S: Florida 2012
FC: Florida April 1, 2012 - April 6, 2012
1: Miami and Orlando, Florida | April 1, 2012 - April 6, 2012
2: Good things come in 3's!!! That was our motto for this trip. Our second cousin trip was to Miami and Orlando in Florida. We initially only wanted to go to Orlando because we all wanted to visit Walt Disney World. Since we were already going to be in Florida, we thought why not Miami? We knew Miami was known for its nightlife scene. Plus, we wanted to see if Dash really existed. FYI, it does!!! We were all in agreement that the trip was great because of the company. However, we were all so, so exhausted! We were always waking up early and going to sleep late. Our mistake was that we should have only stayed in one city or that we should have taken the shuttle from Miami to Orlando right after the red eye and rested. The travel time and lack of sleep took its toll on us and we were wiped out. We could not really fully enjoy these two cities because we were so sleepy all the time. Even though we were so tired, we had a lot of laughs throughout the trip. Everything made us laugh, from my missing sandal at TSA to being bumps on a log to
3: Cafe Versailles to the thousands of pictures we took in Miami Beach to our Miami tour driver, Manny from Miama, to our gigantic turkey legs and Minnie ears rubbing together at Disney World to the pictures we took while shopping to the persistent hostess at Vinito Ristorante to our bobble heads, everywhere we went... the list goes on and on. Our favorite part was just relaxing in the room, watching television. We are such spuds!!! We would wake up and turn the TV on. When we got back to our hotel from our outing, we would turn the TV on. We would go to sleep with the TV on. Basically, if we were in the room, the TV was on. We ended up getting more cousin things, which is always a plus. We got the same Minnie ears and Disney Princess pens at Walt Disney World. Then we wanted to get the same ring at TOUS, but the salesperson said that she only had one in the store. We were so sad because it would have been perfect for Disney World. Overall, the trip was... exhausting, but we still had a good time and created memories.
4: TAKE | MIAMI | LAUREN,CAITLIN&BRITTANY
7: MIAMI BEACH | JUMP SHOTS
8: Included in our Miami Sightseeing Tour was a boat ride to Biscayne Bay and Millionaire's Row on Star Island. We saw the homes of the rich and famous including the following celebrities: Antonio Banderas, Jackie Chan, Ben Affleck,
9: George Clooney, Carmen Electra, Jennifer Lopez, P. Diddy, Enrique Iglesias, Ricky Martin, Julio Iglesias, Will Smith, Shakira, Shaquille O'Neal, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Madonna, and more. These oceanfront mansions are so extravagant.
12: As soon as we landed in Miami International Airport at 7am, we were already exhausted. All we wanted to do was sleep, but ended up doing the opposite. Our first stop was to our hotel, The Blue Moon, so we could leave our bags in our room. Unfortunately, there were no rooms available until check-in, so we changed in the bathroom and left our bags with front desk. After we changed into our bikinis, we were in search of Miami Beach. The good thing about our hotel was that it was in the Art Deco District. In addition, it was minutes away from a variety of boutiques, restaurants and beaches along Ocean Drive. As we were walking, we passed by a hotel that also arranged shuttles and tours. Since we are easily persuaded, not only did we purchase a round trip shuttle ride to Orlando, but also a Miami tour. The salesperson was very convincing. After, we asked him how to get to the beach. Little did we know it was right in front of us. It was literally straight ahead of us and none of us saw it. That should have been the first sign of fatigue. When we got to the beach, the first thing we did were jump shots. That is what a vacation is all about. It is about having fun, relaxing and not having a care in the world. After the beach, we went to check-in and got ready for the tour, which meant that we could not even get in a quick nap. The tour lasted four hours and it included a boat ride of Biscayne Bay and Millionaire's Row, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, Little Havana and Calle Ocho. An added bonus was that we got to see peacocks in Coconut Grove. They are such beautiful creatures! We were so tired; we ended up falling asleep on the bus. Our tour guide/driver was boring and not entertaining enough for us to stay awake. After the tour was over, we took a much needed nap. When we woke up, we got ready to hit the town. We wanted to go to MIA, supposedly a nightclub, but we never found it. We just ended up having dinner at Spiga, an Italian restaurant. The best part about our hotel room was the shower. It had great water pressure and we had no problems with the temperature or knee length water.
