Tag Archives: orlando

Lil Red’s Orlando Vacation Conclusion

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Lil Red’s Orlando Vacation Conclusion

Hi there everyone and happy Sunday! I hope all of you are having a great weekend! I thought we could take today to wrap up my posts about my vacation to Orlando, Florida with some more fun stories and cool pics! Take a look and let’s discuss:

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Lil Red Vacation Pro Tips:

  • To go mugs of wine for the journey to your destination is always a must! To go further with that, it’s also a wise decision to eat a ton of Taco Bell in the car, take a sleeping pill, and snooze the drive away. Our excursion to Florida was made completely tolerable thanks to sleeping for thirteen of the eighteen hours! Best. Decision. EVER!
  • If you’re nice enough to the Hogwarts Express conductor, he’ll show you his pocket watch with “Hogsmeade” and “Diagon Alley” instead of numbers so he knows when the train is departing from each station.
  • Make sure you spend some extra time after the Minion Mayhem ride to get your picture taken with one of the silly little Despicable Me goofballs! I love them so much, so this was absolutely necessary.
  • Take a boat ride to the Portafino hotel resort and enjoy some pizza at Sal’s! My family and I did this one evening after a day at Universal Studios and it was so awesome. We ate our pizza and drank wine on their patio and we had a perfect view of the nightly fireworks show at the park.
  • When you get your nails done, know that it’s going to be extra money to get rhinestone decorations! WHOOPS. So worth it though! It was really nice to take an hour to get out of the heat and get some pampering done in a cute little salon in Orlando.
  • If you’re like me and don’t like getting your hair wet, it’s a good idea to wear a plastic poncho during the afternoon rain and water rides. My mom found a poncho from The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter crumpled up on the ground near the park lockers and stealthily snagged it. I’m so glad she did because this kept me and my beloved red locks totally dry! Score!
  • Always photograph your parents doing cute things. (See picture above!)
  • Park souvenirs are not always the way to go! My mom and I found minion socks, keychains, and magnets at Marc’s all for under a dollar and they looked exactly like the ones at Universal. Such a steal!
  • There’s nothing wrong with drinking a twenty-four ounce can of Redd’s Apple Ale on the car ride back to good ol’ Akron, Ohio.
  • There’s also nothing wrong with spooning with your mom during said car right. Uhhh…..
  • Most importantly, savor every moment of your vaca and relish in the things that you can’t normally do in your hometown. Last time I checked, Akron doesn’t have anything close to Universal Studios! πŸ˜‰

So there you have it, some Lil Red Pro Tips to wrap up my Orlando vacation!! I seriously had the most amazing time during my Florida getaway but it sure feels great to be home! Did any of you guys go on vacation this summer? What was the best vaca you’ve ever been on? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

More Orlando Vacation Fun

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More Orlando Vacation Fun

Whatuppp everyone! So I’ve already shared a lot of really cool stories and pics from my vacation to Orlando, Florida…But wait, there’s more!! Take a look at some more photos from The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter, which is obviously the only thing I took pictures of and let’s discuss some more vacation fun!

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^^^ I LOVE YOU, HARRY POTTER!!!!

Despite my lack of pics from any other part of Universal Studios and the Islands Of Adventure, I can assure you that there’s a lot more to both of the parks besides The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter (even though it’s hard to believe!)! One of my favorite Universal Studio memories occurred around closing time, when a show commemorating one hundred years of movie making was played on a curtain of water. Yes, a curtain of water!

Around nine forty-five every night at Universal Studios, you can watch a video filled with clips from horror, romance, comedy, and action films going all the way from black and white to vivid color. The video can be seen projected on a water curtain and on the surface of the surrounding water itself. The film is narrated by the soothing voice of Morgan Freeman and all the while there are amazing lights, fire, and fireworks showing off on land, water, and sky. All of these components put together made for an awesome show! I recommend that you find a spot to watch the movie magic at least twenty minutes prior so you get a good view because believe me, people start crowding around very quickly!!

Aside from the Harry Potter rides, one of my other favorite rides was the Spiderman 3D roller coaster located on the Islands Of Adventure. I’ll be honest with you guys, I’m not a big superhero fan…In fact, I’ve never even seen any of the Spiderman movies BUT that doesn’t take away from how freaking cool the ride is! The Spiderman 3D roller coaster is similar to the ones in Harry Potter-land, except now you’re in a city setting flinging webs and protecting the world from baddies! Your cart follows Spidey through traffic congested streets and a starry night sky to keep the civilians from harm but you never know what super villain you’ll encounter at every turn! Keep your eyes peeled and hold on tight because you are definitely in for a bumpy and high flying ride.

