Minnie!!!! I KNOW HER!!!

Minnie!!!! I KNOW HER!!!

We just got back from our first true family vacation. It was blissful in many ways, as it was our first trip to a specific destination aside from a few weekend getaways. We drove from North Carolina to Orlando, approximately an 8 hour ride for us. We went to Magic Kingdom, Legoland in Winter Haven (45 min from Orlando), and then on the way home we stopped on Amelia Island/Fernandino Beach for 2 nights to soak up some sand. Literally. Sand everywhere!

First off – we did not stay on Disney property. We are people on a budget over here, and a hotel room with 2 young kids sounds horrendous. Lights out at 8pm everyone! Yes, there are suites, but at a cost higher than we are willing to pay. We found an incredible 3 bedroom condo in Davenport on VRBO.com for $88/night plus cleaning fee/taxes. They actually have their own website too. I highly recommend it. It was an easy 15-20 minute traffic free drive to Magic Kingdom. We did Magic Kingdom 2 different days – Thursday and Saturday the first week in May. Thursday we were able to park very close and walk to the monorail location (we arrived around 8:15am, the park opened at 9am). It stopped at two Disney resorts on the way to the park, and would have been a quick ride except the monorail in front of us had technical problems so we got stuck on it for an extra 15 minutes. Saturday it was much busier and we had to take the tram from the parking lot to the monorail location(actually we took the ferry instead of the monorail this time, because we figured it would be a lot more crowded on the monorail with the resort pickups) to the entrance of Magic Kingdom. It was about a 10 minute ride, if that.

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How nice to arrive at the condo to a bottle of vino!!

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The condo was gorgeous and had nicer amenities and decor than most hotels. It’s in the Bahama Bay Resort, which is a Wyndham resort. There was a neighborhood pool in the courtyard behind our condo. There was a playground in a grassy area at the other side of the condo. It was a 2 minute walk to the clubhouse pool and splash pad (which was fantastic). A 3 minute drive (or 10 minute walk) to the on site restaurant, pool and beach area (Tiki thatch huts for shade, lounge chairs with cushions, white sand, poolside drinks – it bordered Lake Davenport, which has alligators, so no swimming, it was fenced off). There was a pier for fishing and a walking/jogging trail that circled the complex. We will absolutely stay here again. My son loved the star wars themed bedroom!

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As always, I wish I took more pictures of where we stayed! Here is a picture of the living room.
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Here’s my 2 year old ready for the second day of Magic Kingdom. That is our condo behind her – we were on the ground floor. Walk to the right between our building and the next to get to the pool!

I looked into the dining reservations at Disney, but there wasn’t a ton available because I was booking a few weeks before our trip…and $30/person for breakfast with the characters just didn’t seem to be worth it.  Seriously, my kids were not going to care. My daughter loves her some Minnie & Mickey, but we had a FastPass to see Mickey and we were going to see Minnie as well. Which we did, she loved them, and we saved a boatload of money eating cereal at the condo vs cereal at a buffet (which my son would have picked. He loves cereal).

As a result of our budget/lack of planning choices, we packed a small cooler with turkey sandwiches/fruit/raw veggies/snacks/water and took it with us to Magic Kingdom and Legoland all 3 days. I had a small backpack I used as well for additional snacks (you can never have too many!) We did buy ice cream in the park as an afternoon pick me up. Gotta get the Mickey Ice Cream Sandwich!!

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A friend told me about the Disney App and Fastpasses, and it was fantastic to be able to use the app to check lines and see what we scheduled for our day. We didn’t make it past 3pm either day at Magic Kingdom, both kids were dragging (one was asleep) and my 5 year old was ready to chill out and hit the pool at the condo.

We also did meal prep for those 3 nights so we wouldn’t have to eat out. For budgeting and also health reasons, but also the fact that eating out with 2 tired kids isn’t that relaxing for us. There were a few charcoal grills in the complex, so we made turkey burgers one night paired with a simple cucumber/tomato/goat cheese salad I had made at home before we left.

Another night we did tacos – ground turkey meat with homemade taco seasoning I brought along, with a bag of shredded cheddar, lettuce wraps and tomato. I forgot the salsa. Whoops. All I had to do was brown the meat for that meal so not too much prep.

The last dinner I sauteed some chicken sausage with squash and cauliflower rice. I was getting tired of cooking dinner on vacation at this point, but fortunately this was the last meal I had to cook and it was pretty easy.

We went to Legoland on Friday in between the Magic Kingdom days and it was perfectly planned, if I do say so myself. Legoland was line-free and not crowded at all. The rides were slow, but that’s how my kids like them. The Knight’s Joust was my 5 year old’s favorite. The weather was cooler and felt wonderful. We also got to meet Kai, the Ninja Lego dude, and get his picture with him and he picked out a small lego set for his souvenir. We caught a Pirate Water show, played with legos in the Imagination Center and the Duplos area was perfect for my 2 year old! The Lego themed carousel was also pretty cute and both kids enjoyed it.

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Kai in Ninjagoland
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The life sized Lego creations all throughout the park were pretty incredible!

After the 3 nights of cooking in Orlando and our last day in Magic Kingdom the following day, we headed north to Amelia Island for our next 2 nights (about 3 hours away). We stopped and ate at a Ruby Tuesday’s on the way and arrived early evening. We had a fabulous beach day the next day (we were there from 9:30am-2pm!), during which we ate lunch at Sliders which was right next to the beach. Then we headed into downtown Fernandino Beach for the Shrimp Festival, which we had just learned was happening that weekend! Of course Shea fell asleep in her stroller immediately after our arrival at the festival, so we opted to enjoy dinner in air conditioning at The Salty Pelican. They had a limited menu due to the festival and I was reminded why I don’t eat fries. It tastes so good when it hits your lips!! But awful afterwards, blech.

