Laughs at Theme Parks

It should come as no surprise to you that Orlando is a BITCH of a commute, namely because of the traffic from theme parks. Everywhere you look, theme park, ride, slide, fun thing! And tourists make I-4 a living hell.

Of course, that’s the only way to drive directly through Orlando on the way to St. Pete and to get to Timmy’s place, so that’s always super fun. Thankfully, in order to get my head and spirit out of the funk it was in the last month or so, we’ve been taking a few field trips.

Disney offers FL resident ticket packages regularly, but the most recent deal was just too good to pass up. 3 day-tickets that don’t have to be used consecutively for only $129/person. ARE YOU KIDDING?!?! And even better, we can add on an extra day for $20/person. Unreal.

So of course, we got those tickets, added on a day, and have spent most of our last Orlando weekends taking advantage of Disney. I tried to get us in on weekends that bookend spring breaks so that it would be busy (duh, it’s Disney) but not psycho booked with out-of-towners. And my planning so far has pretty much been spot on.

Our first day, we hit up Magic Kingdom. Thank you Fast Pass, for letting me book 3 rides online. No Thank You Fast Pass, for not showing on the website in bright flashing lights that once those 3 were done, I could find a kiosk at the park and get more fast passes. That would’ve been nice in order to avoid the 80 minute line for the Dwarf Mine Train (which was awesome btw).

Of course, I downloaded our candid photos that turned out to not be so candid because we were prepared to be dorks. Enjoy.

buzz lightyear ride space mountain splash mountainMagic Kingdom

The next day, our friend from high school was in town playing with American Authors for Universal Studios’ Mardi Gras. I had no plans to go because they were playing on a Sunday night, a time I usually spend driving 2 hours home from Orlando. Zac was too sweet and not only got us VIP passes to meet everyone after the show, but he also got us free tickets to both parks.

So hell yeah we went.

We met up with one of Timmy’s friends who lives in Sarasota, and proceeded to roam the parks. The Harry Potter section of the park is still just as amazing as it was the last time we were there, but since then, they opened the Hogwarts Express train that takes you from Islands of Adventure to the Studios park and Diagon Alley.

I may or may not have admitted to being more excited to ride the train than planning our wedding.

Diagon Alley was just unbelievable. Truly 100% crazy cool. We were also able to ride the Escape from Gringott’s ride right before the parks closed, which was hella fun. My ride home at 11:30pm? That was not hella fun, but the weekend rocked, so I can’t complain.

I warn you that my pictures include my fanny pack. I unabashedly rock my fanny pack when we hit the parks because I HATE wearing a purse. It always makes my shoulder/back sweat, and my shoulder always gets sore from the weight. I can’t stand it. So fanny packs, we’re BFFs and I have NO SHAME ABOUT IT.

Next up was Hollywood Studios, which is one of my favorites because they have LEGIT rides there. I normally have to wear a motion sickness patch because I’m old as crap, but I decided to forego it for these day trips because they give me cotton mouth like I’ve never experienced before and they make you super sleepy.

I forgot how quickly you can run through Hollywood Studios, so it’s a good thing we got there around 2p. We hit every ride there AND still made the massive show Fantasmic right before the park closed. We also got to do Tower of Terror twice, which might be one of the biggest natural highs we’ve ever had.

I had a slight sad attack when we arrived though because the large Mickey wizard hat is gone, so there were construction gates all around where the hat used to be. This area is in front of my favorite ride, The Great Movie Ride. Don’t ask me why it’s my favorite. Maybe the innocence of it? Maybe because it’s the only thing I could truly stomach as a child? I’m lame, I know.

Anyways, we both thought that the construction was also for the Great Movie Ride, which meant that it was closed. And I was so sad. Until hours later, we walked around the back and saw the line! So yay, panic over (although I did read that they’re also getting rid of this ride soon…boo).

The Tower of Terror, although it starts tummy rumblings for me whenever I think of that scary ass building, is maybe one of the most fun rides ever. I can’t stand freefalls when you can see how high you’re dropping, but there’s something about the Tower of Terror that gets me every time. You have no idea how far you’re falling, you have no idea when you’re going to fall the entire distance, and the random up-and-down drops make me laugh thinking about it, even NOW.

The two of us, giggling non-stop, after both times, god that was fun. Why would anyone want to do drugs when rides like this one exist? Adrenaline rush much?

After the natural high, we still had enough in us to hit up Downtown Disney and House of Blues with a killer blues band to boot.

[I realize that it looks like I’m wearing the exact same blue top two weekends in a row, but I can assure you it is a different top. And maybe I need to branch out on my wardrobe colors.]

Side note: As a follow up to my last post, it’s no secret that I’ve still been struggling with the marriage thing. I’ve been having massive anxiety issues, still having trouble sleeping, and it’s kind of disrupting this wonderful flow that Timmy and I have. Now I’m looking for some professional help in order to work out these mental issues. No shame in this game. If it’s a problem, time to work on it.

Animal Kingdom and Epcot, we’re coming for you.

