Thursday, September 16, 2021

Weekend Getaway - The Woodlands and Astros

This past weekend, we took a little getaway to Houston, Texas for some time with family and to catch an Astros game! In my search for water-related fun in the area, I stumbled across The Woodlands Resort and I'm so grateful I did! 

I'm getting a little ahead of myself, though. Let's start at the beginning of the trip, shall we?

It all began with a stop at Buc-ee's, as always!

Brayden looks forward to our Buc-ee's stops almost as much as the trip itself! When I ask if he loves Disney World or Buc-ee's more, his answer is always "both of them"!! 

Within a few hours, we arrived at The Woodlands Resort. Check-in isn't technically until 4 p.m., but guests are invited to begin swimming at noon on check-in day. To my surprise, our rooms were ready and they were placed right next to each other as I'd requested! Perfect!

Our previous water park attempts this summer were mostly rained out (we were 2 for 3 on rainouts), and I knew I wanted to find a place to stay that had more than just a swimming pool. 

This place was perfect and totally fit the bill! It wasn't a full blown "water park", but we still had a lot of options and had we had a blast, too!

They even had a few fire pits around for evening smores! So fun! 

Our rooms were nice and spacious and the balcony view of the woods was incredibly relaxing.

After dropping off our bags and checking out our rooms, we headed for the pool!

Brayden seriously wasted zero time and jumped right in!

I am so glad he has overcome his fear of enclosed "twisty slides". He loves them now!

There was even a lazy river at this resort, which we took full advantage of.

Midway through our float, we spotted another "twisty slide", so we paused to let Bray have a little fun.

That evening, we enjoyed a few smores by the fire pit. They were delicious!

I'm a huge fan of burnt marshmallows. Anyone else? :)

Notice my marshmallow stick - it was stuck! Hah!

The following morning, I enjoyed the sunrise from our balcony, then we checked out of our resort and drove to Ihop on the way to Minute Maid Park. 

Brayden thought it was hilarious that he had five pancakes for five years old! He ate them all, too! 

Strawberry banana pancakes is where it's at.

Meanwhile over at Minute Maid Park, we arrived just as the doors were opening! Perfect timing.

We also spotted our friend Mickey along the way!

Apart from last year, I have a photo like this with Brayden from every single Astros game we've been to since he was born. Such a sweet memory!

We also met up with my brother and sister in law.

Before long, it was nap time. I'm shocked at this kid's ability to sleep anywhere, and he got a good hour long nap in!

Ice cream in a helmet is always a must at the ball park. :)

They won!!

We had a blast and I so enjoyed this precious time with my sweet family!

On our way home, we stopped at - you guessed it - Buc-ee's again!! :)

Where will our next adventure take us? Hopefully to Great Wolf Lodge! We planned a trip there last fall, but due to Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Delta, we had to cancel our plans. Second time is a charm, right? :) (Let's cross our fingers for no more hurricanes!)

Have a great week!

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Disney Travel Day & Bay Lake Tower [Day 1]

Prior to Brayden starting Kindergarten, we took a super quick/long weekend trip to Walt Disney World and had an absolute blast! Our trip included a split stay with one night at Bay Lake Tower followed by the remainder of the week at Old Key West. We spent time in all four parks, did a lot of swimming, and even visited Blizzard Beach. These recaps will include the highlights of our days at Disney!

Oddly enough, just as we were about to leave for our trip, our Florida friend Randy was in Louisiana to visit his parents. He stopped over to say hi! (We live about 12 hours apart!) 

No and I mean NO Texas road trip is complete without a stop at Buc-ee's! It was definitely the highlight of Brayden's day!

We sure do love this place! If you've never been, you should stop by sometime! It's seriously the largest and cleanest gas station/restroom stop/souvenir store I've ever seen!

Our flight departed bright and early the following morning. We stayed at a park and fly hotel the night before and were then brought to the airport the following morning. TSA pre-check was open and running which was nice (sometimes it's not open that early) and we were through the gate in no time.

Somehow, we snagged the front front row seats on Southwest and joked that we were starting our trip off on "Southwest first class"! These seats were awesome! 

Only problem is, you had to store your bags overhead for takeoff and landing as there's no where to put them at your feet. I would totally sit here again, though!

Now that Magical Express no longer obtains your bags for you, we had to do something we've never had to do in all our years of flying to MCO! Baggage claim!

It was not bad or difficult at all, though! Just something new for us! 

The line for Magical Express was incredibly short. We got right into line 3 which also had zero line and we were directed right onto our bus!

Off to Bay Lake Tower! In total, the whole airport thing took about an hour, then another 45 minutes or so for the Magical Express trip. We landed at MCO a little after 9 a.m. and were up and in our room at 11 a.m.! 

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that our room at BLT was ready!

We booked a basic deluxe studio without anything extra.

The rooms at Bay Lake Tower are very nice and I'd love to stay longer on our next trip.

I love how clean and updated these rooms feel. 

A kitchenette with all of the amenities were included in this little alcove.

The overall size of the room was great as well!

We ended up with a lake view somehow, but I wasn't complaining! :)

The artwork was so cute!

After glancing over our balcony, what I thought was a lake view actually turned out to be a split lake view/theme park view!

We dropped off our bags and headed to the Magic Kingdom (more on that later) then came back to the resort mid-afternoon to swim!

Brayden LOVED their slide!

They also had this adorable splash pad!

Behind the pool area was the cutest little beach/relaxation section complete with comfortable outdoor furniture! It looked so nice!

Even though Bay Lake Tower isn't our home resort, we loved it and would definitely consider adding on points there in the future!

It was so nice to be "home"! 

Stay tuned for a peek at our time in the Magic Kingdom! :) 

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