Booking Our Second Annual Family Vacation

Ocean View from Hampton Inn Cocoa Beach

September 2021 was our time to take our second annual family vacation. Before I share all the fun details about this trip I’d like to give you a mini back story. I know many of you are shocked that this is the 2nd vacation my family has taken. And to be honest last year was our very first family vacation. As a single mother finances have always been tight. For 17 years I was living on survival mode; trying to keep up with living expenses and daycare. After 13 years at the same company and my children are grown up now I have some wiggle room. Of course my kids have travelled more then I have. I have a great family support system and with that my children were invited on vacations with extended family. My sister and my parents are the biggest blessings in my life and have treated my children like their own. They would take my lil humans to NC, TN, GA, and to enjoy the sites in our home state. I stayed home and would live my daily life like usual…work and housesitting/petsitting. Don’t get me wrong I was content. One day, A- my oldest asked why we never go anywhere together and I went on a mental excursion remembering how much family vacations meant to me when I was growing up. I never had the funds and I had to sacrifice my ownself for the greater good. As parents we always want to give our kids the absolute best. Travelling without me at that time was the best- they made some core memories (an extreme amount of core memories- I have a fun family.) Last year I surprised my kids with our first annual family vacation to Saint Augustine. I never did have time to write about our visit- perhaps one day soon I will. It was refreshing to take a break and just enjoy life. After that trip I decided I could not wait another 20 years til my next vacation. I wanted to go on some sort of trip every year. So with that said in the beginning of 2021 I logged into my Hilton Honors app and booked the closest beach- Cocoa Beach. Right now I am limited with how far I can travel- car issues. It’s a long story but in short- Ugly Betty (my car) just about died after our first road trip. Well, no…she actualy died. I pushed her to far. BUT she was revived by another amazing human in my life. He has become my superhero- if you are reading this YOU know who you are! I will definitley have to write the post on last year’s vacation just so I can share what happened to Ugly Betty. But for now we are going back to the some what present. I have warm memories of Cocoa Beach. When I was a young girl my family would visit this beach just about every summer for a week or so. I knew my children would love it too! Booking my hotel stay through the Hilton Honors App was very easy. Simply search for your destination, choose your travel dates, select your room prefrences, and search special rates like AAA, AARP, Senior Rate, Travel Agent, and/or Gov/Military Rate.

When I booked my trip my rate was a bit high, but as you know rates change- they can go up and they can go down. To get the best rate I checked the app for new rates weekly and just about daily a week before our trip. If I found a cheaper rate I locked it in by updating my reservation. I did manage to lower my rate a bit and it ended up being a little more afforadable. Not only can you book your trip on the app, but you can do early check in, utilize digital key, and check out. Anyone who is not tech savy can easily navigate the app. These additional options help keep travelers safe during COVID- allowing less face to face interaction with hotel staff. And this is what I found to be really cool…we checked into our room 24 hours prior to our arrival. I selected my room using the available room chart all from the comfort of my own home- the day before.

On the day of check-in I received a notification that my room was ready (I was still driving to the hotel- I was somewhere between Kissimmee and Cocoa. Locals you know that long road in Saint Cloud; Nova Road?) and I was able to go straight to my room using the digital key in the app. Hilton makes travel easy! I think I am addicted to this App. I log in just about every day since to plan my next stay at a Hilton Family Hotel. Where will my app take me next?

In my next post I will share details about the hotel we stayed at and more. I just wanted to share how easy it is to use the Hilton Honors App. As a new traveler I was very impressed. If you haven’t already you should sign up for Hilton Honors and start earning free stays! http://www.Hilton.com

See the World’s Largest Crayola Crayon!

Crayola New Blue Event

The World’s Largest Crayola Crayon – Bluetiful – Arrives in Orlando  The 1,352-pound crayon makes its permanent home at Crayola Experience

ORLANDO –  The world’s largest Crayola crayon, weighing in at 1,352 pounds and nearly 16 feet long, assumed permanent residence this morning at Crayola Experience Orlando. The family destination will celebrate the arrival with themed attractions, giveaways and a character meet-n-greet with Bluetiful herself.

Starting tomorrow and through Christmas Eve, the first 100 kids to visit the attraction will receive a free Bluetiful crayon, and all guests visiting on these days can:

  • Name and wrap their own Bluetiful crayon at Wrap It Up!
  • Color an exclusive Bluetiful coloring sheet at Colossal Caddy
  • Meet-n-greet Bluetiful an 8-foot crayon character

All activities are included with general admission. Distribution of Bluetiful crayons will begin when the attraction opens at 10 a.m. All other activities will occur throughout normal operational hours.