During our vaca, we stayed in an apartment style room at the Westgate Reserves. Our living quarters were gorgeous and the best part about it is that we had a kitchenette, so we were able to do a lot of eating at “home”. But let me tell you, on the days that we treated ourselves to some meals out we sure did some good eating! My favorite restaurant that we ate at was called Mythos, which is located on the Islands Of Adventure. I had the pesto gnocchi and it was seriously incredible. The pesto was really creamy and it was garnished with sun dried tomatoes which is one of my favorite things in the world!

My only complaint about the restaurant is their unclear marking on the menu in regards to what food is vegetarian or not. For example, I was originally going to order their pad thai because it said on the menu that it could be prepared vegetarian style. However, when I went to order it, our waitress informed me that the dish was made with fish oil. I was so thankful that she informed me because if she didn’t tell me and I somehow found out on my own, I don’t think that I could live with myself. My second choice was delicious, but it was definitely unsettling to know that I almost unknowingly ate a meal with a fish based product in it. If you are a vegetarian and you eat at Mythos, make sure you ask for clarifications on the ingredients of what you order to prevent an unfortunate incident of meat eating!

So there you have it, some More Orlando Vacation Fun! Did any of you go on vaca this summer? Where was your vacation destination location? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Loft Vacation Haul

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Loft Vacation Haul

Heyyy everyone and happy Saturday! I hope that all of you are having a fabulous weekend so far! Last week during my Orlando, Florida vacation, my mom and I did some heavy duty shopping at one of their gazillion outlet malls. Yesterday I discussed the fun sweater dresses that I got from Forever 21 and now I’m here to chat about my cool new finds at Loft. Take a look:

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^^^ I love fall clothing!

Clearly my mom and I stayed true to the colder weather clothing theme at Loft because we left the store with a combined total of five sweaters! I’ve never shopped for myself at Loft before, usually when I go in there it’s because my mom wants to so I was pleasantly surprised that I walked away with some great steals! Everything at the Loft outlet was forty percent off, so it dropped the price of our bill significantly and it didn’t make me feel too bad about snagging some more pieces from the outlet mall! But hey, when in Rome. πŸ˜‰

While shopping in Forever 21, I tried on a poncho-esque jacket that unfortunately was way too big for me so I was very happy with my Loft poncho purchase. Honestly, I had no intention of trying it on but my mom insisted so I gave it a shot and it was shockingly adorable! When I think of ponchos the first thing that comes to mind is unfitted and baggy which is not my thing in the slightest, so I was thrilled to see that my poncho was extremely fitted once I had it on. It clings to my body without being tight and it looks so effortlessly chic. The look of this piece once it’s on is more of a shawl than a poncho and I feel like a really classy bitch when I wear it. I’m very excited to throw one of my first Loft purchases on over a long sleeved shirt, my black super skinnies, and my tan knee high riding boots. Hello, sophisticated lady!

My navy blue cardi with tan pleather accent pockets was the first thing I saw when I walked into Loft and it was love at first sight. This crazy cute piece also came in charcoal grey with black pockets so I grabbed them both to try on. As soon as I saw these sweaters, I knew that I wanted one desperately – I was already having an intense mental debate over which color to get once they were in my arms to take to the fitting room. I tried on the navy blue one first and it left me speechless over how much I loved it. My mom and I both agreed that it was a perfect combination of funky and put together and I seriously didn’t want to take it off after I had it on. I said farewell to the cardi only briefly to try the grey one on and about thirty seconds after, it was off. It just didn’t have the same “wow” factor as its navy sister sweater. The best thing about this cardi is its length. It goes down to my knees, so I plan on wearing it over a fun top paired with thick cable knit tights and a chunky heel for an edgy autumn look.

So there you have it, my very first Loft purchases made during my vacation shopping trip! What are you most excited to wear this fall? What is your favorite cold weather staple? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Forever 21 Vacation Haul

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Forever 21 Vacation Haul

Hellooooo everyone and TGIF! As you guys know, I spent last week vacationing in Orlando, Florida with my family. A trip to a new city wouldn’t be complete without some shopping though!! Orlando is abuzz with a million and one different outlet malls so my mom and I spent our first night in Florida shopping. Classic Lil Red to want to shop as soon as we reach our vacation destination! At the outlets my mom and I only made it to two stores, Forever 21 and Loft, because we spent so much time in each. I got some gorgeous new additions to my wardrobe at each store, so take a look at my new finds from Forever 21 and make sure you tune in tomorrow for a peek at my Loft purchases!

