It’s no lie. I love me some ahi tuna. And steak. And the always delicious Bloomin’ Onion, but now I get to shout my love for Outback Steakhouse from the rooftops as an official Best Mate (#bestmate)! Oh, and I’ve also got some gift certificates to share with you…read further down to see how you can score one!
I’ve been itching for some amusement park time before the Florida summer brings two things every Florida resident hides from: the heat and tourists (sorry, no offense!). Rather than spending Mother’s Day at home eating breakfast in bed, I thought it would be fun to trek out to Legoland Florida in Winter Haven.
Legoland Florida is the newest addition to the already awesome Florida amusement park landscape. Located away from Orlando in Winter Haven, Florida, the area surrounding Legoland is really nice! We noted tons of restaurants right outside the gates and plenty of hotels to choose from. You may even want to consider staying away from the hustle-bustle of Orlando and traveling in Winter Haven.
As a military family, we always stop into our installation’s Information, Tickets and Tours (ITT) to see if any of our selected destinations offer military discounts or rates. Legoland Florida did not disappoint. For 2013, military families can purchase deeply discounted tickets and the active duty member gets free admission to the park!
DID YOU KNOW? There’s an ITT office located in Orlando at the Shades of Green Resort. It’s a great resource every vacationing military family needs to know!
You have the option to buy a 1 or 2-day Legoland or Legoland/Water Park Combo ticket. We opted to purchase the 1-day Combo ticket in advance at ITT. You can buy tickets at the gate, but you will not get the same pricing as ITT, nor will you get the tax-free purchase benefit. It is good to know that Legoland does provide 10% military discount at the gate just in case. For Homeskillet’s ticket, he had to show his ID at the ticket counter, and voila! Instant admission!
Let’s get to the fun stuff now…how is the actual park?
Legoland Florida is Perfect for Families with Young Children
Homeskillet said it best. If you have kids between 3 and 10, Legoland Florida is the perfect park for your family. Crowds were non-existent during our visit. We waited max 5 minutes for every single ride.
La Rubia (age 2, 36 inches tall) was able to ride about 75% of the rides in the park. La Grande (age 6 and 49 inches tall) could ride EVERYTHING. Needless to say, La Grande thought that Legoland Florida was a slam-dunk.
We loved that Legoland Florida was intentionally constructed with kids and the Florida sun in mind. There’s plenty of shade, a great mix of indoor waiting areas and play spaces with air conditioning, and, our personal favorite, lego play corrals where children can play while parents wait in line.
Must Have Park Snack: Apple Fries. Holy cow! Talk about an addictive snack! The apple fries are served fresh and hot, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, and served with a whipped cream dip. To. Die. For.
We finished the main park in under 4 hours, but we didn’t watch any shows. Once we wrapped up the park, we headed to the Legoland Water Park.
Legoland Florida Water Park
The Water Park was pretty cool. Once again geared towards younger children, the water park offers a small lazy river, toddler slide and pool area, pretty expansive big kid water play park, small wave pool, and four other large slides perfect for older kids and adults. I don’t have any pictures from our water park adventure, mainly because I feared for the safety of my iPhone, sorry!
We made three loops on the lazy river thanks to the innovative lego inner tubes that allow your kids to build Lego creations using giant rubber legos while floating down river. La Rubia amassed a pretty impressive stash of Legos by the time we finished our trip.
Legoland’s water park has tons of life jackets for children located near each of the main attraction areas, including baby-sizes as well.
Final Verdict: Would We Go Back To Legoland?
Our final verdict? Yes. We’d definitely go back. It’s a perfect a low-key park experience. It’s much less overwhelming than other larger parks in the area and if you’re a military family, you can’t pass up the pricing.
Have you been to Legoland Florida? What did you think?
Have you ever hit a point where an empty roll of toilet paper or a lone crayon on the table will send you right over the edge? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt like I was losing my mind. Going off the reservation. Cukoo for Cocoa Puffs.
<Insert other witty metaphor for…ooohh…crazy cakes. I like that one.> [Read more...]
Having just returned from
my all inclusive vacation Type-A Advanced Conference in Philadelphia, I am finding myself just a little bit pissed off by the Wall Street Journal’s piece (no link…not sending you there to give them traffic) about entrepreneurs, who just happen to be moms, escaping their mom-lives by attending conferences.
They might as well have said this:
Because obviously I’m not a real professional. I’m just playacting at being a legitimate professional. I mean, I’m a mom, so that whole working from home thing is really just a hobby to keep my little brain busy.
And I’m really upset that they twisted up Katherine Stone’s words, who is an amazing and inspirational and PROFESSIONAL blogger, who just happens to be a mom in addition to being an entrepreneur.
Now, let’s be honest. Do I have fun when a I go to a blogging conference? Uh, yes. But I had fun when I went to conferences and professional development opportunities when I guess, according to this article, I had a “real job”.
And don’t get me started on the endless business trips Homeskillet’s taken over the years (read: one of them involved the words casino and all you can eat buffet). Would anybody say the same thing about his trips? I didn’t think so.
So, Kathrine, don’t apologize for your words being slapped all over that train-wreck of a piece. We know who you are and we definitely know who we are. We are professional. Oh, and go check out Katherine Stone’s Blog, Postpartum Progress…she wrote a post, Overwhelmed by Motherhood: The Anatomy of an Anxiety Attack, that shook me to my core
Oh, and to the Wall Street Journal? Thanks for portraying my profession as a bunch of opportunistic, burnt-out-moms who have to dress a vacation in business casual to get out of doing the laundry.
