Before I get started, I suppose some introductions are in order. We’ve got a pretty small cast of characters on this trip. Just me and my amazingly tolerant, supportive and selfie hating husband Bill.
I’m Gena, your guide for this whirlwind trip. Day to day, in addition to making magic as a travel agent, I am also a licensed pharmacy technician and manage the over-the-counter section of a pharmacy. Hectic? My life? Not in the least! Haha! But, I’m blessed that I can do everything I’m doing and still have time to travel.
Bill is my husband of almost 6 years. He’s my everything…my prince (minus the charming sometimes!), my supporter, my cheerleader, my sanity. And he not only puts up with my crazy schemes, he encourages them! He programs robots day-to-day, which he doesn’t think is nearly as cool as I do. But, c’mon, programming robots! That’s pretty cool. Lastly, we have a cameo or two coming of Pedro and Buttons, the pups. Pedro is a 10-year-old min-pin mix and Buttons is an 8-year-old papillon. Every trip includes us fretting over leaving them at “camp” and more than a few Facebook messages to the kennel to check on them. They never fail to come home, happy, tired and clean. We’ve got an amazing kennel!
Now, on to the reason you’re here! Let’s get planning this trip!
On a random December morning, Bill sent me a text with this picture…
Of course, I immediately squealed like the girl I am… right there at work. After a few days of back and forth, a quick check of room rates, a message to the kennel to ensure space for the pups, me booking the room at Loews Royal Pacific Resort, he finally caved and said “Book the airfare and quit making me crazy already!” Just like that, we had a whirlwind weekend at Universal Orlando Resort happening! I may have squealed again as I pushed that “confirm” button on Frontier Airlines’ app. Then it hit me…oh crap, we’re actually going! Eep! I’ve got a bunch of planning to do! But first things first, I got the boys’ reservation made at the kennel. We both put in our time off requests…maybe that should have come first, but whatever, it worked out. I started stalking the weather and he started scouring menus. Airfare totally drove this trip…there was no checking of crowd calendars or any of that. Just, $44 flights? Let’s roll! Granted, that didn’t include baggage, so we’ve got to pack just in backpacks for the weekend…we can do this right? Someone tell me we can do this!
In all of our excitement, neither of us realized it was opening weekend of Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando. How lucky did we get? That lead to a bit of obsessive stalking of the Universal website and Pollstar (hey, sometimes you get lucky!). Turns out Sean Paul will be there our weekend. Not someone either of us is super excited about, but I’ll still try to at least grab a pic for Y’all! No promises because we’ll be up crazy early to be at the airport at 5:30 am!
Even without a concert that excites us, there’s plenty going on we can’t wait to experience! The Mardi Gras parade…complete with beads and floats designed by the company who makes the ones in New Orleans (no worries Mom, it’s family friendly!) The delicious looking goodies in the French Quarter area while a brass band provides us with background music!! And Universal keeps throwing fun new things at us…just a few days ago they announced a new light show on Hogwarts Castle featuring the 4 Houses! Eep! This Gryffindor is stoked! I’ve already decided that me and a hot butterbeer will be enjoying that show! So that’s where we are, just under 3 weeks out now. I’m starting to gather all the necessary bits (where the heck DID we put those annual passes?!?!) and getting even a little more obsessed with Accuweather forecasts…will we need hoodies? Jeans? Parkas? This winter in Orlando you just never know!
Stay tuned in a few weeks as I start my actual trip report!
Gena Gauger is a featured writer for this blog and Travel Agent with Fairy Tale Concierge. To learn more about her and read more of her articles, click here!