Orlando, FL + Bahamas | Girls Just Wanna Have Sun

There’s nothing better than a getaway with some of your closest friends. Brought together through community theatre, this group of girls has grown to be chosen family. About 2 years ago, the 4 of us ran off to Orlando to act like children at Disney World and Universal Studios. Since then, life has pulled us a thousand directions, and now none of us live in the same place anymore.

This Summer we made it a priority to plan another trip, regardless of our hectic schedules. Although it was a lot more difficult to plan over text/email/Facebook/etc., I am so grateful we pulled it off. Join me as I recall our exciting (and sometimes hazy) adventures, meanwhile keying you in on some money saving tips as well!


 

Coming from different places, we scheduled our flights to arrive around the same time. I decided last minute to surprise Casey joining her on a flight from Houston, and we wore tiaras the entire way there. When we were leaving, a flight attendant asked us if we were celebrating something – I mean, friendship? It shouldn’t require a special occasion to dress like royalty if you ask me.

unnamedCasey and Kate en Route

Catching up with Mary and Adrienne, we made our blissful way to the Disney Magical Express Bus. This service is great because they give you free trips from the airport to your Disney resort, all you have to do is reserve a time. We couldn’t go to Orlando again without reuniting at the place where dreams come true!

It was even more worth it, because that day Magic Kingdom was open until 1:00am! We could ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad as many times as we wanted! Dropping off our things at Disney’s All Star Movie Resort (one of the cheapest, only about $25/person for the night!), we went straight to the park.

14199152_10209845503524903_2092699630073704156_nKate, Casey, Adrienne and Mary at Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Tickets to Magic Kingdom for the day were only about $100, which is totally worth it if you can take advantage of the extra hours. We spent the afternoon gallivanting, eating Dole whip and wearing our tiaras proudly. The day couldn’t have been more perfect, until we found that THUNDER MOUNTAIN WAS CLOSED FOR RENOVATION. To be honest, it took us a while to come back from that one (I may still not be over it).

14102508_10154501454778993_8789881880403942144_n.jpgCasey and the Ride that Betrayed us

Forcefully we pried away and attempted to alleviate the pain by riding Splash Mountain. This one follows the story of Br’er Rabbit and ends with a 5 story drop. Our goal here was to recreate the photo we took years prior, and by golly we rode until our little hearts were satisfied. By the end of it all we were sopping (yes SOPPING), and I had gotten in trouble with every employee for taking pictures of the screen without purchasing a photo. Worth it.

picmonkey-collageSplash Mountain Circa 2014 and 2016

The next morning we enjoyed yummy breakfast at The Kona Cafe (about $15/person sans coffee) before we headed to our ship. We had booked a 3-day cruise to the Bahamas on the Carnival Victory, which only ended up being around $400/person splitting up between 2 rooms. I had never cruised before, so I had no idea what to expect.

14192556_10209845514965189_2002399252756296573_nCarnival Victory

Right away we were greeted by our friend Nolan, the production singer for the cruise. He was hands down the BEST guide for our trip, and we are forever changed after his puppeteer performance as Toots the towel elephant. Starting off with cocktails (naturally), we knew were in for a fantastic time.

14102707_10209803448033542_4773974591612730911_nAdrienne and the Goods

When we docked at  Nassau the next day, and took advantage of island life. The Bahamas was gorgeous, but if I had to describe the beach there with one word, it would be aggressive. I have never been so brutally treated by a natural force in my life. It didn’t help that we were drinking either… If you walk up to an unmarked tent and order a coconut there, they crack it open fresh and pour unmarked rum for your drinking pleasure. The best (and most certainly worst) part? It’s unlimited refills, all for $20.

14183792_10209845519725308_7419479300558888122_nKate, Adrienne, Casey, Nolan and Mary at the Bahamas

unnamedCasey Choosing Beer Over  her Best Friend Kate

14183705_10209845519765309_5751267227912302126_nAdrienne, Kate and Casey Attempting the Splits?

We had fun. I woke up in bed, showered and with a pizza (I had apparently ordered) at my feet. It took a miracle, but we still all made it down for dinner and the infamous cruise pictures. See below for cuteness overload.

 

Nolan, Casey, Mary, Kate and Adrienne Living Their Sparkly Truth

The next day was spent at sea relaxing (and recuperating). We laid out on one of the top decks until we were certain we were either sunburned or severely dehydrated. I make it sound bad, but it was actually wonderful. We retired back to our rooms to get fancy one last time and head to dinner.

14184562_10209845516885237_5538021267167424331_n.jpgCasey and Mary Being Fancy

Now I haven’t really said much up to this point about the food on board. BUT LET ME TELL YOU IT WAS A HIGHLIGHT. If you’ve ever been on a cruise, you understand my excitement. The food comes free (another money saving benefit) whether you’re at a buffet or dining in one of the restaurants, guaranteeing that your pants will be a little tighter when you make it back to land. At dinner we would each order multiple appetizers, entrees and never skip dessert. Our last night was no exception.

14079833_10209845516685232_1093984027792729361_nKate Witnessing Adrienne in a Love Affair

We moved on to seeing Nolan perform in the cruise’s finale show. The show featured hits throughout the past decades, with more costume changes and stunts than you could count. We were blown away and cheered until our voices hurt. There’s nothing more fun than watching someone you love doing what they love.

14141671_10157301028500612_5885769728459410367_nKate, Casey, Nolan, Mary and Adrienne Post Show

Before we knew it, our sweet vacation came to an end. Admittedly we were some of the last off the ship, because we weren’t at all eager to leave. With big hugs and familiar “see you laters,” we all returned to reality.

 

That week was special to me for so many reasons. First and foremost, because of the company I spent it with. There is something so special about the home you create with a community, no matter where you all end up. Although years had passed since our last trip, it seemed as if nothing had changed. It was so important to take a break from the craziness of life to enjoy the people who make it all worthwhile. Nothing can beat that.

14192565_10157301031265612_1047448789888515628_nKate, Casey, Nolan, Mary and Adrienne with the Carnival Victory Ship

So I encourage you to make the commitment to yourself to prioritize creating moments like this. There are plenty trips out there (like this one) that don’t have to break the bank, but still are loaded with new adventures.

· Peace · Love · and don’t forget Toots ·

14199336_10209845517725258_7271592606198742718_n

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