Tuesday Travels: Galaxy’s Edge Preview Review

So can we just talk about Disney’s Annual Pass Holder Preview of Galaxy’s Edge?

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One of the coolest experiences I’ve had at Walt Disney World! I can’t believe OPENING DAY is almost here! It seems just like yesterday they were announcing the new land and now, in two days it will be open to the public!

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I had the opportunity as a Walt Disney World Annual Passholder to preview Galaxy’s Edge, the new Star Wars themed land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios last week. Y’all it was amazing!

Let’s be honest…I know absolutely nothing about Star Wars. {Ekk! Yes I know! Star Wars super fans, please don’t hate me.} Having no allegiance to a particular film and having no knowledge of the franchise, I still really enjoyed the new land.

When you enter Galaxy’s Edge you head to a Galaxy far, far away to the land of Batuu.

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You will be greeted by Cast Members with the salutation “Bright Suns” or “Rising Moons.” Expect cast members to greet the day with a cheery “Bright suns!” In the evening, a more sedate “Rising moon.”

Once in Batuu there are three different villages guests can experience. The Castmembers in Galaxy’s Edge are residents of Batuu and are skilled at “staying in character.” If you ask them for things like, “Where is Toy Story Land” or ” Where can I get a Mickey Pretzel?” you will not get the answer you are looking for as they will remain in character and since they are residents of Batuu they have no knowledge of these things. If you spot a Cast Member roaming around, ask them a question and learn their story of how they arrived at Batuu. It is a full immersive experience.

The Market Place is an open-air collection of stores and restaurants in the center of Black Spire Outpost filled with “handmade” Star Wars merchandise.

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Guests can build their own Droid at the Droid Depot. These customized droids start at about $100. Star Wars fans can also build their own Lightsabers at Savi’s Workshop. These handbuilt lightsabers offer guests the experience to assemble their own version of the iconic weapon for $199.99.

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The cuisine in Galaxy’s Edge is very unique- you will not find Mickey Pretzels or Frozen Lemonade here. There are two quick service dining options in Batuu, Ronto Roasters and Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo. Ronto Roasters is a Marketplace restaurant offering grilled sausage and pork wraps. I had the Ronto Wrap, a pita filled with roasted pork, grilled pork sausage drizzled with a Peppercorn sauce and topped with tangy slaw. It was delicious! It’s a great value for $12.99 and easily filled me up.

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Docking Bay 7 has a variety of food from around the galaxy. They offer Breakfast items as well as a full day menu. I just tried a dessert, the Batuu-Bon and oh my gosh y’all was it delicious! Melt in your mouth good! It was a chocolate cake, white chocolate mousse, coffee custard dessert. For $6.99 it was a stunning presentation and so yummy!

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I didn’t make it to Oga’s Cantina for a cocktail or the Milk Stand for a legendary glass of Blue or Green Milk. I wanted to save both of those spots for when HeliHubby gets to go with me.

Now, lets talk about Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.

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The ride has regular standby, Fast Pass and two Single rider lines which is fantastic! This is by far the most immersive, life like ride at Walt Disney World. A group of 6 guests board the Millennium Falcon and work together to fly it. Each rider as a duty while onboard the ship and depending on how your team works together will depend on how your flight experience goes. The best spot to be in is the Pilot- you have an up close, forward facing experience to the screen. The other four guests in your party have a blocked view of the screen and personally I found it really distracting that I had to look to my left or right to push buttons during flight. You have to watch for buttons to light up and you end up missing a lot of what is going on during the flight on the screen. It is so incredibly life like.

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If you are a Star Wars fan or not, a visit to Galaxy’s Edge is a MUST! The land opens to the public in just TWO DAYS on August 29th. Guests staying on Walt Disney World property will have special Extra Magic Hours from September 1 to November 2 from 6-9 a.m.

Who’s going on Opening Day?

Thank you Disney for this fantastic preview experience! It is one for the books that I will never forget!

