5 Tips for Working out on Vacation

Ah, vacation. A great time to connect with family and friends, eat amazing food, and go somewhere new. Luckily, you can do all of these things and also not forget about your health and your workouts. Here are 5 tips for working out on vacation that have worked for me over the years. I leave for a trip in less than two months, so I’m gearing up for my workouts while I’m away!tips for working out on vacation

1.) Don’t Stress out about it. You are on vacation! If you don’t work out as hard or as much, it’s ok! Just do what you can, when you can.

2.) Take advantage of your new surroundings. One of the reasons I love working out on vacation is that it’s somewhere new to run, with new scenery and places to visit. It makes the workout go by faster!

                                          

3.) Mix it up: If you have access to a pool, swim or tread water while your family catches some rays. Or, you could go for a walk and explore a new city, your resort, or the beach. Surf or snorkel in a tropical paradise. Play golf on a new to you course, or make new friends and play beach volleyball.

asics shoes


4.) Check out the hotel gym. Sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised at the nice equipment or a great view out the windows. It makes a difference!

5.) Workout early: Get your workout done before your day starts so then you have extra energy and don’t have the thought of exercise weighing on you all day. Then you can just focus on your family, friends, and creating memories.

QOTD: What is your favorite vacation workout?

Disney Wonder Cruise 2018: Part 7

Missed part 6? Check it out here.

One last day of our cruise, and honestly guys, the day time part, I really can’t remember! This is why I used to take notes when I did lots of trip reports! It was a sea day, and the water was a bit rough. I know we went to the pool because occasionally the lifeguard would make all the kids stand up since the water in the pool was whitecapping and it made it hard to see the kids. (Photo below of them all standing up).

It was chilly, way too cold for me to swim, but of course the kids didn’t mind. I really don’t remember what else we did that day. I am sure Emma Kate went to the kids club at some point, and I probably read a book or took a nap, I’m very good at those things.

That night we took photos one last time before heading in to dinner.

We said our farewells to our dining team at dinner, and I just wasn’t very hungry. I was served a big piece of chicken and I barely ate, it just didn’t seem appetizing to me.

We brought EK to the club one more time, and I told Bobby I didn’t feel great and just wanted to stay in the room. My stomach felt upset and full, but I wasn’t nauseated. It was a strange feeling, I knew something wasn’t right. EK had been given a gift that was left on our bed, and she was so excited to open her new DUmbo stuffed animal when we picked her up from the club.

At this point I was feeling worse and worse, but I was able to fall asleep. Then I woke up an hour later feeling very sick to my stomach, and let’s just say I felt SO much better after being able to throw up in the sink. (don’t judge, it is what it is.) I laid back down and took an anti nausea pill that thankfully our doctor had given to us before we left. I barely slept all night, and was wondering how I was going to get off the ship in the morning. I felt like death when we woke up, but thankfully we had put our luggage out the night before so we didn’t have a lot to pack up. Bobby took Emma Kate to breakfast while I tried to get dressed and composed. I dry heaved a couple times but never threw up again, but I felt miserable and nauseated and weak. I still to this day don’t know how I managed to get out of bed, get dressed, and help carry bags to the lobby and wait in line to get off the ship, through customs, and to the car. I slept most of the way home in the car, and only ate crackers and rice for four or five days. Then I was finally able to start eating more food but it took way longer than I anticipated. Come to find out several people in our cruise FB group had norovirus, so I’m guessing I picked it up on the ship. I’m so careful with hand washing, so thinking maybe it happened when someone prepared my food? We aren’t really sure, and obviously it could happen to anyone on any cruise line. I’m just so thankful it happened the last day because like I said, I was laid up and not eating for four or five days after. So obviously I have no photos from the last morning or getting off the ship.

We love cruising and DCL, but I think I am done cruising in winter. There is a higher chance for rough waters, gloomy and cold weather, and norovirus in the winter months. We have now missed Castaway Cay twice and both times in winter, so now I feel like I need a “redo” cruise in the spring or summer, especially since Emma Kate missed my favorite part, Castaway Cay. We will be back, and we learned a lot about cruising with a kid. It was so fun to see things through her eyes, and she is already asking to go back. I’m so glad we got to go on a family vacation just the three of us last year!

I would love to answer your Disney cruise questions! heather@travelwiththemagic.com

Disney Wonder Cruise 2018: Part 6

Did you miss part 5? check it out then come back here!

We were headed back to port, but still had two sea days ahead of us. We found out Santa was going to be taking photos in the lobby that morning, so of course that was our first stop.