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^^^ SO CUTE!!!

When I’m on vaca, I would much prefer to get some new clothes as my souvenirs rather than some knick knacks that sit around and do nothing – so the outlet mall was the perfect place to pick up some mementos to remember my trip by! I am so in love with my new burnt orange and emerald green sweater dresses I just can’t even! Both of these pieces cost me less than forty dollars, which is the cost of an average clothing item at Universal Studios! I got a lot more bang for my buck and I am so ready for fall in Akron, Ohio so I can break out these adorable staples.

I’ve wanted a floor length cardi-dress for ages now and I am so happy that I found one in beautiful burnt orange, which is one of my favorite colors to wear! The great thing about this piece is that you can wear it alone as a dress or you can put it over leggings or jeans for a fresh fall look. I’m really excited to pair my cardi-dress with my army green heeled combat boots and a floppy hat for a look that screams “autumn”!

What I love about my emerald green sweater dress is how much it reminds me of Slytherin house from Harry Potter! The colors of the dress match the house colors to the T so if I want to be a sexy Slytherin girl for Halloween then I’m all set! Usually I’m pretty hesitant about sweater dresses like my new green one because I don’t like clothing that’s extremely tight BUT when I tried this little number on, I knew that I had to have it. I felt so confident in it and confidence is key, after all. The way the dress fit was superb. It hugged every curve to perfection and I love wearing any shade of green so this dress was a must. I plan on pairing this little beauty with sheer black tights and my cream colored Juicy Couture wedges for a night on the town outfit. (See “If The Shoe Fits – Juicy Couture Edition” for more!)

So there you have it, my Forever 21 Vacation Haul! I hope all of you are having an awesome Friday! What is everyone up to this weekend? Any fun plans? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Island Boat Lines Wildlife Tour

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Island Boat Lines Wildlife Tour

Hellooo everyone and happy Hump Day! So as you know, this week on lifewithlilred I’ll be discussing a different highlight of my Orlando, Florida vacation every day. Last Thursday my family took a break from hanging out at Universal Studios to go on an amazing wildlife tour through Island Boat Lines. We drove about an hour away to the 1,000 Islands of Cocoa Beach and boarded our “tour boat” in search of dolphins, manatees, and birds. I got to see some wildlife that we definitely don’t have in Ohio, so take a look at some pics and let’s get to it!

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The Island Boat Lines wildlife tour is two full hours of exploring the 1,000 Islands with the boat captain and two naturalists who are all extremely knowledgeable. Not only did I get to see a lot but I also learned so much from them as well! After a quick lesson on boat etiquette our tour began and within ten minutes of sailing we saw our first manatee! Unfortunately, these sweet and shy creatures were very difficult to photograph but let me tell you: THEY’RE SO CUTE!!! It was so fun to see their big ol’ bodies bobbing along in the water. The entire time I just wanted to jump out of the boat and pet them. We saw five or six manatees on our tour and of course there were more but they are pretty hard to spot because they blend in with the water so well.

All throughout our tour we saw an abundance of birds like pelicans, herons, storks, and anhingas. They were everywhere!! It seemed like wherever we looked they were perched in their trees, in flight, or in the stork’s case just hanging out in someone’s backyard. I’ll admit that I’m not much of a bird gal, I had two parakeets once…and they died…But that’s neither here nor there. The point is, that it was really cool to see these majestic creatures up close and personal because Ohio obviously doesn’t have anhingas flying around every time you turn a corner.