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

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: Borgo Argenina

Welcome to Borgo Argenina, a truly magical stone estate in the hills of Chianti. IMG_2414.JPGIMG_2419.JPG

Visiting Borgo Argentina was an experience like no other and my absolute favorite part of our Newly Newlywed Italian Adventure. The 998 AD Peasant Farmer home had been abandoned for years when, now owner, Elena Nappa, discovered the property while on a holiday from Milan. A former fashion designer, Elena quickly fell in love with the estate. She knew in her heart it was a calling for her to restore the hamlet into a stunning seven room Bed & Breakfast and that is exactly what she did. Her story of how she transformed this property without electricity and running water into a fully functioning Bed and Breakfast is really remarkable. IMG_2416.JPG

Adam and I drove from Florence to the Chianti hamlet. Passing thousands of grape vines and olive trees, around curvy bends, narrowingly escaping head on collisions with Italian drivers and through the rolling hills to get to Elena’s. Upon arrival at Borgo Argenina we were greeted by Elena’s four-legged friends, Giuseppina and Pasqualina along with other guests who were sitting on the grand stone patio, enjoying a glass of vino taking in the sunset over Chianti. IMG_2420.JPG

“Welcome! You must be new! Elena is upstairs in the Kitchen.” one guest said. Instantly we were family.

Our journey at Borgo Argenina began as we passed the bell to ring for Elena if you arrive after hours and opened the original wooden double doors adorned with iron locks and handles. IMG_2415.JPG

Once inside the main house, up the narrow stone stairway with one tiny window over looking the garden, we found Elena, tooting around her kitchen. IMG_2433.JPG

“Ah! Bella! Benvenuto! I’ve been expecting you! Fett, si?” Elena asked.

She grabbed the keys and escorted us to the Piccola Suite, our home for the next four days. We had a quaint sitting room adjacent to our bedroom, an attached private bath and views of the rolling Chianti Hills and Elena’s garden. PicTapGo-Image-5.jpg

Each room is equip with a mini bar and tea kettle that is refreshed daily, wifi and a hairdryer. (Yay! One less thing to pack!) There is no air conditioning at Borgo Argenina, thankfully, even during the Summer months the nights were cool and a flowing breeze filled our room. Elena took us downstairs, showed us the Parlor and Breakfast Room before heading outside.PicTapGo-Image-2.jpgIMG_2434.JPGIMG_2423.JPGIMG_2422.JPG

After a tour of our suite and parts of the property we sat down with Elena on the stone patio outside. She shared some of her favorite places in Tuscany with us over a glass of wine. PicTapGo-Image.jpg

We chatted for what felt like hours of friends catching up before we realized the time and that we were late for a supper reservation she made for us at Giorgio’s. We will share that experience with y’all a little later. Delizioso!

Every morning, Borgo Argenina guests are greeting to a beautiful breakfast spread prepared by two of Elena’s three employees. On the daily menu: Fresh Coffee, homemade Yogurt, local meats, cheeses and honey, fresh fruit, and varieties of Elena’s Coffee Cake.  PicTapGo-Image-3.jpgPicTapGo-Image-1.jpgPicTapGo-Image-4.jpg

Elena also invites her guests to a nightly Cooking Class at Borgo Argenina. If you’re staying with her, this is a MUST! It was by far the best food we had during our time in Italy and if she had extra room we would have taken the class a second time! Each guest is gifted with her Borgo Argenina Cookbook-filled with Elena’s family recipes and traditional Italian dishes. The time we spent in the kitchen with Elena and other guests was a highlight of our trip. Pop over next Monday to see what was on our Menu! IMG_1196.JPG

Y’all, I really can not express how much HeliHubby and I enjoyed our time at Borgo Argenina. It is in a perfect location to be a “home base” for Montepulciano, Volterra, Siena and more little Tuscan Wine towns. It’s truly an enchanting, one of a kind Italian escape. Elena is absolutely wonderful. She is warm, welcoming and lovely. We felt like we had known her for years and yet we just met. Leaving we all three got a bit teary eyed as we said our “goodbyes.” I don’t know when the Newly Newlyweds will get to return to Chianti to visit Elena, but I do know HeliHubby and I both left a piece of our hearts in Tuscany at Borgo Argenina. It is just magical.