She signed the nice list (I wasn’t so sure about that ha) and got to meet the big guy.

They even had a cute table set up with cookies.

After that, Emma Kate went to the kids club because Bobby and I had a reservation for one of our favorite things, PALO brunch!

We had a table with a great view and we ate all. of. the. food. It was amazing as usual, something I would never miss on a Disney cruise!

After brunch, we picked up Emma Kate from the club, got in our swimsuits and went to the pool. It was a bit chilly but EK didn’t seem to mind.

Before we knew it, it was time for pictures and dinner again!

We ran into Mickey in the hallway and he grabbed Emma Kate’s hand and walked around with her, and she was SO excited. I love how the character interations are random and plentiful on the ship!

We were in Tiana’s again, and it still remains my favorite restaurant of the three!

After a delicious dinner, EK went back to the club and Bobby and I played foosball and ping pong on the pool deck. We were the only ones up there and it was a lot of fun. We had one more day coming up, and that one would end on a low note, so stay tuned to see what happend.

Disney Wonder Cruise 2018: Part 4

In case you missed part 3, jump back and read that first!

We left off last time at the end of our Key West Day. The next day was to be Castaway Cay, and let me tell you I was PUMPED.

Castaway Cay is my favorite place on earth, and I couldn’t wait to share it with Emma Kate. I had been talking it up big time. We woke up and I thought it odd that we weren’t pulling into the island. They said something over the speakers about a late arrival, and I couldn’t really hear the rest. Come to find out, we had somehow lost a generator in the night. Never fear, we were still getting to the island just a little later. However, I had a huge pit in my stomach and a bad feeling. The water was a little choppy (I’ve seen much worse) and it was gloomy and windy. The captain tried twice to get us docked, to no avail. It was one of the saddest things to be standing on the edge of the ship, with all the workers standing on the island waiting to greet us, and we inched closer and closer and closer, only to get aallmmosssttt there and then have the captain pull away. I will admit, I cried.

See, I have kind of a sour history as of late with Castaway Cay. In 2016, my husband and I sailed for the first time since 2013. We were SO excited to be going back to the island….only to have bad weather that made us not able to dock. I was so so so upset. Them last January I went on a girls trip, and while we were able to dock, it was FREEZING and super windy. The sand was pelting people in the face and they closed down Serenity bay it was such terrible weather conditions. So this year was going to be my redemption year. Having not been to the island since 2013, I was sssooo ready to be in my happy place…and then to have it happen again was just crushing. Maybe one day we will get to take Emma Kate to Castaway. (silently cries in the corner.) ANYWAY, moving on. The staff did their best to keep us happy and upbeat, adding in character meet and greets and activities. Emma Kate had fun, and I guess she just didn’t realize what she was missing which was probably a good thing at this point.

I honestly don’t remember what we did the rest of the day. I’m guessing we ate lunch at the buffet, and put EK in the kids club. Bobby probably went to the gym, and I probably took a nap (heh.) We did go to a Disney Jr. dance party but EK wasn’t really into it so we walked around the ship instead.

That night was also pirate night…and PALO night for Bobby and me. We took some cute pre dinner photos before dropping Emma Kate off and heading up to the adults only restaurant.

PALO was lovely as usual, a highlight of the trip. It’s just a great time to slow down, relax, and eat a nice meal in peace. Our waiter was amazing and we ate #AllTheFood

We went to bed quite full, watching Elf yet again, ready for a day in Nassau that was coming up next.

Email heather@travelwiththemagic.com for questions about Disney Cruise Line!

Disney Wonder Cruise 2018: Part 3

In case you missed part 1 and 2, catch up before reading this one!

The next morning we woke up and were almost to Key West. We also had an early princess meet and greet in the lobby, so we headed there before breakfast. This is a ticketed event, but also free (we snagged tickets when we got onboard on day 1). It’s a great way to meet a bunch of princesses at one time. Emma Kate loved it!

After the meet and greet we went to breakfast. I told EK she could have a donut if she ate all her food. Thankfully after she was sufficiently sugared up we took her to the pool to burn some energy. The weather forecast for the rest of the week was iffy, so we knew we needed to take advantage of the sunshine while we could (even if it was a tad chilly!)

A huge thanks to SwimZip for sending us these adorable swimsuits! We got so many compliments and the rash guard was perfect for Emma Kate since it was a little chilly. I love that these suits help protect against the suns harmful rays!

