Monday morning we packed up our belongings and left Bar Harbor early to try and avoid some of the holiday traffic home.
We quietly left our room and made our way into the garage where we loaded up our car for the 1000 mile drive home. Leaving Hilton Head was a combination of small highways, and unlit low country roads. Before we got to the highway we had 4 deer (all at different times) try to run in front of our car. Needless to say we were a little shaken and happy to see the highway.
Unfortunately, the rest of the day was pretty boring. We spent 17 hours in the car, sat in tons of traffic around New York City, and finally construction on the Mass Pike before arriving back into the Boston area.
My awesome parents brought Fred to our house so we didn't have another stop. We ordered Chinese food to meet us at our house when we arrived. Finally, we settled in and got to enjoy the Game of Thrones finale!
Driving from Orlando to Hilton Head is roughly a 5-hour drive. We packed up our cars early and headed out in hopes of spending some time on the beach.
Our friends were a little bit behind us so we were able to stop into Savannah for lunch at Zunzi's. We parked at a nearby garage and walked over to join in the long line of patrons. Before arriving in Savannah I was on Zunzi's website and noticed you could order online. Knowing what the wait was like we took full advantage of that online system! We ordered our food and got to walk around and get a coffee. When picking up our order we noticed that the group of people who were behind us in line was just entering the door. Yay online ordering! My conquistador sandwich was more than plentiful with chicken and the combination of sauces was savory and acidic. It was delicious! Greg ordered the Boerewors on a roll which is a type of sausage. The sandwich was so good he actually finished the whole thing!
We received text messages that our rooms were ready. We had 4419 and 4420. Our rooms had a large entryway, 2 queen beds, a couch, a chair, as well as a dining area. The bathrooms differed between our rooms. The sinks were just outside the bathroom in our room while the entire toilet and shower area was large and tiled. For views, we could see the resort itself, the Polynesian Resort, as well as the Magic Kingdom! Our rooms were right next door to the lounge and while this was convenient it definitely was noisy as well. There were loud guests in the lounge after 10 pm, there was staff entering a closet right outside our room, and the movies on the lawn was right outside our balconies.
In the end, these were great rooms and they were kept immaculately. The downside to staying at the Grand Floridian Resort was there weren't any special touches. We didn't really receive any towel animals, for our 20th anniversary we only received buttons (previous trips we were given pictures or cards), and other than the lounge staff everyone else seemed to just get their job done.
We sat at a table by the pool and Barry greeted us right away! Before we ordered Barry asked for Jose to come over to help me with my allergen ordering. We ordered cocktails, lobster sliders, and burgers. My lobster slider was chopped up lobster, mayo, and fennel on a gluten free dairy free bun. Accompanying my dish was house cooked chips. After eating we enjoyed the main pool as well as the kid's splash area. All of my pictures of these areas have my friends kids in them so I can't share them but it's a wonderful spot. The pool is large and warm, there are plenty of chairs, plenty of umbrellas, lifeguards nearby, towels, and the splash area is a blast for small kids!
On Friday morning, we had plans to go to Epcot for the day but that didn't happen. Our friend ended up with a stomach bug or food poisoning and didn't get much sleep as a result. We decided to let him hang in bed and we'd take the kids to the pool for the day.
The first step was to head to the concierge and cancel our dinner plans at the Boathouse and to make dinner plans locally at Narcoosee's. Once that was finished we swam in the main pool for a while. This was actually what we all needed. The sun was shining, the pool was warm, and there was a light breeze!
A little while later we packed up our stuff and headed to the splash pad area. Our friend was feeling a little better and so we all asked Barry for some menus. We basically ordered the same exact thing as the day before and it was just as good. I also appreciated Jose stopping by our table again to make sure I was enjoying my dairy free lunch. Very thoughtful!
When it was time for the kids to nap Greg and I headed to Disney Springs. We spent some time browsing for souvenirs for family members. I found the cutest Tinkerbell cup for my mom (a tradition I keep every time we go to Disney World).
Our main reason for visiting Disney Springs though was to shop at Sprinkles Cupcakes. A few days ago I ordered 6 of their special Game of Thrones cupcakes and 2 vegan red velvet cupcakes. We skipped the main line and went to the pickup counter and within a minute had our cupcakes in hand and headed back to the Grand Floridian Resort.