The latest shade to join the Crayola family was announced at the Colorful World of Pigments event hosted at Oregon State University on May 5, 2017. The event was a celebration of YInMn blue and its impact on art, culture and industry.  The new crayon shade was inspired by the YInMn pigment discovered in the laboratory of Oregon State Chemistry Professor Mas Subramanian.

Crayola received over 90,000 unique name submissions for the new blue crayon color and almost 400,000 consumers voted last summer to choose the final name for the new color.  ‘Bluetiful’ was voted the winner and Crayola created the larger-than-life crayon to celebrate. The 1,352-pound, 15.6-foot crayon, was unveiled at the naming announcement in NYC in September.

 

Crayola Experience tickets are $19.99 online and $22.99 at the door. Kids under 3 are free. For tickets, hours and info, visit CrayolaExperience.com.

 About Crayola Experience: Discover the magic of color at Crayola’s premier and one-of-a-kind family attraction Crayola Experience! Twenty-six hands-on attractions await families in Orlando, Fla. Bigger, brighter and bolder than ever, the colorful adventures of creativity and experience color in a whole new way. Also featuring live entertainment. Crayola Experience also has facilities in Easton, Pa – the birthplace of Crayola crayons – and at Mall of America. To learn more, visit CrayolaExperience.com.

Screamin’ Green HAUNTOWEEN @ Crayola Experience Orlando

 

From 10/07/2017 to 10/31/2017

Werewolves, witches and monsters – oh my! Spooky and colorful family fun awaits!

At Crayola Experience from October 7-31, you can create monster-rific crafts, snap spooktacular character photos, go on a themed scavenger hunt and trick or treat throughout the attraction!*

There is so much to BOO – you may never leave! All included with the price of admission.

*trick-or-treating on WEEKENDS only

Fill Your World With Color and Magic at Crayola Experience Orlando

DSCN2363Enter a world of color and magic at Crayola Experience Orlando located inside the Florida Mall; where indoor shopping and fun under the sun collide.  Just past the Crayola store front ((where you can purchase the cutest Crayola Stuffies and other Crayola merchandise)) is the entrance to the Crayola Experience where you and your child can explore 26 different hands on attractions featuring your favorite Crayola colors!

Crayola Experience Orlando is one of Central Florida’s newest indoor attractions where you will find hours of fun for the entire family.   Attractions include but not limited to:

  • Be A Star: Kids can appear in their very own coloring page along with some of Crayola’s characters. Just like a real photobooth, making your own coloring page is as easy as pushing a button and posing. Say Macaroni & Cheese!

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  • Color Magic: Color a dragon or fairy and watch it come to life!  Virtually control the character you just colored  as it responds to your direction.  See it play in a background of your choosing and don’t forget to take a selfie!
  • Rainbow Rain: It’s raining, it’s pouring, this rainbow is never boring! In this interactive experience you’ll magically catch melting digital wax with your body and hands!  Watch as your shadow shapes the brightly-colored droplets in this digital marvel that you control!
  • Melt and Mold: Wouldn’t it be cool to create a ring, shark, car or seahorse souvenir out of crayon wax?  Making one is simple at Melt & Mold!  Just load your favorite crayon color into the machine and watch your crayon melt into a Crayola Experience keepsake!
  • Drip Art: This is a new spin on a timeless classic!  Load a fresh crayon into the Drip Art machine and watch it melt and drip crayon wax onto your paper as it spins (you control the speed) to create a swirly-whirly masterpiece.
  • Meltdown: Welcome to an experience where you can take in the aroma of one of the world’s most recognizable scents. Use melted wax to paint in a whole new way! Choose from a variety of melted crayon colors to create wax art on paper.
  • Rockin Paper:  Bring your craft center stage in this multi-sensory experience that puts your art in the spotlight – literally! Watch as your personalized paper creation turns, bops and rocks to the music. It’s a new show every time!DSCN2425
  • Wrap it Up:  Cornflower, Atomic Tangerine, Purple Mountain’s Majesty, Shocking Pink…what’s your favorite Crayola color name?  At Wrap It Up!, you can personalize and print an authentic Crayola crayon label, wrap it around your crayon, and create your own unique Crayola crayon!  (cost: 1 token)

The Crayola Experience is fun for kids of all ages, just perfect for children ages 2-5.  The highlight of our visit was WRAP IT UP.  It was fun to come up with new names for classic colors we have grown to love.  I would like to see this exhibit offer guests the opportunity to design a unique color with an option to swirl colors and add glitter for an extra sparkle.  All in all I give Crayola Experience two cherries on top for being a great place to discover the magic, let your creativity run free, to color outside the lines, and to play, explore, and learn.DSCN2491