If you’re considering a Tuscan Vacation I highly reccomened you consider Borgo Argenina as your home. Have questions about the hamlet or want help planning your vacation? Feel free to message us- I am happy to help! PicTapGo-Image-7.jpg

Fino all prossima volta, 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!

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: Girls Weekend in the Great State

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Unless your a resident of the Lone Star State, I have a inkling you’ve not. Fun Fact! Fredericksburg is the 5th largest wine producer in the US! Cheers y’all!

Last weekend Aunt Tina and I surprised Mom with {another} 60th Birthday Celebration! She knew she was heading to the GREAT STATE with two of her favorite people, but little did she know all the surprises we had in store!

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We told her to pack her bags- we were heading to Texas! Friday morning we were wheels up for Texas, flying from Atlanta to San Antonio. We picked up our rental car and I played Uber driver for our 57 mile commute to our VRBO rental in Kerrville. (About 25 minutes from downtown Fredericksburg.) Mom just couldn’t wrap her head around WHY we had to rent a house if it was just the three of us. Even though we told her it was cheaper than staying in town and probably a lot nicer than the local Holiday Express Motel.

This home was stunning y’all and Erin, the owner, was fantastic to work with. The house was updated and the views were spectacular- the rolling Texas hills made us feel like we were up in the hills of Hollywood. The Master Bathroom had a walk-in shower with three, yes THREE, shower heads! Don’t get me started on the backyard with the fire pit, outdoor kitchen and  infinity pool- absolutely breathtaking y’all! Highly recommend this property if you’re heading to Fredericksburg for any occasion! Wish we could have spent more time there!

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The real reason we needed a larger house? It was not going to be just the three of us spending the weekend together hopping around tasting wine. We were spending the weekend with a few of our favorite Texas women- sorority sisters, family, friends from fifth grade and friends that are like family! SURPRISE TG!

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Friday Night was spent with guests arriving sporadically surprising Mom. Catching up, laughing like school girls and of course cheers-ing to our Birthday Girl!

Saturday we got up bright and early to hit the Texas Wine Trail! We used The 290 Wine Shuttle Company, which was fantastic! They charter guests around to 13 local wineries for a very reasonable fee. It was so nice not having to worry about calling an Uber or having a one of the girls miss the fun and play Designated Driver.

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We started at Barons Creek for a quick tasting of five or six varieties.

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They have a huge tasting room, complete with multiple private rooms, a lovely back garden space and gift shop. The Viognier was one of our favorites from the tasting- it has ripe apricot and delicate lemon zest flavors combination in this delicious Texas Viognier. This wine has a long, creamy finish. It’s a fantastic companion for shrimp or lobster with butter sauce.

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Mom also really enjoyed their Muscat Canelli, a deliciously sweet and balanced wine bursting with flavors of peach, honeydew and a hint of grapefruit. It is a perfect aperitif on a warm day but you can also pair it with fruit salad or Thai cuisine. That has her name all over it!

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From Barons Creek we had a short wait for the 290 Bus and headed to Grape Creek: The Tuscany of the South.

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Grape Creek is a local favorite. The property was beautiful! You really did feel like you were in Tuscany! The tasting area was VERY crowded and on weekends they do limit the number of guests per tasting groups. This vineyard was highly recommend, so we broke into small groups for tasting prior to our arrival. Our tasting experience was ok. Our guide was not full of that Southern Texas hospitality until I decide to sign up for their Wine Club. We had to wait over an over an our for a tasting, their restaurant was packed and the check-in station seemed a little frazzled and not able to give us real information the wait time, availability, etc. I wish the customer service experience as a little different because the wine was quite good. We ended up finding a spot to sit and share a bottle and a stunningly delicious charcuterie board together before heading to our final stop of the day.

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Our third winery was Fat Ass.

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Our favorite for the atmosphere! {With a name like Fat Ass, how could it not?}  It was such fun y’all! Very laid back, low key environment with a live band. So, so much fun! Their wine supply was down when we were there, but they make a wine slushy that went down way too easily! A perfect drink for Summer days. Definitely plan to stop by Fat Ass when you head to the Texas Wine Country! We had the best time!

