Beachside - located right next to the sand area, pool, and lazy river!
We decided to stay at the Cabana Bay resort again - we really enjoyed it last time, plus it was quite affordable. This go-round, we chose a family suite instead of two separate rooms that adjoined; the cost was not much more, but the amount of space we had made it really comfortable for the four of us to be together for a week. We ended up in a brand new building at Cabana Bay and we were the first people to stay in our suite, so everything was brand new as well. We had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a little kitchen area, and a nice living room:
Our home away from home for a fun week!
The best part of our room was that we were on the ninth floor and had an incredible view of Volcano Bay, which is Universal's newest theme park. It's supposed to open on May 25th, but I'll be honest - despite watching a huge construction crew working day and night (thankfully our rooms had blackout curtains, because they had some bright lights going all night long - but it made it easy to watch the action 24/7), I have my doubts as to if the entire park will be ready. It looks gorgeous with a neat tropical theme, and the volcano is very cool, but there was a lot still to be done when we were there:
One day the water area on the left was being filled, and then we saw waves being generated...
Then it was drained...
Refilled and incredibly murky...
Looking much more appealing now.
I am not a water park person anyway, so this particular park isn't on my agenda. I'm much more of a lazy river person - give me a float and let me drift away! We usually hit the pool area at least once a day while we were there; some days we had breakfast at the hotel, then spent the morning at the pool before heading over to the park or to other activities:
Jeff and Sam on the lazy river; Allie and I enjoying beverages poolside. We also usually ended up with an order of pool fries every afternoon...ahhh, vacation eating!
We also went bowling one afternoon in the retro bowling alley at the hotel. I haven't bowled in forever and my scores reflected that - first game I got a 33 and the second game a 70. No worries, it was still lots of fun - luckily I'm not competitive.
We had a great week together - it was wonderful to have my family unit all together again. It's funny...you have kids and they are with you all the time for years and years and years, and then they grow up and get jobs and have lives in other cities and states and suddenly you're down to getting the family together once a year if you're lucky. So this week was extra special and we all really enjoyed spending time with each other.
I'll do another post with more pictures of our time at the parks - we went every day, but most days managed to be done by early afternoon, so we could get out of the direct sun...besides, the pool was calling by then! But I can't end this without some pictures of the ridiculous - yes, ridiculous desserts that we indulged in at the Chocolate Emporium, which is a really cool steampunk-themed restaurant that we went to twice - one time for a meal and dessert (and that was the only time we ate all day...believe me it was enough food), and a second time just for dessert:
Peanut butter and jelly ice cream with a piece of cheesecake
Milkshake with a rice krispy treat topper
Milkshake with a chocolate covered frozen banana topper
Milkshake with a red velvet cupcake topper
Allie trying not to die after eating some of her milkshake.
We never could finish any of the desserts, and we shared them, and yes, they were over-the-top, but it was our vacation and we had fun choosing and indulging in them. Go big or go home right? To be honest, I'm full just looking at the pictures again!