Wednesdays With Walt: ZTA does Disney

Two of my favorite things in one place; my sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha and Disney. Oh be still my heart. I can’t help but do a little happy dance. IMG_0829.JPG

It’s a Way Back Wednesday with Walt- join me as I reminisce on my latest Walt Disney World trip with two of my ZTA Sisters during our National Conference in Orlando this July. IMG_0991.JPG

The three of us girls were like kids in a candy store as we arrived at the Magic Kingdom for the Rope Drop and our day at the Happiest Place On Earth. It had been years for both AM and EB since they had last been to Magic Kingdom. The girls used their favorite Key To The World Travel Planner for their One-Day Base Park Ticket and at our 30 day countdown mark I had our Fast Passes booked for three of the park’s busiest rides: Peter Pan’s Flight, Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

On our todo list? EVERYTHING, but first we were off to get Mickey Ears and meet the main mouse himself! PicTapGo-Image-8.jpg

We rode almost every ride in Magic Kingdom and sampled (almost) every Instagramable snack. Dole Whips, check! Hey, it’s fruit! It makes a for a healthy Disney Breakfast, right? IMG_1031.JPG

A mid-afternoon Frozen Mickey, check! The perfect sweet treat to help you cool off while standing in line at Haunted Mansion. IMG_2364.JPG

It wouldn’t be a TOY STORY LAND Grand Opening celebration without Toy Story Cookie-dough Pops before boarding our rocket ship and taking off with Buzz to fight the evil Emperor Zurg! IMG_0854.JPG

I am sure you know, Orlando is brutally hot in July. To help us break up the day and refresh a bit, since we were “rope dropping and never stopping,” I got us lunch reservations at Jungle Navigation Skipper Canteen. It is a must for a long day at Magic Kingdom and my FAVORITE in the park restaurant. We shared the S.E.A. Shu Mai, Orinoco Ida’s Cachapas, Perkins Thai Noodles (my favorite- they are spicy), and Falls Family Falafel. We also tried, but is not pictured, “Tastes like Chicken” Because it is!

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Before we knew it, our day at the Magic Kingdom was quickly coming to an end. PicTapGo-Image-10.jpg

After lunch we took in a few more rides, danced to the Move-it-Shake-it Parade down Main Street U.S.A. and made sure to see the Happily Ever After Fireworks before making our way back to the Transportation and Ticket Center and head home.

See…even at 32 without kids Disney World can be a magical and I’d love to help you plan your vacation just like I did for AM and EB! Shoot us a message and I’ll be happy to get you on your way to the Happiest Place On Earth!

See You Real Soon!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers Y’all!

Adam & Holly, but mostly Holly

PS: Remember, we’re newlyweds, not experts!

Tuesday Travels: Ciao Italia

A little over a month ago Adam had the grand idea for a Newly Newlywed Adventure. We began our search of where the road- or friendly skies- would take us. Originally, our plan was to return to Hawaii. IMG_1426.JPG

The Big Island and Kauai were still on our Wish List, but with the recent volcano eruption (and taking a helitour over the volcano was a “must do”) we opted to save that vacation for another time.

We spend days researching. Toyed with Iceland, Africa and Australia. It wasn’t until I put my Key To The World Travel Travel Planner skills to the test and happened to find a fantastic deal to Italy, we just couldn’t pass up.

So, with three weeks until take-off the planning began! Once we decided on Italy, we were both craving Italian food. Naturally, we had to have our “planning meetings” at Antico Pizza Napoletana. (AKA: The BEST pizza in Atlanta!) IMG_0394.JPG

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Unlike most of our vacations, this trip was very unplanned. Besides knowing where we were staying, we had no other set plans.  [I’ll just go ahead and put it out there…Being the planner that I am, I did a really good job with being flexible. Just ask Adam.}

July 3, 2018 our bags were packed and we said arrivederci to the USA onboard a Delta PINK RIBBON Plane. IMG_1054.JPG

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We flew in style- Delta One -for our first 8 hour leg of the trip to Amsterdam. Such fun cheers-ing to vacation and our time away! Our cabin mates just happened to be The Mingos and their entourage. After a 4 hour layer over in Amsterdam, a short 1.5 hour KLM flight and two landing attempts later (the Florence runway is quite small) we arrived in Italy about noon local time on July 4th. IMG_2244.JPG

We grabbed our luggage and headed to the Rental Car Center…that’s right, you read that correctly. We decided to rent a car and drive in Italy! That was an adventure in itself!

