had some time to waste.  An amazing blue heron was waiting for his picture to be taken.  I don't think I've ever seen one before (or noticed anyway). 

Ireland Day 6: Blarney Castle and on to Cork

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It took me around 6 months to plan my trip and a year's worth of hard work and saving, but I poured my heart into each and every moment of planning.  And now, there are only 2 days left. I can't believe it.  It has all been incredibly worth it.
We left the Randles Court this morning a little after 8 and decided to just hit the road for Blarney Castle.  I had previously planned on us eating lunch in Blarney at the Muskerry Arms.  We pulled into Blarney around 10am and decided to just eat brunch there instead.  We had the restaurant practically to ourselves which was nice. A continental breakfast of fruits and cereals and brown bread was provided and then we were able to order off the hot menu in addition.  Both of us ordered omelets...I didn't get a picture of the omelet because I was too hungry and wolfed it down.  The brown bread here was FAR superior to the brown bread of yesterday and the omelet was delicious. I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone trave…