A Vacation Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This

12 Jan

My mom and I had a little slumber party at my house on Thursday night and woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on Friday morning at 2:30am in order to get the airport by 5 for our 7am flight.

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I never travel without Ella! (Ok, there was that trip to HLS without her, but that’s it)

Unfortunately, we were stuck on the runway for quite some time for a good de-icing and the auto pilot was not working. They had to “reboot” the plane, and then we were off!

We arrived in sunny, beautiful Orlando and were quickly bussed over to our resort, the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek! If you remember, I was asked to review the resort on the blog and was therefore given a complimentary stay!

As soon as we arrived, we were told by the front desk that we had been upgraded to the “parlor suite”. My mom and I both got so excited! I was handed a gym bag filled with a water bottle and fanny pack filled with Powerbar products, a benefit to all marathon weekend guests at the Hilton. I also received a resort newsletter customized for the runners, including where to dine for pre-race dinners. We were checking in early, so we dropped off our bags with the bellmen and headed to the bus stop to catch a bus to Magic Kingdom.

We were both very happy to see they had left some of the Christmas decorations up!

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We were starving, so we bee-lined it to our favorite quick service restaurant, Columbia Harbor House. I enjoyed a tuna sandwich, and Mom got the fried shrimp. Since we both have rarely ridden the Carousel, that was our first stop after lunch!

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We didn’t have much time before we had to make our way back to the Transportation and Ticket Center to catch the bus back to the resort, so we checked out The Laughing Room for the first time, which ended up being a complete hoot!

The bus arrived right on time… which actually ended up being a trend during our entire stay. It was completely predictable!

We had dinner reservations at Kouzzina at the Boardwalk Inn, so we headed back to the hotel where we were pleasantly surprised to find our room ready.

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The room included a small fridge, perfect for storing my Gatorade and Muscle Milk. The bedroom and suite both had flat-screen TVs and coffee makers.

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My mom’s reaction to the suite next to the bedroom was priceless. She kept saying “you don’t mean it!!!” To say we were both extremely happy with our accommodations would be an understatement.

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The suite also featured another bathroom, which was very convenient so we could both get ready at the same time!

I was treated with a tall yogurt parfait and a chocolate-covered strawberry!

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Check out our view from the 10th floor!

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We could see the Tower of Terror, the Swan and Dolphin, Mount Everest, and the Sorcerer’s hat from our room!

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After swooning over our room for a while, we changed and headed out to the Boardwalk Inn to have dinner at Kouzzina. Now, as with Disney transportation, the Hilton also doesn’t offer transportation directly to Disney resorts, so we chose to take a town car there. Who doesn’t love showing up at a luxury hotel in a town car?!

From Disney’s website:

In Greece, the Kouzzina is the Kitchen — and now you can savor celebrity chef Cat Cora’s time-honored Mediterranean family recipes and personal favorites as her casual family restaurant on Disney’s BoardWalk comes alive through the sights, sounds and aromas of its fabulous open kitchen.

Discover these creative and flavorful dishes, cooked to order in the Kouzzina’s wood-burning grill and oak-fired ovens:

  • Oak-grilled steak and pork
  • Greek spinach pie (spanakopita)
  • Lamb
  • Fresh seasonal seafood
  • Calamari
  • Greek salad

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We shared a spinach pie and a hummus sampler, and we each had a side of orzo.

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After dinner, we made the short walk to the backside of Epcot with an hour or so to spare before Illuminations would begin. It’s my favorite fireworks display at Disney because it’s the one I remember most as a kid. We picked a great viewing spot and sat there for about an hour before the show began. It was spectacular as always!

When we came back to the resort, we noticed this sign in the hotel lobby. Yay!

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It was time to get all snuggled in to our amazing Hilton Serenity beds!

Come back later for my expo recap with an old friend, the race recap, and more fun at the Hilton!

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5 Responses to “A Vacation Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This”

  1. FruitFly January 12, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

    What a way to start a magical vacation!! I can’t wait to see how the rest of the trip went!

  2. Caren January 12, 2011 at 9:37 pm #

    It sounds great and the hotel looks BEAUTIFUL! I have been so excited to read your recaps… bring ’em on! Was that restaurant “Spoodles” at some point? It looks very familiar but I know I never ate a Greek place at Boardwalk.

  3. Tiffany January 13, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    It looks like you had a great time! I cannot wait to read your race report.

  4. Emily January 13, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

    Yay for good bus magic!! I’m glad they still had Christmas decorations up – I loved the Nutcrackers. Your suite looks amazing! Can’t wait to read more.

  5. karly January 13, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

    HI there! So glad you had an amazing trip and are looking forward to your next big run!

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