Not only did we see our fair share of animals but we also saw a lot of plants and flowers native to Florida. I was very excited to see a Naked & Afraid staple of the Mangrove Tree, myself! It was such a nice change to see vivid blossoming flowers and palm trees rather than the yellow grass and weeds that I’m used to in my neck of the woods. Speaking of grass, did you know that palm trees are actually a type of grass? You didn’t? ME EITHER!! #wildlifetour101

Everything that I got to see on the tour was awesome but the most memorable part of the wildlife cruise was seeing the dolphins!!!! During our two hour ride we saw eight to ten playful dolphins splashing and jumping about and it was something that I will never ever forget. Like the manatees, they were next to impossible to photograph but rest assured that they areΒ  gorgeous! The major highlight of the tour was seeing two dolphins, a big and a little one, jumping at the same time. It looked like something you would see in a movie and I got to experience it first hand. Most importantly, I got to witness such beautiful creatures in their natural habitat doing what they do best…avoiding getting their picture taken. -_- πŸ˜‰

If you are ever in the Orlando, Florida area, I seriously cannot recommend the Island Boat Lines wildlife tour enough. All of their information can be found on http://www.islandboatlines.com or they can be reached at 321-454-7414. Make sure to check them out!!

So there you have it, my Island Boat Lines Wildlife Tour experience! What was the most memorable animal you’ve seen in real life? Have you ever been on a tour similar to the one that I described? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

PS: The stud in my featured image photo is my dad!!! Isn’t he handsome?! ❀

The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter

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The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter

Hey heyyy everyone and happy Tuesday! As you guys know this week on lifewithlilred will be featuring posts all about my Universal Studios adventure, which started with yesterday’s Monday Update: Orlando Vacation Edition. To continue with this theme, I thought that we could finish our conversation about my favorite part of my vaca – The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter. Take a look at these cool pics and then let’s discuss:

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As I mentioned before, Universal Studios added on to The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter park with Diagon Alley. The pictures that I’ve posted and will continue to post throughout the week does not do the HP replicas justice in the slightest. We’ve already talked about a lot of what the newest HP park has to offer yesterday but we have yet to talk about all of the different rides, so let’s get on that!!

Diagon Alley features two new rides, an interactive train ride on the Hogwarts Express and Escape From Gringotts. The nice thing about boarding the Hogwarts Express is that it takes you to Hogsmeade, which lies in the neighboring park, the Islands of Adventure. And of course you can hop the train and head back to Diagon Alley. To get to the Hogwarts Express you must walk through Kings Cross station, complete with the luggage of Hogwarts students and a hologram which makes you look like you’re walking through the wall to Platform 9 3/4 to onlookers.

Once you’ve boarded the train you enter into a spacious cabin boasting luggage racks, plush seats, and framed photos of London. As the train begins to move you can see scenes of London streets, HP characters like Hagrid, and the approaching Hogwarts castle through your window. Make sure you pay attention to your cabin door as well, where you will see silhouettes of Harry, Ron, Hermoine, and the soul sucking Dementors. Once Harry’s Patronus charm chases the Dementors away, you can exit the train and you will find yourself right in the heart of Hogsmeade.

The second new ride in Diagon Alley is the Escape From Gringotts, a high speed 3D roller coaster. The awesome thing about a lot of the rides at Universal, specifically the HP rides, is that they make the waits in line completely tolerable because you are able to interact with your surroundings. In the line for Escape From Gringotts, you get to experience walking through a perfect replica of the bank, complete with high vaulted ceilings, crystal chandeliers, and talking and moving goblins. And it wouldn’t be a HP ride without talking and moving pictures on the wall!

After your walk through the bank, you board an elevator that’s measured in miles instead of floors to take you deep into the bottommost layers of Gringotts. Before you begin your mine cart ride, you get to see a short hologram interaction between Bill Weasley and a goblin, to tell you a little bit about what you’re in for during your tour of the Gringotts vaults. From there, you enter your mine cart and get down to business. If you are expecting a nice leisurely ride, you will be in for quite a shock…Especially during your run ins with trolls, dragons, Bellatrix, and Voldemort!

There are three rides in Hogsmeade, but I am only going to discuss one of them, as the other two are your standard roller coasters. One of the best rides that Universal Studios has to offer is Harry Potter & The Forbidden Journey. This is another 3D roller coaster which takes you on a grand tour of the Hogwarts castle and grounds. Similar to Escape From Gringotts, a lot of the fun is waiting in line! During your wait you get to walk through the corridors of Hogwarts, where you encounter holograms of Dumbledore, Harry, Ron, and Hermoine. You get a look at the greenhouse, the Gryffindor common room, as well as multiple classrooms. You also get to see the pictures on the walls interacting with each other. The most interesting picture experience comes from watching the founders of each house discuss letting muggle born students practice at Hogwarts. (We all know how Salazar Slytherin feels about this!) And of course, a tour through Hogwarts wouldn’t be complete without hearing the fat lady sing! All of this excitement occurs before even coming close to going on the ride!