For dinner, we crossed the resort to Narcoosee's. When we checked in for our reservation we ended up having a short wait due to our need to use the stroller and have a faster paced meal. Once seated at our table our server came over with waters and took our drink order. My starter of poached and chilled shrimp was good but definitely not as good as the dish I had at Jiko. Two of us ordered the scallops for our entree and both of us agreed that they could have used a little more cook on them. We all agreed nothing was bad at Narcoosee's but we wouldn't return.
The next post will be about our drive and overnight stay in Hilton Head NC.
After using the gym of our hotel we got ready to continue driving south. We didn't really make too many exciting stops along the way because we were looking forward to spending time with family.
We arrived at Elon University and my cousin showed us around her dorm and the campus. We were happy to help her move some stuff to storage since she's heading back home this month after finals.
We were getting hungry and we decided to try Simply Thai for dinner. We checked in with the host and shown to a table. I was glad we were eating early because the restaurant got very busy while we were there.
Our starter was the lettuce wrap which was delicious and had a good kick from spices. The three of us then ordered sushi for our entrees. Everything was fresh and for the most part really good. The downfall to the meal was the sashimi summer roll. Inside rice paper was 3 kinds of fish, mango, and avocado. Unfortunately, the rolls were in a soup spoon filled with ponzu & mustard sauce. If I didn't drain the sauce, the rolls would have been soggy and I would have eaten a week's worth of sodium. With that being said I would return to this restaurant next time we're in the area.
We originally planned a luxury cruise with friends for last month but going with toddlers didn't seem like the right time or thing to do. After thinking things over we decided to do a road trip to Disney World.
We'll be driving from Boston to Philadelphia PA first. Greg and I have only briefly stopped at the Reading Terminal Market so I'm looking forward to exploring more of the city and all of its amazing sights.
From Philadelphia, we'll be heading to Raleigh NC. We'll split up from our friends for a little while and spent time with our families who live in the area.
After Raleigh, we continue driving to Savannah GA. In Savannah, we'll explore the historic district, river street, and more.
From Savannah, we'll head to Orlando FL. Before checking into Disney World, we'll spend some time in the Disney Springs area with friends who live in the area.
***Sprinkles of Pixie Dust falling on us*** We had reservations at Disney's Yacht Club on the Club Level and we received a call this week saying that our rooms will still be under renovation during our visit. We were given the option to move to either Boulder Ridge, The Grand Floridian, or The Polynesian Hotels. We selected the Grand Floridian for our stay and can't be more excited!! During our stay, we'll be visiting the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and the Animal Kingdom. Along with our tickets, we purchased the Disney Deluxe Dining option. The signature restaurants we've decided on are Jiko, California Grill, and The Boathouse.
After a busy few days at Disney World, we'll start making our way home. We'll be driving from Orlando to Hilton Head NC for a relaxing day on the beach.
From Hilton Head, Greg and I will make a straight shot home while our friends will make one more stop in Washington DC.
Stay tuned for hotel reviews, restaurant reviews, tips, and more!
On this rainy Saturday morning, we went back and forth about where to go sightseeing. We lucked out and enjoyed a cloudy but rain-free visit to Rockport MA. A few of us wandered in and out of the stores, while others took in the ocean views. A few of my favorite stores along Bearskin Neck are Lula's Pantry, Tuck's Candy & Gifts, Wicked Peacock, One Ocean One Love Shop, Floating Lotus, and Helmut's Strudel.
At lunchtime, we headed to Roy Moore's Fish Shack Restaurant. We all enjoyed some fried seafood, clam chowder, baked fish, and pasta. I thoroughly enjoyed the lobster salad plate.
To finish our touring of the day, we drove to Salem MA. Unfortunately, Greg and I couldn't stay long because we needed to go and take care of Fred. We did visit the Ye Olde Pepper Companie for some last minute Easter sweets. The rest of the crew headed over to the Salem Witch Museum while we headed back home. Later that night we met up for dinner at Pabu in Boston. To read about our dinner experience click here.