{Travel Tip: BE CAREFUL if you decide to rent a car internationally. Even though we used Enterprise and booked the car in advance, they tried to over charge us and cut our days on the rental. Thankfully Adam had copies of the agreement stored in his E-Mail and I had printed copies with me.  Slightly stressful, but we survived and so glad we ended up having a vehicle to get around. Also, keep in mind the rental car center is made up primarily of trailers all on gravel roads. It can be a bit of a work out pulling your luggage to and from your car.}

Two bags full of clothes, two over sized wine suitcases and 4 carry on bags later the Newly Newlyweds were ready to hit the road and head to our first stop, Borgo Argenina. A truly magical Bed & Breakfast we cannot wait to tell you all about!

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Follow along our Italian Adventure over the next days and weeks to come. We’re so looking forward to reminiscing to our time in Italy as we share it with y’all! We can’t wait to return to the beauty of Tuscany someday.

Until next time, we hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers Y’all!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re newlyweds, not experts!

Throwback Thursday: Travels with Thelma & Louise Finale

Mom and I have traveled 12+ hours, over four and half states to the GREAT State. Up to Oklahoma and now we’re on the final leg of our Throwback Thursday Thelma & Louise Summer shenanigans!

After taking in all that Pawhuska, OK had to offer Mert, Louise and I took the road back to Tulsa for the night. For the short amount of time we spent in the city, we had a fantastic time and would love to go back! I was so surprised at all the unique shopping and little restaurants.

We spent the night at the Hard Rock Tulsa to do a little gambling! Before we tried to hit it big, we explored downtown Tulsa for supper. We found a great little Mexican/Taco spot called El Guapo’s. IMG_7517.jpeg

Y’all their Margaritas are spot on! So delicious! They have one named “The Horny Toad,” you know the three of us TCU Frog Fans just had to give it a try! IMG_7520.jpegWe had great service at the bar and the food was great! We started with stuffed jalapeños  with a homemade ranch dipping sauce. Y’all they were to-die-for! I would go back for those alone! I had some sort of semi-healthy grilled pork dish with grilled mexican corn. Ah! My mouth is watering just thinking about it! Guess we have to go back! IMG_7523.jpegIMG_7524.jpeg

Sadly, we didn’t win BIG money or any money that is at the Hard Rock Tulsa Casino, so we packed our bags and headed back to the GREAT STATE. The next day Mom and I said goodbye to our travel partner, Big Mert and hit the road for Waco.

{Ok, I know what all of our TCU friends are thinking right now. You know the only reason we would go to Waco is to 1) See TCU beat Baylor or 2) To get our DIY Fixer Upper on and check out the Magnolia Market at the Silos!}

Waco is just a few hours from the Big MP and since we were in no rush to get back to Georgia Mom and I decided to add a little adventure to our Thelma & Louise trip. We would visit Waco, maybe head to Houston to catch up with friends, maybe stay the night and eventually start our trip back to the Peach State. If you’re heading to Waco from Dallas a stop at Slovacek’s, a Czech bakery and gift shop is a MUST! They are known for their Czech kolaches. Best things ever! They are yeast-risen rounds of dough topped with fruit filling or in this case savory sausages. Is your tummy rumbling like mine right now? IMG_7573.jpeg

After stopping for a snack and a little shopping we finally made it to the Magnolia Market!!! IMG_7582.jpeg

No signs of Chip or Jo and it was packed of course! We didn’t take into consideration that it was July 4th weekend and everyone was off work- whoops! Poor planning on our part, but we had a great time anyways! We snapped a few photos, met new friends, toured the grounds, tried a few food trucks and did a little {more} shopping! IMG_7594.jpeg

Just like that we were back in car {imagine that} and on the road to Houston! No trip to the GREAT STATE would be complete without a stop at Buc-ee’s! IMG_7595.jpeg

We may or may not have planned our drive around stopping at a location or two. What’s Buc-ee’s? Think glamorized gas station. What? Is that even possible? How about, the Walmart of gas stations? Ok, ok more like the Target of gas stations.

It probably sounds ridiculous, but unless you have stopped and shopped at a Buc-ee’s you have no idea! They have it all- literally! From branded Buc-ee products that everyone loves (get the Buc-ee Beaver Nuggets- just trust me) to brands like Mud Pie and Kamado Joe, you’ll find it at Buc-ee’s, not to mention all the super cute Texas stuff!