You know that you’re in for a wild ride just from getting into your cart because they are moving along a platform at a pretty quick speed, and once you’re on and buckled in the ride begins. Harry Potter & The Forbidden Journey let’s you feel what it’s like to fly as you travel behind Harry and the gang, going everywhere from the Quidditch field to the Forbidden Forest. Be on the lookout though because your journey is filled with dangerous twists and turns, putting you face to face with giant spiders and Dementors. You get up close and personal with the HP trademark, the Whomping Willow, as well as a high speed adventure beneath the Quidditch field rafters a la Harry Potter & The Chamber Of Secrets. The Forbidden Journey is a long ride and by the time you’re done you really feel as though you made the million mile trip throughout the Hogwarts grounds. Shake it off and cool down with a delicious frothy Butterbeer…you earned it!!

So there you have it, the Lil Red inside look at the rides of The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter! Make sure you tune in at the same time and same place tomorrow for more of my Orlando, Florida vacation fun! Until then, have any of you been to Universal Studios before? What was your favorite ride there? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Monday Update: Orlando Vacation Edition

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Monday Update: Orlando Vacation Edition

Helloooo everyone and welcome to a brand new edition of the Monday Update – Vacation style! This past week my family and I made an eighteen hour trek from Akron, Ohio to Orlando, Florida for some fun at Universal Studios! I arrived home at three fifteen on Sunday morning and I’m still recovering from the drive home, but that’s just a small price to pay for a week of paradise. Because my family did so much on our vacation, this week on lifewithlilred is going to be a bit different…Every day I’ll be posting a new segment about my vaca complete with pictures and witty commentary. But for now, let me throw a few pics on here and we can talk about some of the amazing things that Universal Studios has to offer!

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A year or so ago, a new edition was added onto The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter section of the amusement park – Diagon Alley. Previously, the Harry Potter park was limited to Hogsmeade and I must say, they really outdid themselves with both parks. The last time my family attended Universal, Diagon Alley was still in production so it was absolutely incredible to be able to experience the finished product, which can be seen in the first three pictures that I posted! You might notice in the pic of me in the telephone booth that I have a sign attached to the back of my shirt – this was an impromptu attempt at promoting lifewithlilred while exploring Universal Studios. Lol, anything for the sake of advertisement!

Anyways, back to Diagon Alley…It. Was. AWESOME. What was so cool about the newest addition to Universal Studios was how big it was! There were so many different twists and turns you could take throughout the park which lead to different shops, performances, and rides. Watch your step though, because you might end up in the dark and spooky Knockturn Alley, which was my favorite part of Diagon Alley. The execution of Knockturn Alley was exquisite…It captured the mood of the Dark Arts to perfection with pitch black corridors, singing shrunken heads, and wilted flowers adorning the windowsills. But the best part of Knockturn Alley was exploring Borgin & Burkes, a store for all of your Dark Arts needs.

Borgin & Burkes sold souvenirs, of course, but it also had tons of HP movie memorabilia, which included a Vanishing Cabinet made special for the park by the Potter prop masters. Stepping into Borgin & Burkes seriously felt like walking onto a Harry Potter movie set…that’s how authentic the creepy atmosphere was. The store was filled with “cursed” items that are easily recognizable from the books and movies, like the severed hand that closes itself onto you of you get too close! Borgin & Burkes was where I picked out a cool shirt for my sister donning the killing curse in ink and quill script…AVADA KEDAVRA!

If you’re looking to spend some moolah in Diagon Alley, then you can drop forty-eight bucks on a wand that let’s you interact with the park. In all of the windows of Diagon Alley, there are displays which will move with just a flick of your wrist. All you have to do is stand on the designated spot in front of the window, which is marked on the ground, and put your wand to use. I can imagine that there is some type of chip in the wand that activates the window displays which can be anything from making troll armor move to lighting up all of the candles in a window and blowing them out again. The interactive windows were a brilliant way of letting the park goers experience some magic and it was definitely cool to see what each display had to offer. I didn’t buy a wand because I got a lowtech one during my last trip, so I was a bit jealous of everyone who had one!

There’s a lot more to discuss about Diagon Alley, which will be saved for another article, so make sure you keep it posted on http://www.lifewithlilred.com to learn more about The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter! Until then, who has been to Universal Studios before? What was your favorite part of the park? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah