This summer has been filled with lots of sun and extreme heat. It has also been filled with exciting vacations including a trip to the City of Angels. We were in the area last year for Christmas as a family for shopping but this trip was different. I received an invitation to attend a taping of American Ninja Warrior Junior and decided to fly the family out for an adventure.
The invitation was for priority tickets to the American Ninja Warrior Junior show, which means we were guaranteed a seat and would not be put on a waiting list. They were very specific about clothing, food, drink, cameras etc. but everything was reasonable and didn't prevent us from having a great time.
We were not told the exact location for filming and were required to sign several waivers and release forms before getting a wristband. This gave us access to the bus that would take us to the studio. We had free parking in a lot in downtown Los Angeles about 10 minutes away.
Audience members supporters of the contestants all gathered outside before entering the course. It was hot but everyone was in a good mood. The line moved quickly once we were permitted to enter. There was no shade and the bleachers were hot but they did provide plenty of water and fans with misters.
We were there for the filming of the semifinals and the final competition. The course was different and top secret but the last portion remained the same. The contestants completed the course quickly and exhibited amazing upper body strength along the way. We were able to talk with a contestant in another age group from our home state. His trainer and family gave us some behind the scenes info about applying, training, and competing. It is a major commitment for a prize of $15,000. Adults receive $1 Million!
Vacation time! First Destination?
Almost every summer, my husband I take a trip to Las Vegas to enjoy some time alone in one of the world's best known adult playground. The sun is always shining when we arrive and almost everyone is in a good mood. This year we decided to visit a similar vacation spot, in addition to our annual trip, for spring break. Neither of us had been to Atlantic City before and the commute is much shorter so we gave it a go.
We decided to drive there for a few reasons.
The weather was cool and although the famous boardwalk was open, it wasn't nearly as active as I imagine it would when the weather is warmer. Regardless, natives and visitors alike did stroll the boardwalk and explored the beach when the sun was out. The ocean view was so calming and peaceful!
Our hotel accommodations were equally relaxing and complimentary (my favorite part). We had a city view suite and the bed & bath were so enticing that we almost stayed in the room the whole time. Almost ;)
Of course we left to explore our hotel, add a few others while we played games on the casino floors. We ate and drank well and for FREE (again my favorite part).
Casinos in Atlantic City permit smoking indoors, which was a change for us but we were on our way to our next destination by the time my throat began to become really irritated.
Check out Spring Break 2017 Part II to see where we went next....
This summer my family and I spent eight days in Orlando/Kissimmee, Florida on vacation. It was super hot but super fun and we enjoyed our time together and had an adventure almost everyday. We booked our time share reservation in the off peak season to save money that we used for food and activities. There are tons of FREE things to do and there is of course Disney home of The Mouse :)
I documented most of our favorite moments and have selected a few to share with you guys.
* This was the week before the unfortunate Disney event and the funny thing is, while we rode the Disney Monorail I saw an alligator pop up in the water a when I looked to the sidewalk nearby I saw no gate or fence. Once we were home and heard about Gatorgate, I instantly remembered my observation. Our prayers go out to the family.
Departure & Day 1
We got a feel for all of the options available to us at our time share on the first day. The property offered a game room, dive in movie pool parties, face painting, swimming and so much more. Any time we wanted to have some family fun and didn't want to travel we could stay on the property. They offered complimentary shuttle service to restaurants, Disney World, and even the grocery store. We full took advantage of this service almost daily.
Our first night in Florida, we visited an Italian eatery, within walking distance that offered us a filling and flavorful meal. We enjoyed fresh made bread, mussels, garlic knots, and a delicious pizza that easily fed us all for less than $20 dollars. The portion sizes were generous and the taste was excellent.
We took advantage of the pools, face painting and took a walking tour on the Parkway International after sleeping in. We learned about some cool places in Kissimmee that we could reach using the complimentary shuttle service and planned on visiting the next day.
Day 3 and Beyond!
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas I know, I know, but I had to share just a few details from our trip this summer. I had a great time and really liked the energy of the city. There was always something to do or see 24/7! Trying your luck at the casinos was always an option, of course, but shopping and tours to the M&M and Hershey museums were exciting choices as well. We flew in on a red eye and after we checked in our room we stayed up until the next night exploring the possibilities.
The trip was budget friendly and time away was perfect for an adults only vacation. The flight was reasonably priced at less than $100 one way from Cleveland on a direct flight. Our room was FREE thanks to my husband (He wins!!!) he has reached a membership level with the casino that includes some cool perks. The complimentary room came with an upgrade that included a beautiful open air Jacuzzi tub and a bird's eye view of what was happening on the Las Vegas strip. We were able to enjoy a night of entertainment and meals as well with our package and drinks were on the house for everyone.
It was hot of course but there were pools a plenty and every building was air conditioned so you could beat the heat during the day. We saw shows, gambled, enjoyed some tasty meals, and relaxed poolside daily. We also explored the strip at night and visited the popular casinos along the way. There's something for everyone!
Take a look at a few highlights below....
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