Now that we're in the thick of winter...though I can't complain our winter has not been too bad. I'm sure many of you (like me) are thinking about warmer destinations or even starting to plan your summer vacations.
As you may know by now (if you follow me on Instagram) I have a bit of a travel bug and I'm constantly planning my next travel adventure! Growing up my family and I went on a ton of road trips throughout the USA and Canada, so I’ve developed a particular fondness for them over the years.
So last July one of my oldest friends, Courtney and I decided that we were in need of another journey! We both hadn’t been on a road trip in a while, so we decided that we would pick a destination somewhere in the Southern states so that we could stop at various cities along the way. But, where to go?!?! As both of us grew up with Disney movies and are huge fans, we thought why not Disney World in Orlando, Florida!
We decided that we would only book a place to stay in Disney, as we weren’t exactly sure on where we wanted to stop along the way (even though we had some ideas). We booked a timeshare condo at the Disney Resort SaratogaSprings, which is located just across from Downtown Disney (it ended up being the perfect location!)
We then set out on our long adventure on a Wednesday afternoon!
Our first stop wasn’t so glamorous. It was a motel off the highway about an hour and a half outside of Columbus, Ohio. We had initially wanted to make it to Columbus, but our hunger and sleepiness set in so it was Popeye’s and a cheap motel for the night!
The next day we made it all the way to Nashville, Tennessee after stopping shortly in Louisville, Kentucky (home of the Kentucky Durby and the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory). Nashville was amazing (I definitely want to go back again)! We visited American Pickers Mike Wolfe’s store, Antique Archaeology, which is a really cool place if you’re into antiques (like me). We also went to this really fun restaurant for dinner called Pinewood Social. They have a bowling alley in the restaurant and a great patio were you could play bocce ball. The interior space was very modern, which we were both loved. After that we just did some bar hopping along Broadway, as there are pretty much bars with live music back to back along the entire street!
The following morning we woke up early and made our way to Orlando, Florida! It was a long haul from Nashville to Orlando, it took us about 15 hours in total (I wouldn't necessarily recommend it, maybe stop in Atlanta)
We made the best of it by stopping for short breaks and food. By the time we got to our hotel we were exhausted and headed to bed!
The next day we just hung out by the pool, relaxing and soaking up the sun! For those of you who think that Disney is just a place for kids, it’s not! I was so impressed with how the various pools, bars and restaurants they had at both our resort and Downtown Disney were catered towards adults!
Over the next three days we visited Epcot, Magic Kingdom and Universal Studios (specifically to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, as I am a huge fan!), which may seem like a lot but we wanted to get in as much as we possibly could. I honestly LOVED all the parks, as they were all so different!
The day we went to Epcot it was Bastille Day, so there were tons of celebrations happening within the Paris section. Interestingly enough Courtney and I had celebrated Bastille Day together in Paris, France the previous year so it was fun to see what they did here! We ended up seeing all the Countries in Epcot, but I think my favorite one was Japan! Maybe because they had a lot of Hello Kitty stuff in the gift shop, haha but really I want to visit Japan. I've always been so interested in their culture!
Magic Kingdom was just MAGICAL to say the least! It reminded so much of my childhood, as I grew up watching all of the Disney movies and loving all the characters. It was also fun to see rides that I had gone on when I was child and visited Disney World for the first time.
We even stayed to see the fireworks, which we watched from the top of the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse. I can honestly say that it was one of the most amazing firework shows I have ever seen (I’d love to know how much money they spend on fireworks per year)!
Last, but certainly not least, we went to Universal Studios where we visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Honestly, this was a dream come true for me. I was SO excited! We visited Diagon Alley, drank some of the infamous Butter Beer and escaped from Gringotts Wizarding Bank! This was definitely one of the highlights of the trip for me. For the rest of the day we just walked around the rest of the park visiting Springfield, home to the Simpsons and other attractions Universal had to offer!
Out next stop was Charleston, South Carolina, to say it was pretty is a complete understatement. It was absolutely breathtaking!
Honestly, I could have stayed there for another week just exploring and taking photos of the scenery. Many of the homes were painted bright colors and there were flowers everywhere (which would be my ideal place to live)!
We also got to check out some fun restaurants and bars too, including Poogan’s Porch and Charleston’s oldest restaurant!
From there we head to Washington, D.C. Although I had been there when I was a child, it was fun to see the White House again! However, it was sweltering hot when we were there and we ended up only seeing the back of the White House, which we realized when we were driving away the next day! Perhaps we were tired from all the driving we had been doing prior.
Thankfully this was our stop for the night, we stayed at the Mayflower Hotel.
We checked out some lobby bars that were close by, but our favorite was the rooftop bar at the W Hotel. It had an amazing view that overlooked DC and you could see that all of the buildings had an American flag on top.
Finally we made our way back to Toronto from DC, which was a loooooooong drive (especially since there was a ton of traffic)! Luckily we made it home in one piece and had an amazing time with memories that will last a lifetime!
I definitely want to go back to all of the cities that we visited, but I think I'll fly next time, (it was a lot of driving!) Don’t get me wrong, I love a good road trip, but according to Google Maps it was 44 hours worth of driving!
Thank you so much for reading! And, if you’re planning a road trip through the USA or a trip in general I'd love to hear all about it in a comment!