We let Emma Kate swim and go down the slide as we docked in the port. There was hardly anyone in the pool so we were able to get great seats and the little one went down the slide a bunch of times.

I took advantage of the warmth of the sun and got a dole whip with rum in it that I had heard so much about. I was warned in advance that the consistency was more slushie like that creamy ice cream, but I still wanted to try it…and the verdict…it was not my favorite. I LOVE Dole whip floats and I love rum, but this combo was not something I would get again. I am however glad I tried it!

We decided to just grab lunch at the pool because Emma Kate was having such a blast we didn’t want to pull her out to go change and go to the buffet. Bobby went and got his own food from Cabanas and ate at the pool chairs, and I got Emma Kate and I some chicken tenders and fries, so it worked out perfectly. After lunch, we all got changed and we brought Emma Kate to the kids club so Bobby and I could go watch the Saints game at the pub. I was surprised, we were the ONLY ONES IN THERE! Where did all the football fans go?!?

We were able to watch the game, but the sound was for a different game which made it kind of confusing, but we were just happy to get to watch anyway. We grabbed some snacks and relaxed on a sofa and cheered for our team as they beat the Tampa Bay Bucs. We had a nice view out the window, too.

As the game was coming to an end, we went and grabbed EK out of the kid’s club and decided to get off the ship for a few minutes and just walk around on dry land for a bit. Why not? It has been a minute since we have been to Key West, but I love how quaint it is, and we feel super safe there just walking around. Emma Kate LOVED chasing the animals.

After about 30 minutes we made our way back to the ship to get ready for dinner. We realized we walked right into the beginning of a little show where SANTA shows up on the ship for the first time! It was cute. There were lots of characters, and even snow!

Dinner that night was in Triton’s, but we took some family photos before we went in.

This one is my favorite haha

At dinner, EK decided to eat a lime, which was hysterical.

After dinner it was back to the kids club (she was SO antsy at Dinner I took her before we even ordered dessert.) and Bobby and I walked around on the deck and went back to Cove Cafe again. In the room that night we had a sweet gift from Disney, Emma Kate was pumped.

We were taking her to see her first movie in the theater the next day, so she was so excited we had snacks! And she loved the doll because it matched the dress she had on the night before. <3

After calming her down which took awhile, it was time for bed, and watching Elf again, before finally falling asleep.

I would love to help you with Disney Cruise questions! Email me at heather@travelwiththemagic.com

Emma Kate’s First Cruise

Happy Tuesday! If you follow me on Instagram you already know this, but we decided to take Emma Kate on her first cruise as our big family Christmas gift this year! We will be sailing for 7 nights on the Disney Wonder, which was the very first Disney ship I ever sailed on. We have an oceanview room, and will be making stops at Key West, Castaway Cay, and Nassau.

Bobby and I have cruised with Disney several, times, but never with a child. There are so many things I can’t wait to show her, and I know she is going to love the kids club, too!

In honor of the cruise (we leave the end of this week), I thought I would share some of my favorite cruise photos with you.

PS: I would love to help you book your next Disney cruise! Email heather@travelwiththemagic.com for details. It’s free for me to help you!

The 5 Very Best Disneyland Restaurants

Updated: This post originally appeared in 2013 and I am updating it now, in October 2018.

I have had the pleasure of going to Disneyland 3 times, and all three times were for runDisney races. We stayed for 4 nights each time and had the opportunity to eat at some fabulous restaurants. I don’t want to make one post per restaurant or go into a ton of detail, but I wanted to share with you all my favorite five table service Disneyland area restaurants and why I loved them. I hope you find a new favorite from my very best Disneyland restaurants list!

best Disneyland restaurants

1.) Napa Rose: Hands down the best meal we have had at Disneyland Resort. It reminded me somewhat of Citrico’s in WDW which I love. The service was impeccable, the food was delicious, and the atmosphere was relaxing but sophisticated. We ate here the last night of our trip on two separate vacations, and it was a great way to cap off a wonderful time. Don’t miss this one! They had a great steak for this meat lover.

NapaRose

2.) Blue Bayou: This one wins the top prize for best theming. What a cool idea to have a ride (Pirates of the Carribean) pass by the guests eating at the restaurant. The theming is amazing, and it feels like you are outside under the stars, on the bayou eating dinner. We loved the ambiance and the food was good for this Cajun girl, too. We asked to be seated by the water, (you may have to wait a little longer but worth it!) and got to watch the boats full of riders float by into the ride.

