Bucket List Check | Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios, The Castle Hotel, Mardi Gras Orlando

Back in the old days, in the beginning of our marriage, things were a lot harder than they were now. We weren’t able to do many things for ourselves then so the fact that we were able to go to such an amazing place says a lot about how much fun we had.

You learn to appreciate things more when you can’t do them easily.

I had gone many summers with my family when I was a teenager but to be able to go with your husband for the first time together? It isn’t your typical movie and dinner date, that’s for sure. It is almost as if it were a staple for relationships in Florida. Everyone has to go with their significant other at least once in their life. I’m sure glad we did because we had such a blast. It was one of the best weekends we had ever had.

We spoiled ourselves enough to make it a weekend to remember since it took us months to save up for it in the first place. We left all of our worries and struggles behind though. Our first wedding anniversary was celebrated a little late but it was well worth the wait. We had an exciting dinner, fun time at both parks, and stayed in the coolest hotel.

We went all out as if we were 8 years old again. We had no choice because we came down for the weekend from north Florida which at the time was a bust. If anyone knows anything about Live Oak and Lake City, Florida is that there is nothing really there. The biggest thing we could plan for the weekends was going to the mall in Gainesville an hour away or to the strip mall that seemed like it was going out of business a little closer.

While we were there, to our surprise Mardi Gras was going on, and free for those with park tickets. I saw my first parade and we caught so many beads. Let me correct myself. I actually couldn’t catch anything even though I was the one with open hands. I really am a clutz. My husband caught a majority of our beads with a beer in one hand and my camera in the other. His pictures were coming out pretty great at that. It was a whole new level of impressive.

Mardi Gras Parade (28) Mardi Gras Parade (35)

Our dinner of the night was at Margaritaville in CityWalk. At the time I couldn’t even drink because I was only 19 but the food was outstanding though. As usual, I went with the buffalo chicken and some kind of onion rings.

Margaritaville (16)

The day before we checked into our hotel, we went to the McDonald’s with the largest playplace in the world for lunch. I believe it’s up there being the biggest in general or something. The building has two stories, an arcade, and they even serve nontraditional McDonald’s food. Not to mention there is a really cool table you can sit at with a gigantic fish tank. You watch fishies as you eat your chicken McNuggets. This seemed to be one of my parents favorite stop while we were in Orlando so I wanted to share my experience with my lovely husband.

Orlando McDonalds with biggest playplace in the world (15) Orlando McDonalds with biggest playplace in the world (14)

The next stop on the itinerary was the hotel to get checked in and settled. I had merely dreamed of staying in the Castle on International Drive. My parents used to sneak us kids in there just to look around. That’s probably where I got half of my ideas. When I finally did, I felt like a queen. Literally. C decided that we could stay here and then I was the happiest girl in the world. I love this place more than any hotel I’ve ever stayed at. The best part is that we booked it through Priceline and we got a room for a third of the price. The pool was huge and there was a giant fountain in the middle. There was what’s called a “Moon Terrace”, where you could go up to the roof and overlook all of downtown Orlando. The beds were designed for royalty, the walls were made of mosaics, and the elevators were reflective glass. There was so much purple glitter that I couldn’t even handle it and there were statues spread out among the entire facility. Mirrors with birds and branches decorated the individual floors and there were glass showcases full of different memorabilia, swords and the like, and even old fashioned Mickey Mouse artifacts.

The last day of our trip we spent at Universal Studios. Both parks are pretty great. However, they had just made that Rip Ride Rock It roller coaster and it was one of my favorites. C hadn’t been there since a small kid, so I was glad to explore the new additions of the park with him. Not to mention the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was flowing with new visitors. We unfortunately did not get to have butterbeer because of how long the line was. I’ve had it before but I’m not so sure my husband has.

It was one of the best weekends we’ve had because of the circumstances during that chapter of our lives.

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