After a stop or two at Buc-ee’s we decided to pass over Houston and head towards Georgia and stopped in Baton Rouge for the night! (TG & I both love a good hotel.) Shout out to my @helihubby for being quick on his toes and scoring us a room at the Watermark Hotel. In LOVE! It was a great location and such a trendy hotel. We got in late, ordered room service and hit the bed! IMG_7609.jpeg

Before hitting the road and rolling out of BR we did a quick swing by the Campus of LSU and the ZTA House. Of course I just had to get a picture! IMG_7655.JPG

We made a few stops along the way since we took a different route home and not our usual I-20, but opted to forgo the grand adventure to get back to Atlanta in time for the Braves July 4th Game! IMG_7642.JPG

Lordy! Are you exhausted? I am just thinking about all that driving and what a jam packed day it was! Just like that my Throwback Thursday Thelma & Louise stories have come to a close, for now anyways! It’ll be hard to top last year and all of our shenanigans, but I have no doubt whatever Mom and I get into this Summer it’ll be just as fun! I’m so lucky to have a Mom that is not only my Mom, but my best friend. We may drive each other crazy sometimes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way and I am so thankful for our summers and time we get to spend together. Love you TG!

Do you have an Annual Mother-Daughter trip? I’d love to hear your stories! We’re always looking for new places to go and things to do – brownie points if they are in Texas! Thanks for coming along on our adventures! Stay tuned for more heading your way this Summer!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

(Mostly Holly & Mom this time)

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!

 

 

Tuesday Travels: Girls Trip!

Sorry @HeliHubby, but you’re not invited on this impromptu Girls Trip!

Two weeks ago I bought a plane ticket, packed my suitcase and decided to set sail with my best girlfriend and Sorority Sister on my first Royal Caribbean Cruise to Key West and Nassau!

Why you ask? Why not? Ann Marie was on Winter Break from school, Adam was on-call and would be working late every night, so the two of us decided to take a little long weekend “Mardi Gras” themed Girls Getaway!

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DIY Surprise: All the staples you’d need on a Cruise for our Mardi Gras themed getaway! 

Samson spent the week at his Tonna and Buddy’s. Adam was wife and puppy free! Don’t let him fool you! He was loving “his” time while I was sailing the seas!

We flew Delta from ATL to FLL and used Uber to get us to the Miami Port. It’s so much cheaper flying into Fort Lauderdale than Miami and the Uber ride was less than $40 each way. We got to port around 10am and only waited about 20 minutes before we could get on our ship, The Empress of the Seas.

When on vacation it’s always cocktail time! We wasted no time finding a spot on the ship  to sit and sip while we waited for our room. IMG_5737.jpeg

Obviously, our room was the cutest on the entire ship! Laissez les bons temps rouler y’all! We were ready to let the good times roll on this girls getaway!

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We spent the day checking out the ship. EOTS is the oldest in the Royal Caribbean fleet. It is a smaller boat, but was nice to get the lay of the sea quickly. The main areas have recently been updated, but the rooms were very outdated.  We waved Bon Voyage to Miami and like the old women we are, went to bed before 8! {Hey now, getting up at 3am for a flight and traveling all day will do that to you! Besides we couldn’t wait to see what towel animal we got!}

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Day 2:

We docked in Key West on schedule. We had breakfast at the main buffet full of all sorts of options- you could be healthy if you want or load up on all the pastries. They had someone making omelets to order and were more than willing to help make my meal as Whole30 Compliant as possible. Afterwards we hopped off the boat and went to do a little site seeing. We visited Mallory Square to see the Kissing Couple and The Southern Most Point in the US. {Everything in Key West is the “Southern Most.” You’ll see it everywhere when you go.} IMG_5768.jpegIMG_5862.JPG

If you’ve not been to Key West before, Duval Street is the main street in town. It’s full of shopping, restaurants, night life, art galleries and touristy gimmicks like coconut water that I just had to have!

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Duval Street reminds me of New York City. It is the Street that doesn’t sleep! When you’re out and about shopping check out The Spice & Tea Exchange. It’s a franchise store, but each location has speciality teas and spices specific to their store. Since I starting getting into loose leaf teas in December, it has become a favorite store! This location has a Creme Brûlée tea you’ve got to try it! Oh-so good!

Everyone loves Kermit’s Key Lime Store. Pop in for a sample or a Key Lime Pie on a Stick! Everything in the store is made with Key Limes. They are proud of their products. There are a ton of touristy gift shops around town that sell similar items at a lower cost, just so you know! If you have time, pop into The Key West Rum Distillery. I was on a #Whole30 and didn’t do any sampling, but we did come home with a few surprises for the boys from here. They offer tours, tastings and all sorts of products. I will say the staff was not the friendliest, so be prepared! Just down from the Distillery is a great Lilly Pulitzer store and we all know how AM and I love our Lilly! Our favorite find {and where I did the most damage} in Key West was Antica Sartoria. Y’all this store is the cutest! We had the best customer service and such fun shopping in the store. They only have 4 locations and some of the most unique pieces. They are on the higher price end, but so worth it! You will not find another person with the same outfit as you! I got the most adorable *camo* top– LOVE! Holly in camo? Who would have thought?

After shopping and being tourists we headed back to the ship to work on our tan before sailing away to Nassau!IMG_5861.JPG

The Crew of Empress of the Seas is phenomenal. Yes or Yes? I know, I really don’t have another Cruise to compare it to, but in general compared to other hotels and experiences, they were great! Hugo, the Cruise Director, was full of life and personality. Always entertaining!

We did the My Time Dining and ended up having Milton and Wimbo as our servers in the main dining room. What a great team! They were so nice- my water glass was never empty and when we couldn’t decide which dessert we wanted to try, they brought them all to us! After supper we went to the nightly show before heading to bed for our big day in the Bahamas!

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Day 3:

We were at sea all day and arrived in Nassau that evening for a surprise overnight. All the crew that we spoke with suggested we stay on board the ship that night as Nassau can be a bit dangerous. If the boys were with us, we might have explored a bit, but since it was just us two we were just fie staying on the boat. Good call!

The nighttime entertainment was fantastic. Vegas Showman, Tony Tillman, is quite an entertainer! He came out in a sparkly suit and y’all the man sings, dances, tells jokes, he does it all! It is a show for all ages- even the kids. I’d go see him again! The second show was an adult comedian. He was hilarious! Definitely for the adult audience, but really funny! Both Adam and David would have liked him. Next time boys…

Day 4:

Nassau did not disappoint! We started the morning heading to the Queen’s Stairs in the Fort Fincastle Historic Complex in Nassau. Sixty-five stairs made of solid limestone rock around 1793 and provided a direct route from Fort Fincastle to Nassau City. It is free to visit the area and is a quick walk from the port. (We walked along side others from the ship and felt relatively safe. You walk through neighborhoods and passed a hospital to get there.) The Fort itself is very small, but has some of the best views of the city you will find. It was about $3/person. The area is surrounded by local vendors and “tour guides” that tell you about the Fort for a donation.

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We walked by the Straw Market, but did not do much shopping there. Everything was the same and haggling with the vendors is just not fun. We headed to the Duty Free shops instead! The main street off the port is full of Duty Free stores like David Yurman, Kate Spade, Gucci, you name it and they probably have it. AM and I took full advantage of our shopping opportunities! We were just saving the boys money!

Our trip flew by! We had such a good time! We had one last meal in the main dining area with Wimbo and Milton. They save the best for last- Lobster tails were on the menu and were oh-so delicious! The boys took care of us bringing us out an extra…or two and even cut it out of the shell for us! We even got a little Dining entertainment with a dance from the staff.

Just like that we awoke to the Port of Miami. Getting off the boat and going through customs was a breeze. No line. No wait. It was a great experience. Finding the Uber pick-up location was a bit chaotic, but overall not bad. I would do it again!

I am missing the sun and the ocean breeze, aren’t you? Such a great time with a great friend and the most perfect weather for a little weekend getaway! Can not say enough great things about the Ship’s Staff and the cruising experience. Guess it is time to book our next trip! Maybe the boys will be invited this time!

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Are you an avid cruiser? Share your tips and tricks with us! We are foodies and I have to say I was a little disappointed in the food…it was just ok. Tell us your favorite cruise lines and why- we want all the details y’all!

Signing off for now! Time to pack up and get ready for our next trip…DISNEY! Tune in next Tuesday for a little Disney fun!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlyed moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!