BlueBayou

3.) Steakhouse 55: This restaurant is a fancy place at the Disneyland Hotel. It has a beautiful waiting area and the restaurant itself is quite swanky, reminiscent of old Hollywood. The food was top notch here, I would put it as second best in the food category food under Napa Rose.  The mac n’ cheese was amazing. order it. Seriously. Another reason to stay on property. We just walked over from the Grand Californian for dinner. So easy!

DisneylandHotel

4.) Café Orleans: Café Orleans is a quaint little place in the Orleans Square section of Disneyland park with an adorable outdoor eating area. I love that the weather in southern California is so mild that there is lots of outdoor seating at Disneyland. We sat outside and people watched and ate gumbo and other goodies under an umbrella. it was peaceful, and a perfect lunch spot. This says a lot coming from a New Orleans native who is usually very critical of places claiming to be “New Orleans-Y.” The Monte Cristo sandwich is to die for, but is very rich, so be warned!

CafeOrleans

5.) Storyteller’s Café: This was the first dinner we eat after arriving in Disneyland. It is at the Grand Californian where we typically stay and is a fun way to kick off the trip. Bobby loves a good buffet, and this one while not huge, had a lot of delicious food that we both love. It has a light and childlike atmosphere while still being beautiful! If you aren’t staying at the hotel this would be a great opportunity to check out the beautiful grounds.

DSC_0622

QOTD: Have you eaten at any of these places? Which one looks the more appealing to you? Do you have a different Disneyland favorite?

5 Tips for Running When you Travel

Update: This post on 5 Tips for Running When you Travel first appeared in 2015, and I have now updated it, in October of 2018. 

If you are anything like me, you might make excuses when you are traveling for why you can’t go for a run. I have used every logic possible to talk myself out of a run, but in the end, I always regret not running when I travel. When I’m traveling, no matter if it’s by car or air, I always tend to eat more unhealthy than I do at home, and I’m sitting more than I do at home, so if there was ever a time I needed to run, traveling is when it is! So below I have compiled 5 Tips for running when you travel. Enjoy!

5 Tips for Running When you Travel

1.) Research the area: It’s not wise to just take off running from your hotel without knowing a bit about the area. Maybe you could even try to connect with local runners on social media and ask them their favorite routes. Traveling is a great time for exploring a new place! Maybe find a route that has a convenience store you can stop at along the way for a bottle of water, or a park with a scenic trail. Remember, knowledge is power!

2.) Pack well: I know there are a million thoughts going in and out of your head when trying to pack for a trip, and thinking about running gear may be the last thing on your mind. However, if you have everything you need all together in one bag you may be more likely to actually go for a run when you reach your destination. I bring a drawstring bag with my GPS watch, headbands, GU, body glide, sunglasses*, etc. whenever I travel so there is no excuse and no rummaging around in my suitcase. Then it’s just a matter of throwing in a couple running outfits and my shoes!

3.) Be safe: Always tell someone where you plan to run and what time you will be back, even if it’s a text to a friend or a front desk worker at the hotel. Be mindful of your surroundings! If you listen to music, make sure you can still hear your surroundings. You need to be on the lookout, especially in a bigger city where you may be crossing streets or around a lot more cars.

20120819_081805

Stopped at a crosswalk on a group run in Boston at the Healthy Living Summit.

4.) Make time: This is a big one for me! Travel wears me out y’all. The last thing I want to do after a long day of driving or flying is lace up my running shoes! It is important to look at your schedule and pencil in a time to hit the hotel gym or run the roads, or it may not actually happen. Sometimes the only available time is late at night, but it’s a good excuse to get out of your boring hotel room.

5.) Call the hotel: Hotel workers are your friend! Usually, they are super knowledgeable of the area, and can hopefully tell you areas you should probably avoid, or a place where runners go on the weekend to log some longer miles. They may even be able to give you the number of a local running store you can call for help as well. It never hurts to ask!

Thanks for checking out my 5 Tips for Running When you Travel.

QOTD: What is your best tip for running in a new place? To you venture outside or stick to the hotel gym?

*This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you purchase through my link I receive a small commission.

Walt Disney World Recap Video September 2018 Part 2

You may have seen part one of my Walt Disney World Recap Video September 2018.

Well, I am back with part two of our trip! Check out the video below for all the Disney fun, and be sure to hit “subscribe” so you don’t miss any videos on my channel. I would venture to say that Emma Kate had the time of her life.