♥, VB

Good Times, Great Trips

So I definitely have the best boyfriend in the world (despite our occasional inability to compromise on things). After what has felt like the year from hell, we’ve been working our asses off to regain a new sense of normalcy within our relationship. Nearly 4 years ago, if you had asked either one of us if our relationship would turn out the way it has, we’d both punch you in the face because you are a LIAR! But alas, our relationship has changed drastically since we first began, and we’ve had to grieve the loss of what we wanted it to be and come to terms with the way it looks now. And that’s ok. Every relationship follows its own path, and ours is unique to our journey. We love each other deeply and are just as committed, if not MORE, than we first were. The tide is turning and things are looking much brighter now.

It’s been so hard for us for a number of reasons, none of which I will go into tons of detail here. But throw in a move to another state, new jobs, isolation, a ridiculous commute, and a chronic illness, and we got problems my friend. With traveling all the time for weddings and not having enough time to dedicate to our relationship, it’s been pretty bad in the sunshine state. It takes more work than most people realize to make a relationship really work, and I’m so thankful that we’re getting through this with not only our sanity intact, but a renewed sense of love and appreciation for each other.

When you say those vows through sickness and in health, just know that sickness can come at any time, not just when you’re really old and dementia sinks in. Most young people don’t have any clue how to keep a commitment going through an illness, one that really takes the life out of you without ever coming close to killing you. It’s hard to complain when one of our closest friends is battling Stage 4 colorectal cancer and is not doing well at the moment. I mean, that’s a friggin illness. I can’t even imagine how difficult life must be for not only Jake, but his wife and family, trying to hard to be supportive and loving yet struggling for self-care and balance.

Seeing how bad this year has been, Timmy decided to make a move and take me on a trip this past weekend. Finally a vacation that has nothing to do with weddings! WAHOO! We went to New Orleans and it was a total blast. I’d never been, and never really had the urge to visit before, for no real reason in particular. But holy cow, am I so glad that Timmy booked it!

We arrived incredibly late on Friday night, and Saturday morning I woke up to what amounted to a migraine. I’ve never had migraines before, but if that was one, holy shit, I have a new sense of respect and sympathy for migraine sufferers. It was terrible, and not just because I felt like poop. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a planner. I was anxious already at the thought of having a wide open schedule. I’m not a spontaneous person by nature, so I need to know when things are happening, where, what time do they end, what’s the next thing, etc. Timmy hadn’t planned anything, and I was not really having the best time mentally dealing with that. But then, to wake up with the worst headache of my entire life, in a city that is ripe for exploring, well, I was devastated to say the least. What are we going to do now?? It’s central time, the sun is going down super early, and I couldn’t get out of bed until 1 PM.

Well thankfully, Timmy is of a completely different nature, one that is way more easy going than mine, so we ordered lunch room service, and chilled until I didn’t feel like beheading myself anymore. Took a cab downtown to the French Quarter, and walked. And walked. And walked some more. And I was happy. One of my favorite things to do in any city is to walk and see the sights. I’ve walked up to 9 miles before in one day, just taking in the city at a leisurely pace. It was delightful to do that in New Orleans, and we SCORED on the weather. It was amazing, slightly chilled air, but warm in the sun. Perfection.

And let’s not forget the delicious food. Oh the food. I’m not for one a big fan of Cajun food because I’m a ginormous baby and can’t eat spicy food. But seafood…I could live in seafood (that sentence makes no sense, but stick with me). God, the food was awesome. The drinking was fun on Bourbon St., but I’m a foodie, and this trip was def a success, food-wise. Oh yeah, and Bourbon St. was exactly what I expected, even though I didn’t know what to expect. Crazy stuff? Check. Loud drunk people? Check. Wedding Parades? EIGHT. The picture I took was at 6, and after that, I just drank until I didn’t care about the weddings following us around the globe. LEAVE US ALONE!

We also got to run into some of my favorite people on the face of the earth, Austin and his buddies celebrating Labat’s 30th. Remember Austin? Greatest wedding reception dance battle of all time?

Labat's 30th and other shenanigans

Labat’s 30th and other shenanigans

Mr. Monogamy and myself

And we had the best time ever. Holy cow, they went balls to the walls, we were just trying to keep up. Poor Austin. He doesn’t drink alcohol, he’s definitely the pickiest eater on the face of the earth, and they made him go to NOLA. What a good friend. 🙂 I’m not only amazed that we were able to meet up with them on vacation, but we also stayed out until nearly 3 AM. So goes it on Bourbon St.

Sunday, we decided to change it up and do something a little outside the box. We rented electric hybrid bikes and it was THE GREATEST IDEA EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. I’m not joking, go do this now. We rented from It’s Easy NOLA for the day and got the best recommendation from fast-talking Nikki. We rode down Esplanade and saw the most beautiful houses; the whole area had a very San Francisco vibe, which I didn’t expect and of course loved. We rode through a beautiful NOLA cemetery, which Timmy informed me that all the graves are entombed above ground because NOLA is at sea level and they can’t dig underground for burials. The more you know.