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Fernandino Beach, Florida

We returned back to the condo and hit the pool, which was right next to our building. The sun was dipping below the trees and the water was a bit chilly.  After about 20 minutes of shivering we returned to the condo for bedtime!

It was sad to have to pack up and head back the next day (Monday). We packed our last lunch and headed home, stopping in Savannah’s Forsythe Park along the way. It was a beautiful park, we saw the famed fountain and we played at the playground for a bit, but the beauty was marred by the somewhat aggressively talking homeless population loitering around the Cafe, which was right next the playground. There were also quite a few napping under shade trees. I don’t know why this was unexpected for me as it’s a city. Duh. I guess because I don’t see homeless in the suburbs where we live and I don’t get into Charlotte parks all that often. I’m a sucker for spanish moss though and there was plenty of it in Forsythe Park and the playground was pretty fantastic. Perfect for burning a little energy before hopping in the car for 4 more hours!

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Forsythe Park, Savannah, Georgia

All in all – it was a fabulous trip. I’m hoping we can do it again in 2-3 more years! What are your Disney adventures? Did you go anywhere else on your trip?



How to be an inconsistent blogger

How to be an inconsistent blogger

Have two little kids at home with you at all time, train for a half marathon and then onto a full marathon, coach people and run challenge groups every month to stay healthy, host Thanksgiving, have a 5 year old birthday party, do Christmas shopping for 3 families and plan a Disney vacation. Ok, I know, excuses.  But seriously I’ve been busy, ya’ll!  How these amazing moms with 4+ kids manage to blog and with PICTURES, is beyond my comprehension and ability. The pictures take me the longest. I might be technology challenged, just a bit.

It’s been an awesome last month though! I PR’d in my half marathon December 10th, running a 1:38, which breaks down to a 7:32 minute mile. Which I thought was pretty fast!  But definitely not fast enough, I didn’t even place in my age group. Such fast women runners out there!! Kind of amazing and cool. I was happy with my time, and I could barely walk for 2 days, but I’m all recovered now and back to some strength workouts before upping my mileage again for the Myrtle Beach marathon in March!  My first full marathon.

Thanksgiving was great, we had 6 family members stay over at our house for a few nights and it was a fun time of laughter, drinking and eating. Might have been in excess. I call it carb loading these days for my long runs. hehe.

My 4 year old turned 5! We celebrated with an indoor pool party at our gym, with an Octonauts theme. I’ve made the mistake before of having too much food at a kid’s party, and I made it again. Seriously, how much do I think 5 year olds can and will eat in an hour? Not much, Jodi, not much. Please, stop looking at Pinterest ideas and just serve pizza and cupcakes. You don’t need 5 different cute themed sides that take your time up to make and display them. Please remember this next time. Although I was super happy with how my pinterest cupcakes turned out. Will post a picture when I can find where I put it. Again, technology challenged!

Also, we decided to take our now 5 year old and 2 year old to Disney & Legoland next spring. So I’ve been diving into Google Disney research. After much weighing of pro’s and con’s, we decided NOT to stay on Disney property (gasp!) because it was so much cheaper to stay a little bit further away in a beautifully decorated 3 bedroom condo in a resort with 4 pools. Hello, post bedtime drinks for mommy & daddy on the screened in porch while children slumber peacefully in their separate bedrooms. I just can’t shell out $400/night for a suite on Disney property, as cool as it would be. The one bedroom in the condo is a Star Wars theme and my 5 year old is going to be in heaven, so I don’t feel guilty about not staying in a themed Disney resort. Anyways, the place is booked and now we can relax for a few months!

I really would like to blog more consistently but TIME. I will try to get back here once a week. Once a month is really quite terrible, I didn’t realize it had been so long! Until next time!


Organize This! Free 5 day organization challenge

Organize This! Free 5 day organization challenge

Your linen closet.  Kitchen pantry. Hall closet. The kid’s bathroom. Master bedroom closet.  How pristine and organized are these spaces for you?  Don’t even ask me about mine.  We’ve lived in our current home for 4 years.  They still aren’t how I want them!

I tend to just ignore these trouble areas, until I get some sort of motivation.  And now it’s hereeeee!  Join my private challenge group with organization guru Samantha James (check out her blog at http://www.onceandfuturehome.com/).  Samantha and I went to high school together and reconnected recently as I adore her blog and it motivated me to start getting my house as organized as her lovely spaces are organized.  Check out some B&A pics of her spaces here! And now we are bringing it to YOU!

Which space will you organize for the Organize This Free 5 day organization Challenge starting on 10/17/16??

It’s always better when we’re together – view the event on Facebook here! 

I hope to see you in there!

I missed you! Yes, you!

I missed you! Yes, you!

WOW it’s been a SUPER busy summer.  Just counted it up, and out of the last 8 weeks (56 days) I have traveled 37 of them.  Thousands of miles racked up on the car – most of it planned travel, but regardless, WHOA!  I’ve gotten to know Virgina, Pennsylvania and New Jersey pretty well.

And in the midst of this, I’ve been trying to set up a brand spanking new website.  Which honestly, no longer seems as shiny and purpose serving as I once thought.  I’ve neglected my old trusty blog here because of the glitter on a new one, but it doesn’t seem to be the right time for me to switch it up. I may go back to trying it in another year or two when I have more time to dedicate and if it seems to be a better choice for my coaching business (YAY for 2 kids in school next year!!!!!!!!!!!!!).

And although I’ve stalked some of you on Instagram (my IG name is jodiprice55) for your delicious recipes and journeys, I haven’t found all of you and I’ve missed you!!  So I’m baaaaack and have lots of fun things to share!!

And remember…