 

 

We love Disney in the fall, the Halloween Party, Food and Wine Festival, and decorations are all amazing. Now we can’t wait for the Christmas decorations! (Ok, maybe we can wait until after Halloween!) What is your favorite time of year to visit Walt Disney World?

Tips for an Adults Only Disney Trip

Update: This post on tips for an adults only Disney trip originally appeared in 2016, but I have updated it for 2018. Thanks for reading!

It’s no secret I love Walt Disney World. When I tell some of my friends my husband and I are going alone to Walt Disney World for the weekend without Emma Kate, they look at like I’m crazy. Why would I want to spend my adults only time with a bunch of kids? That’s when I get to explain our “Disney style”, and how it’s very different than a trip would look with Emma Kate in tow. While trips with her are super special and so much fun, there are “other ways” to tour the world as well.

Tips for an adults only Disney trip

So, here are my top five tips for an adults-only Disney trip, and maybe you will then see why we find our time in Disney so relaxing and enjoyable.

1.) Go Deluxe: I know it’s not in everyone’s budget, but if you can swing it (go at a cheaper time of year, use discounts, save up for a year etc.) I recommend staying at a deluxe resort, and if you save lots of pennies, splurge on a club level stay. I have stayed club level at all the Disney resorts, and it is truly a special treat. Honestly, it’s not worth it if you plan to jump up every morning, grab breakfast at the park, and stay gone until bedtime, but if you want to enjoy Disney at a leisurely pace, it’s the way to go. (Think: continental breakfast, snacks in the afternoon, wine and appetizers in the evenings, cordials and desserts at night.) Plus a lounge for you to sit in and read a book, chat with family members, or simply use it as a meeting spot. There are also dedicated cast members who help just club level guests with questions, dining reservations, and more. We love to eat and relax so it works for us!

DSC_0036

Even if you can’t splurge for club level, I recommend a deluxe resort if you plan to take things slow and spend time at your resort. Deluxe resorts have the best pool areas, lobbies, and food options, so there is plenty to do just soaking up the theming.

Even if you can’t splurge for club level, I recommend a deluxe resort if you plan to take things slow and spend time at your resort. Deluxe resorts have the best pool areas, lobbies, and food options, so there is plenty to do just soaking up the theming.

2.) Less park days: Here is where you can actually save some money. If you are going for a week, only get 4-5 days of park tickets and spend your other days doing things around your resort,  or even visiting the other resorts on property. There is plenty to do, which leads me to the next tip…

DSC_0849

3.) Beyond the Theme Parks: Since you have a couple of “free days” with no park tickets, take time to explore some of the lesser-known Disney fun such as Disney Springs, miniature golf, water parks, going fishing or parasailing, or enjoy tea at the Grand Floridian. I actually wrote two blog posts a while back about things to do beyond the theme parks. You can check them out here and here. Check out the awesome cabanas you can rent pictured below if you are at the Contemporary!

 Adults Only Disney Trip

4.) Sit on a bench: I know this sounds silly, but to this day it is one of my favorite things to do in Disney. People watching. I love grabbing Starbucks and finding a bench or laying in the hub grass at Magic Kingdom, and just watching the crowds go by while soaking up the Disney atmosphere. I feel like so many people rush from one ride to the next, that they don’t always take the time to really just soak in the fact that they are in Disney World! Stop and take a break and just be for a little while on your next trip. Grab some popcorn or a drink and just savor the moment.

 Adults Only Disney Trip

5.) Eat. A lot: I know everyone eats more on vacation, but when you are traveling with small kids, you typically don’t eat at fancy table service restaurants enjoying four-course meals. It’s more of let’s stick some chicken nuggets in your mouth and move on before they have a meltdown. This is your chance to enjoy some of the nicer restaurants, just taking your time and enjoying your vacation and the atmosphere. Some of my favorites are: California Grill, Narcoossees, Yachtsman Steakhouse, Citricos, and Artist Point. Be sure to schedule in a lot of time to sit and eat nice dinners, or even nice breakfasts and lunches, too! Whatever you want, it’s your vacation!

This was on our honeymoon! Babies!

These are just some of my tips for planning an adults only WDW vacation. The key is to relax and enjoy without feeling like you need to be somewhere every five minutes. That doesn’t sound very relaxing and enjoyable to this girl. You earned those vacation days my friend, and you don’t have to have your kids with you to enjoy Walt Disney World. Have fun!

 Adults Only Disney Trip

RELATED: Sign up for my FREE My Disney Experience and Magic Bands E-Course!

QOTD: What is your favorite tip for an adults only Disney trip?