We rode about 2 miles down to City Park, which was one of the biggest surprises ever. I’ve never heard one person ever talk about City Park when they visit NOLA, and let me tell you, they should. This park was HUGE, with a lake and paddle boat rentals, tons of trails and greenery, a railroad for kiddies, a museum and tons of sculptures throughout, and an amusement park. Yeah, you read that right. An amusement park. We had the greatest time biking around, and stopped at Santa Fe Cafe on the way back. I didn’t take any pictures because I was in it to win it, people. It was by far one my favorite days ever, and definitely the best part of the entire trip.

Side note: we took one of the funniest pictures we’ve ever taken during this trip, in our opinion, that kind of backfired on us. Timmy and I of course are privy to many engagement photo albums on FB these days, and they all have the same few pictures in common: field pictures, railroad track pictures, brick wall pictures, and covered bridge pictures. Not that there’s anything wrong with these pictures, in fact they’re super pretty. But once you’ve seen 15 of them, it starts to get a tad bit unoriginal. While walking around Jackson Square towards the Mississippi, we crossed these tracks, and I told Timmy, “Hey look, railroad tracks! Let’s take engagement pictures!” And we both died laughing and took a selfie with the same caption, thinking everyone would get the sarcastic humor.

not an engagement picture. We repeat, not an engagement picture.

not an engagement picture. We repeat, not an engagement picture.

Nope, didn’t work. Timmy’s phone started BLOWING UP with congratulatory messages. Apparently, no one stopped to think whether or not we’d actually ever announce our engagement that way. I mean, we might because we’re silly, but no, that wasn’t our engagement. We were just making fun of people, and it didn’t go the way we planned. Karma I guess, if karma was kind of lame.

So thanks to Timmy for planning an amazing trip that had no actual plans in it, which was the most refreshing change of pace for me. I love you, you are the best and I look forward to loving more trips with you in the future!

♥, VB

Why I’m the Best Girlfriend in the History of Ever, Reason #401

That title sounds a bit conceited right? Whatever. If Timmy ever decides he would like to participate in our blog and write about things that tickle his fancy, he can also post about what makes him amazing and the best partner in bed the whole wide world. But until then, it’s gonna be me (just like ‘NSync said).

I was in Atlanta last weekend for my dad’s 65th birthday and Mother’s Day. Low-key weekend, nothing really to report. We drank a lot at my dad’s dinner at Capital Grille, and my mom may have screamed something about cutting someone’s balls off REALLY LOUDLY, but my memory of the event is a little fuzzy, so who knows (actually, it was really loud and everyone turned to look at our table, but it was funny, and as we all know, laughs always trump other people’s comfort levels).

On Saturday, my mom and I walked around Virginia Highlands for a bit and window shopped and actual shopped. We stopped into a store that I’d been wanting to go in forever, but seeing as I don’t own a home to decorate, going to a home decor store is always a bit torturous for me. We browsed through pretty shabby chic items until I saw the one. It was the most amazing item I’ve seen in a long, long time. I knew I had to have it, immediately, no matter the cost (that’s a joke, I’m pretty poor, so cost always matters). But I didn’t want it for me. No, no. I needed it for Timmy.

After much anticipation, we finally got to see each other when I came home Sunday evening. I was too tired and hungry to remember the gift, which sat alone and unseen in my suitcase. Monday morning rolled around, and I still forgot it was there. When I got home from work last night, I started to unpack my bags and there it was. The Gift. I got giddy with excitement all over again and waited for Timmy to return from playing with Floyd at our dog park.

AN HOUR LATER, they arrived, sweaty, thirsty, and smelly. It didn’t matter however because it was time. Time to give the gift. I handed the purple bag to him and waited for the reaction of a lifetime. Here’s a picture timeline of how this gift-giving occurred:

Gift in hand, unsure in this unknown territory

Gift in hand, unsure of this unknown territory

Initial reaction is disgust, but waiting for the clouds to part and the light bulb to turn on

Initial reaction is disgust, but waiting for the clouds to part and the light bulb to turn on

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I Want to Go to There

I am one of those people that’s a complete sucker for dorky touristy adventures. I will never say no to a good, cliche amusement park or museum. Since we live in Lakeland, the home of Publix, we have been told by numerous people that there is a Publix museum. Dedicated to the wonder of Publix obviously, but I’m so freaking excited to go to it. I don’t know what will be on display, but I nevertheless will be amused by whatever’s in there.

Yet there is one place that is on the top of my list to visit. No, not Disney, or Universal, or even Busch Gardens (though believe me, that one’s in the top 5). Everyday, on my way to and from work, I pass this place. When I say my heart starts to beat faster and my mind races with ideas of how much freaking fun I will have by stepping through the doors, I wholeheartedly mean it. It happens everytime I drive by it, and my curiosity just grows and grows and grows. Judge me if you will, I couldn’t care less. I LIVE for places like this.

In case you didn't believe it existed

I’m not kidding. Picture proof in case you didn’t believe it existed.

Now can you imagine my excitement?!?! This place looks freakin amazing! OMG. I can’t wait. Timmy and I are heading there the first chance we get.

♥, VB