I was out of town at the Type-A Advanced Conference in Philadelphia this weekend and left Homeskillet home alone with the girls and two dogs for the first time, well, ever. As the stay at home parent, I’m pretty used to being the one left behind at home. And even though I do have the luxury of taking short solo trips here and there, he’s never had to take the helm completely. And prepping the girls solo for school and the day? Never.
I just love some old school hip hop (I just cringed at the thought of calling Naughty By Nature “old school”) and I love saving money. Oh, and I love having fun which is why I’m all about using our installation ITT office (aka Information, Tickets, and Travel).
I suck at using coupons. I never remember to clip them or if I do manage to clip them, I leave them at home or in the car or in my purse. I don’t have anything against coupons and by now you know that I love saving money, so it’s not like I’m trying to be a spendthrift. I just suck at couponing.
To make matters worse, I am not motivated to use coupons because, frankly, very little that I buy falls into the “has a coupon” category. I mean, if lettuce had a coupon or asparagus, count me in! But they don’t. And I know that a lot you experience the same thing.
You want to save money, you’re willing to use coupons, but there aren’t any coupons for what you buy. So, how do you save money on groceries if nothing you buy has coupon?
I was so stoked to be invited to the blogger preview for The Container Store’s Tampa opening! I know my MacDill AFB and Tampa Bay friends are eagerly awaiting the grand opening, so I was super excited to check it all out. Not only did I get spoiled rotten with blogger swag, I was able to learn a little bit about The Container Store and bring my milspouse eyes to the event.
Oh boy. I did it. I’m resigning from my steady, predictable part-time job and jumping full force into my latest project, NextGen MilSpouse. For those of you who totally missed my shameless plugs for our January 2013 launch, NextGen MilSpouse is an online magazine geared towards empowering and connecting our diverse military spouse community that puts a fresh spin on what it means to be a military spouse today. The tagline is, perhaps, one of the coolest, if not THE coolest things that has ever hatched out of my brain: Because the last thing you are is dependent.
Parenting is a lot like investing. Think about it. Your kids are like little bank accounts. You regularly deposit your time and love into them and watch your investment grow and mature. Sometimes, you have to reassess your investment strategy…maybe you need to diversify your portfolio by targeting piano lessons or hiring a tutor (awesome metaphor, no? <takes a bow>). And as important as it is to nurture our kids, sometimes, we want to give them something a little more liquid than love and support…like…well…money.
I don’t know about you, but nothing makes me feel more crafty than wielding a hot glue gun. I’m not a crafty mama, but sometimes I do like to look like one. These cute and easy-to-make Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer candy canes are just the ticket to make you the crafty-mom you’ve always wanted to be…or am I the only one with crafty-mom envy? I didn’t think so.
Supply List for Rudolph Candy Canes:
- Candy Canes
- Pipe Cleaners
- Googly Eyes
- Hot Glue Gun & Glue Sticks
It’s that time of year again! 2013 BAH rates finally published and some of you might be dancing around thinking about how you’ll spend that extra cash, if you were lucky enough to see an increase. Maybe you’re thinking about moving or finally grabbing that premium cable, or maybe you’re considering saving the extra cash for a rainy day (my vote).
Oh, and don’t worry. If BAH for your area decreased for the area you’re already residing in, never fear. You’ll continue to receive your same rate…phew! Regardless, this is a great time to reevaluate your housing expenses and make sure you’ve got your budget in check! [Read more...]
How many presents were bought? Gift wrapped tight. Stacked under the tree. How many children counting down the days until the start of their Christmas vacation? How many roadtrips planned to Grandma and Grandpa’s house…that came to a screeching halt?
I can’t imagine…only I can. I can imagine this event because it freaking keeps happening! Over and over and over again. How? Why? What goes through that person’s mind?
Children…children for God’s sake. And always a suicide. Why?!
So many whys…I can’t even bring myself to point a finger. Is it guns? Is humanity really depraved? Are we missing the boat on the importance of therapy? Who the hell can I point the finger at so we can get to the bottom of this?
I’m so sad. So sad. And disappointed. I hate when something happens that makes me doubt my faith in humanity. And I hate when something like this happens and then we all pour out our hearts and my faith in humanity is restored…but then we start to forget…and we get lost in the immaterial…and it happens again and again and again.
Just pray…to whomever, whatever you choose. Pray for those families affected by tragedy in CT. Pray for that community. Pray for those children.
And hug your children tight.
Okay, I’ll admit it. I’ve been a little bit of a debbie downer when it comes to our cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines. I might not have been impressed with cracker-jack customer service or the lack of a party atmosphere, but there were 3 amazing, outstanding instances of sheer awesomeness where Norwegian more than delivered: 1) Youth Programming, 2) Justin Short, and 3) The Happy-Happy-Washy-Washy Woman. [Read more...]
This is not one of those posts where I lament the challenges of being a military family or where I shake an angry fist at Uncle Sam for keeping me a bazillion miles away from my family at Christmas, no siree. This post is all about how our military travels have opened us up to new and exciting Christmas traditions from around the world.
One of the coolest things about being part of a military family is that you get the rare opportunity to see, first hand, how other countries and cultures celebrate life through their holiday traditions. [Read more...]