17: Of course our first stop on our first day in Orlando was Mall of Millenia. When we got there, we ate at California Pizza Kitchen and then walked it off by shopping. We wanted to get cousin rings at Tiffany & Co., but there were not any we liked. Then, we walked into TOUS with no expectations and ended up falling in love with this sterling silver ring that had three bears on it in onyx. It was prefect! It symbolized the three of us and it would have even been more fitting to wear to Disney World. As luck was not on our side, there was only one available. We decided to wait until we can purchase them at the same time in Los Angeles. The next day, we went to Disney World. That was the reason we went to Florida for in the first place. We all love Disneyland, so there was no doubt about going to Disney World. It was our first time and we were so excited about visiting Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and Epcot. However, weather and exhaustion got the best of us. It was so hot and overcrowded that we spent most of the time being bumps on a log. On the way back from Disney World, one of our many taxi drivers told us about the great promotional deals at the outlet stores, so we decided to check them out the next day. We went to Premium Outlets, near our hotel. Brittany was the big winner! She found this Michael Kors luggage. Even before this trip, she had been searching for a Michael Kors luggage for months. It was so beautiful and spacious; Lauren and I wanted one too. Being that we were across Universal Studios, you would think that we would have taken advantage of it. Guess again. We were supposed to go to City Walk on our last night. However, our plan changed. After shopping, we got lazy and just decided to hang out in the room, watch television, order pizza and pack. It actually ended up being a perfect ending to our trip. By the time we adjusted to the time change and had enough rest and relaxation, it was time to leave. We will definitely be prepared and ready to explore our next destination, Australia, on our next cousin trip.
18: We finally got our rings on Saturday, April 21, 2012. It was such an ordeal, but so worth it. These rings are adorable! Here is the long version of the story... It all started after we got back from Florida. Since Lauren and I were going to the Beverly Center the following day, we decided to see if there were three rings available. It was no surprise that the salesperson, Blanca, said there was only one. We tried it on for size and it fit. We were not sure what size Brittany was, but we had a feeling it was the same size as us. We asked the lady if she could order two more size 6 rings and one size 7, just in case. She said she would call me that Tuesday, when the shipment arrived. However, two weeks went by and nothing. I even called her, but she said they did not arrive yet. I felt like I was getting the run-around, so I called the TOUS store at South Coast Plaza on Tuesday, April 17th. Mariela, the person I spoke to on the phone said she had to check and that she would call me back within twenty minutes. At first, I was hesitant, but I went with it anyways. It turned out that she did actually call me back. I guess all TOUS stores only have one of everything because she said there was only one ring. However, she said she could call other stores and call me back. After going back and forth, she said the rings would be in that store by Saturday. She even called me when they arrived that Thursday. Saturday came and we went to buy our rings. Justin, the salesperson who was apologetic and so sweet, said there was a mistake and that there were only two size 6 rings and one size 7 ring. Ugh, it was mess. We did not want to waste the trip of driving all the way to Costa Mesa, so we continued shopping. It was a good thing we stayed because within ten minutes, Justin called me. I missed it, but he left me a voice mail. He said that there were three size 6 rings. A size 6 ring was tagged a size 7, which explained the mix-up. We went back and purchased the rings. They also had a promotion that day, so we got free perfume. It did not smell great, but came in an adorable bear shape bottle. The cutest part was that the cap was a nightcap. Since we know Brittany has a perfume collection, we thought it would be a good addition. It is a great memory! The best part of that day was in the car afterwards. We wanted to wear our rings, so as we were getting them out, there were more than just rings. It was surprise after surprise, like a fun bag. We got additional pouches, samples of lotion, a postcard and even chocolate. Yum! To celebrate, we went to eat dinner at Green Onion. That was our first night we wore our rings together. Coincidentally, we all wore our rings on our right middle finger.