Staycation at Universal

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Yes, I do love the holidays too but it's no secret that I love spring and summer. I'd much rather be hot than cold any day, and just love all the fun outdoor activities. We packed up the car, and headed to Universal over Memorial Day Weekend to celebrate my husband's birthday. He picked the Cabana Bay Beach Resort since it has a lazy river, and has direct access to the Volcano Bay water park. An added bonus was that our room had floor to ceiling views of the volcano which we were all wowed by. 

*The view from our room*

We spent most of the day in the pool and floating around the lazy river before some passing rain moved in. So, we decided to take advantage of the bowling alley in the hotel. Lil' Miss had never been bowling, and she was tickled to pieces whenever her ball hit the pins. We were quite a sight in our bathing suits (I had a cover up on), wet hair, tall socks and bowling shoes.  

Then we went and got ready for dinner, and stopped at the Aventura Hotel rooftop bar across the street for a pre-dinner drink before taking the water taxi over to City Walk. We made reservations at Antojitos, and enjoyed sitting outside for dinner. I have yet to find a margarita that compares to our favorite local Mexican restaurant, but they were still pretty good and the food was delish. I shopped my closet for my dinner look, and broke back out the dress I got last year for my birthday brunch. Definitely packing it again for our vacation later this month! 

Psssst that drink was basically ALL juice - not worth the price which is to be expected when we are in the touristy areas.

After dinner, we stopped for another margarita at the Lone Palm Airport outside of Margaritaville before heading to Voodoo Doughnuts to pick up the next morning's breakfast. It's worth the long line! And the nightcap margaritas were far superior to the drinks at the rooftop bar. We were definitely there for the view, and not the drinks - ha! 

After a leisurely start (we are NOT morning people to say the least - ha!) we packed up the hotel room, and headed over to Volcano Bay where we activated our brand new annual passes. We arrived right around the opening for the day, and quickly claimed some loungers and hit the water. 

We then re-applied sunscreen, and headed over to Universal Studios since I hadn't seen the new(ish) Diagon Alley or taken the Hogwarts Express over to Islands of Adventure yet. We rode a few rides, explored Diagon Alley, drank some Butterbeer (of course) which is non-alcoholic so the kiddos can enjoy too and then grabbed dinner at City Walk before heading home utterly exhausted. 

Side note - the birthday boy was too embarrassed to wear the birthday pin they gave him to wear all weekend for special treatment and free dessert around the resort and the parks. Guess who donned it instead? Lil' Miss enjoyed a free slice of cheesecake at the resort, was wished a happy birthday where ever we went and was sang to at dinner the last night by the whole restaurant and stood on her chair to blow out the candle on the free sundae. I couldn't stop laughing about it, but didn't feel bad about it because we were celebrating a birthday just not hers! Now that's what I call taking one for the team! 

We actually headed back to Universal again this past weekend to take advantage of our annual passes before I want us to hibernate leading up to our vacation. Ever since the virus that shall not be named, I try to hunker down leading up to international travel so we don't put ourselves at a greater risk to test positive before leaving or while on vacation which will prevent us from coming home as scheduled. Since I traveled so much for work last fall (Las Vegas - Venice - Panama City - Rio de Janeiro - Dubai) I didn't venture out much between trips to protect myself. So, we wanted to ride some more rides before we return again in July. 

This time, we started off at Islands of Adventure and hit up the Dr. Seuss area, The Hulk and Spiderman before heading over to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter which is what makes my heart skip a beat. Quick rides on the Flight of the Hippogriff and The Forbidden Journey inside Hogwarts, a butterbeer (of course) and a ride on the Hogwarts Express to head over to Universal Studios. But not without a quick stop in the bathroom where I heard Moaning Myrtle. Amazing detail! 

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  1. Universal is so much fun! It looks like an amazing staycation! Too cute your sweet daughter stepped up and wore the birthday pin for the free desserts!

    Jill - Doused in Pink

  2. Sounds like such a fun trip. I want to visit Harry Potter world so bad! Love that Little Miss was getting all the birthday goodies, someone should enjoy them! Staycations are the best.

  3. Oh what fun. I love the yellow suit and little miss’s watermelon cover up. Yay birthday girl.

  4. Wow, the view from your room is so fun! I bet she loved looking out at that everyday :)


  5. What a fun little birthday trip! That view was spectacular and you guys looked so cute in your swimsuits!


  6. We really want to do Universal with the teens sometime soon. I really love that dress, so gorgeous on you. I love the place you stayed at with the lovely views and a lazy river? Yes, please! I'm glad you got good use out of the birthday pin!


  7. This looks like so much fun! We've never been to Universal and I'm dying to go!