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home is not a place, it's a feeling...

I have been back to NYC from California since the New Year, and most of the time between then and now has been pretty mundane, every day life filled with auditions, work, wedding planning, and laying on the couch with a sinus infection. Minor highlights of excitement were when Mike's parents came for a visit and we took them to a few of our NYC bucket list items (including mostly food, let's be honest)...

Dole Whip at Chikarashi, (getting our Disney fix)....

Thee best chicken-biscuit sandwich I have ever had from Cheeky Sandwiches (and their $1 man-catchin' beignets)....

Japanese Ramen a plenty...

...and meeting up with Stephanie, my roommate from California, as much as humanly possible.
Thank you to the amazing Kids Club parent who donated these tickets to Hello Dolly for us to shower Bernadette Peters with all the praise and love she deserves! 

I also have celebrated a birthday since the last time I wrote, which also included spending time hanging out with Stephanie, as well as some other incredible individuals coming over and playing some super fun bored games and eating dinosaur cake.

Don't be fooled by all this amazing looking fun posted above. As some of you that follow me on instagram know (Theprincesssdiaries for those of you who are not following me yet), we had quite a rough few weeks, including a mouse infestation in our apartment, and the absolute worst thing that could happen in NYC, bed bugs. After exterminators in and out of the apartment, sleeping on the futon for a few days, and a lottt of laundry, I think we are finally able to say we are in the clear, but a vacation was definitely in need. 

The drive from NYC to Orlando is about 15 hours without traffic and weather delays. We left at around 2am on Saturday, and enjoyed watching the temperature go up as we drove down before we finally arrived around 8pm. 

While in Florida, we stayed with my mom, and got to spend a lot of precious time with my sisters and nieces doing some wedding planning (when we weren't playing church kickball or eating Jeremiahs Italian Ice!).  

Of course no trip to Orlando would be complete for Mike and I without visiting our home, Disney World. Starting our day at Animal Kingdom, we rope dropped Pandora to try and get on both of the Avatar rides before it got too crowded. We made sure there was no early extra magic hours for hotel guests, and arrived at 7am for a 8am park opening. The lines were already starting to fill in around that time, but the park surprisingly opened the turnstiles at 7:15am, and the race was on. We still had to wait about 90 minutes for the ride, however, the line was constantly moving and we were able to check out the beautiful structures around us while we waited.

Flight of Passage was incredible, and we both really loved the new style of ride. For those of you who haven't checked it out yet, it is similar to Soarin', however, you are on your own individual car, kind of like a bike (that moves and breathes); it's pretty epic, and clearly difficult to explain. 

Once we were off the first ride, we followed the rest of the crowd to the other Avatar ride, Na'vi River Journey, and waited another 120 minutes through the slower moving, outdoor line. Similar to Small World, the boat style ride takes you through the incredibly beautiful world of Pandora. Also found in Pandora is not only some of the most delicious food and beverages, but visually stunning as well.

The Night Blossom is a mixture of pear and apple slush, topped with passion fruit boba, and the perfect afternoon pick me up.

The Satu'li Canteen has some other tasty treats, like the create your own entree bowl, I highly recommend checking it out.

The rest of the day in Animal Kingdom included avoiding getting a sunburn, riding Everest, and checking out Mike's old stomping ground, the Wilderness Explorers program. It was pretty packed at the park, and we were quickly ready to head out to the next park for some more adventure. 

Epcot was the next stop on our itinerary to use our fast passes for Test Track and Character Spot for one of the greatest meet and greet experiences.

While chatting with Mickey, we let him know we used to be cast members and we missed seeing his face everyday, and because of this, we would love for him to come to our wedding! He was so excited, he pulled me through Goofy's meet and greet, to Minnie's meet and greet to show her my ring. 

Of course Goofy wanted in on the action as well, so we decided Goofy could be the wedding officiant, however, he had to wear his top hat, but he was worried it wouldn't match his bowtie, so he thought he would ask Mickey to borrow his.

We thought Minnie would be the perfect flower girl, but thought maybe we should add some sparkles to her dress.

After meeting the main gang, we popped across the street to say hello to Joy and Sadness from Inside Out. We decided Joy would be the perfect wedding coordinator and Sadness would be a great something blue, since we were celebrating 150 days til our wedding.

Thank you to all the Disney friends who go the extra mile to make a little magic. We left those meet and greets with full hearts and pixie dust in our eyes from the wonderful moments created.

For pro tips on how to make your character meet and greets at any park worldwide the most magical, check out the tips page here!

We had a dinner reservation at the Rose and Crown British Pub in the UK at Epcot for that evening, and it was one of the best decisions we made all day. Our waitress was incredibly kind and such a sweetheart, and the food was even more spectacular. 

fish and chips & bangers and mash (pro tip: dip the chips in the gravy, Thanks Catherine!)

While at dinner, we decided it wouldn't be a Disney day without some Magic Kingdom fireworks, so we said goodbye to Epcot and ran for the nearest monorail.

The Magic Kingdom fireworks were scheduled to start at 7:55pm, and we magically arrived at 7:53pm to land the perfect spot to sing along on Main Street. 

Even though the fireworks were at 8pm, the park did not close til 10pm, so we were quickly able to schedule a fast pass for Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear before meeting Elena and Cinderella at Princess Fairytale Hall to wrap up the evening. 

We said our farewells to Magic Kingdom, but we are hoping it won't be too long until we see it again!

We were also very fortunate on this trip to also get free entrance to Universal Studios thanks to my wonderful mom! 

Walking in to the park, we were greeted with the royal treatment since we were with Karen (my mom) the celebrity. 

Walking right on to the new Jimmy Fallon ride, The Mummy, Transformers, and E.T. made the morning nice and smooth, since most guests tend to either go straight for Harry Potter or the front of the park.
also exciting because we are going to the Jimmy Fallon taping this week, see ya then Jimmy!

With a little extra time, we stopped by and said hello to Poppy and Branch from Trolls before taking the Hogwarts Express to Islands of Adventure.

During the busiest part of the day, we got pretty lucky waiting only a few minutes for both Spiderman and Hulk Coaster (newly designed) before my favorite ride, the Seuss Trolly! We also met a few more friends throughout the day, like the Grinch and the most terrifying meet and greet ever, the velociraptor encounter.


The rest of the evening we watched the Mardi Gras parade, said hello to my good friend Bob, saw my twin on an old photo in the bathroom, rode Gringotts, and had a delicious dinner in Diagon Alley at the Leaky Cauldron. 

Mike and I were incredibly sad to leave Orlando Saturday morning around 4am, but we made it back to NYC around 10pm that evening to prepare for mostly normal life again, with one big exception. 

Although I did not purchase my wedding dress here (but I did find my wedding dress!), I did say yes to the job, and will now be part time with Kleinfeld Bridal working in their hotel blocks devision. I am really excited for this new adventure in our NYC journey, and I am even more excited for our wedding (and Hawaii honeymoon) in just under 145 days!  

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