Travel on the Side

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I’ve now lived in Wisconsin for almost 7 years. I grew up in the Midwest, so it’s not a huge change, but thing I hate is winter. Yep, I know I’m in the wrong state. But here I am. For the past few years we’ve taken a warm-weather vacation when it gets colder here. Last year, we went to Orlando–and managed to miss the first big snow storm of the season! In 2014, we did… Read More

Ahh, the beautiful sunshine and warm weather of Florida was a brief respite from December in Wisconsin. We stayed four nights in Orlando at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. Below are some notes on our trip: Airline/Hotel: Booked a Southwest Airlines package deal for flight + hotel when there was a good sale in September. Also love that they have non-stop service from our home airport. Enjoyed Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort: comfortable room,… Read More

It was time to switch it up after two days doing the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. From our base at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, we arranged for a Mears Shuttle to pick us up and take us to Universal Studios Orlando. We had been to Universal Studios Hollywood back in 2012, and although there is a bit of crossover, the big draw to Orlando is, of course, the Wizarding World of Harry… Read More

After our day at the Magic Kingdom, it was time to explore Epcot. Same plan: breakfast at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and then hop on a shuttle to spend the day at Epcot. I loved Epcot as a kid. Visiting the world showcase made me want to travel and explore these places in person. It was Sunday and not too crowded. After entering the park, we decided to line up and wait… Read More

OK, I’ll admit, I’m not a huge fan of theme parks. But we were in Orlando to escape some Wisconsin winter weather, so I put myself in the mood! I had been to Disneyland in California about four years prior. The last time I was at Disney World in Florida was 1991. We hopped on the shuttle from Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and were dropped off at the Magic Kingdom. The shuttle… Read More

I think we could get into the habit of taking a winter vacation to a warmer locale! Earlier in December, we spent four nights at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort–one of the “moderately” priced Disney properties. In September I found a good vacation package deal through Southwest Airlines (flight + Disney hotel), so I booked it. The advantage of staying at a Disney hotel is that round trip transportation from/to the airport is… Read More

If you’re in the Key West area, you need to take a daytrip to Fort Jefferson, part of the Dry Tortugas National Park. If want to just get away from it all–this is the place! Fort Jefferson, built in the mid-1800s and used during the Civil War, is surrounded by the most beautiful blue-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico that you will ever see. There are two main ways to get… Read More

Key West is a lovely place, but it’s not known for its beaches. However, there’s one place that is perfect. It’s the beach at Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park. I’ll even call this beach “secret” — ok, not really. But it wasn’t particularly crowded and there was plenty of room to spread out on the beach. Why am I calling it a “secret’? Well for one thing, you need a good… Read More

I could spend forever in Key West–that’s how much I liked it. But alas, all we had were three days. We flew from home, connected in Atlanta, and then on to Key West. I’m glad the pilot warned us that the landing at the Key West airport would be abrupt. The runway isn’t that long. After exiting the aircraft, you are welcomed to the “Conch Republic“! From the airport, it was a… Read More