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Whew! Feeling wined-up yet? Hang on and pop over next week for our Travel Tuesday series when we wrap up our weekend in the Wine Country!

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!

Wednesdays with Walt.

Welcome to Wednesdays with Walt.

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Can you think of a better way to spend a Wednesday? {Other than being at Walt Disney World of course!}

With the latest news from your favorite Newly Newlyweds announced earlier this week, we thought what better way to share our (Holly’s) joy and excitement for her newest endeavor!

“Wednesdays with Walt” will be just that. A weekly blog series about any and all things Walt Disney related. Watch for recaps of recent trips and restaurant reviews. We will of course, share some of our favorite tips and tricks along the way and answer any Disney related questions you may have! Who knows you may get a Walt Disney history lesson one day!

We look forward to you tuning next week Musketeers!

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Until then, we hope you’re enjoying your {Disney} Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are! Ta-Ta for now or  “TTYN” as Tigger would say!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

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

Monday’s Memory Maker: A Key To Our World

If you know HeliHubby and I through our blog or in real life, you have probably caught on to a few things about us.

We love to travel.

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I am quite the planner.

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I have a {healthy} love for Disney, that Adam is slowly starting to appreciate.

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If I was a betting lady (and I am) I’d bet in 2018, Adam and I have spent more nights in a hotel than in our own home. You tell us when and where and  bags are packed and we’re out the door! Traveling has always been a big part of our relationship. While we were on our first date we traveled to the Georgia/Alabama boarder, just so we could say we crossed the state line, knowing it would make for a good story later down the road. We took our first trip together to New York City after only knowing each other for three weeks.  Adam works in aviation, I used to be a flight attendant, we got engaged in a helicopter, arrived at our Wedding reception in the same one and y’all know we just added, “Elsa,” our 1967 Cessna 182 to our family.

83E96767-399E-49CA-95AB-688FABD15D71.jpegRoad Trips, plane rides, cruises, you name it. If we have an opportunity seek a new adventure, we go explore!

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Part of the traveling aspect I love the most is the planning. Researching the cities we’re visiting, finding the local favorites, best restaurants and things to see. I do it all! I’ve always been an organizer and planner. From planning Sorority functions to being hired for private event planning jobs, vacations for Adam and I or for family and friends. I am always planning. Don’t get me wrong, not ALL things are planned. We are semi-spontainous when we travel and in daily life. We do however, try our best to maximize our time while on vacation and planning correctly is a big part of that.

Since October I have gone to Disney World at least once a month. (The benefits of living within driving distance and having an Annual Pass.) Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in October, a “just because” visit in November, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party with the family in December, another “just because trip” in January, ran the Walt Disney World Princess 10k in February, and in March for Spring Break and Spring Training. Now some call this a little extreme or even an obsession- ha! I like to think of it as a more enjoyable way to get in my daily steps. It doesn’t matter your reasoning for going or how old you are, Disney is always magical. From the moment you walk through the front gates, hear the music playing in the background and the smells of popcorn and cotton candy fill the air, you can’t help but get butterflies of excitement.

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Don’t you wish you were there now?

Friends and family heading to Disney always reach out asking for help in planning their Disney Trip- Where should they stay? What fast passes should they get? What’s the best character dining? I get giddy with excitement for them and all the fun I know they will have at Walt Disney World. I love having the opportunity to help them plan their magical adventure.

So……after countless friends and family suggesting, years of researching and thinking it over I’m taking the plunge and becoming a TRAVEL PLANNER with Key To The World Travel!

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PINCH ME!

Is this a dream? I have found a career path that ties all of my favorite things together, traveling, planning and Disney. I could not be more excited! So while I am going to be specializing in Disney Destinations, I can plan any vacation for you! Cruises, All-Inclusvies, excursions, you name it, I can plan it!

Thank you to all my friends and family that encouraged me to pursue this new path. Thank you for trusting me to help plan your vacations and referring me to your friends too! I am thrilled to be doing Travel Planning and can not thank each of you enough for your support while I embark on this new adventure!

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Let’s get your bags packed and start planning your next vacation!

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

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

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