As I sat down to write about our fifth and final full day in Orlando, Fl. it dawned on me that recounting my experience alone would mean that you readers would miss out on quite a bit, since our group was scattered throughout Orlando’s Disney Parks for the day
Half of the group started their day with a selfie in front of the iconic Epcot ball!
… the other half started with a group shot at Animal Kindgom!
… meanwhile, Jess and Everett snuck off for a romantic day away from us all at Islands of Adventure.
This was definitely the warmest day we got while down in Orlando, and we were all about soaking it up!
In comparison to our first Theme Park day at Universal Studios / Islands of Adventure, today was much more relaxed. The Parks we visited were gigantic, with a lot more walking between attractions. The rides at Epcot were also more on the educational side, such “Living with the Land”, which includes a tour of Epcot’s greenhouses where scientists are researching new ways to produce the world’s food.
Test Track was one of the more exciting educational rides offered. In this simulator, passengers build a virtual car and then run it through a series of tests that measure speed, handling, power and energy efficiency.
Another enjoyable experience: Soarin’, where passengers are strapped into their seats and are made to feel as though they are quite literally soaring around over mountains, oceans, deserts and the world wonders by way of simulated motions and some incredibly vivid VR projections.
Over in Animal Kingdom, the experience was much more immersive — it felt just like a real safari! Our esthetician Jennifer caught some incredible shots of the “wildlife” throughout the day, such as this one of two napping lions straight out of The Lion King.
…. and this adorable little guy…
… and this magestic tiger…
… and of course, a gigantic GATOR!
One of the neatest features of the Epcot Park is the World Showcase, where a light stroll around an expansive man-made lake takes you around the world. A total of 11 countries are represented in atmosphere, culture and people: the staff in each pavilion were actually from each country!
After snacking on some delicious Tacos and Margueritas in México (which I successfully ordered in Español, I might add), Kerri and I took viking-style boat though a Frozen Themed ride in Norway. We met back up with our group and watched some UNBELIEVABLE acrobatic dancers in China while enjoying the most refreshing Grapefruit Radler from Germany.
Our group stopped for a spot of vino in Italy, skipped right by the USA, then head to Japan for a bit of shopping before stopping in Morocco for the mostdelicious meal… and then to France for dessert!
Meanwhile, somewhere at City Walk, Jess and Everett treated themselves to a feast at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
While also in France, our esthetician Melanie Deighton (1/2 of the famous duo “Mélanie and Melanie on Monday” who recently did a Galentine’s Day make-over on Facebook Live!) stumbled upon a beautiful makeup boutique for a touching touch up!
We then followed the smell of fish and chips into the UK and finally ended our trip in none other than our Home and Native Land…. Where the Molson Canadian flows and Ketchup Chips are in abundance!
As a Canadian Citizen, I was surprised to find out that my passport did not earn me a discount on Canadian swag, but Alex from Ottawa did give me an awesome Canada 150 button (to go along with the Birthday Button Kerri made me wear all day…)
Leading up to the trip, and this day in particular, Tye had built up quite a bit of hype around what she refers to as “her favourite ride” : Expedition Everest!
Based on how many others have gushed about the ride, looks like she didn’t over sell it!
During their “Flights of Wonder” live show, Jennifer’s partner John was selected as a volunteer for a demonstration. John was asked to pull a dollar bill, fold it and hold it up, at which point a Raven flew over and took it right out of his hand!! Their late arrival to the show meant they were seated near the back of the ampitheatre, which made the trick all that much more impressive – especially when the bird returned the dollar bill to him!
After a long trip around the world (and a short trip to the gift shop) the lot of us loaded back up into our rental cars and made our way back to our home-away-from-home at Champions Gate.
We wrapped up the night with some toasts and gifts exchanged including some adorable Disney socks for Kerri and JG (a teaser of their Christmas gift from the Spa) for gifting us with this incredible trip!
As well as a gift for Tye from Kerri and JG for all her help in making this trip a resounding success!
Can I get serious for a minute?
I started working for the Urban Spa in late May of 2016, positively brand new to the spa industry altogether. Though I felt welcomed by the team from the very start, I was surprised to see how tight-knit the staff was. This is not something I had experienced in previous work environments and wasn’t sure whether I would get to this point with these
new coworkers. I mean, it felt as though they had all known each other for years…
After a week together in Orlando, these colleagues now felt like family to me and I finall understood where that sense of family comes from. It’s not about the number of years spent together, it’s about shared experiences leading to strengthened bonds.
Before we set out on this trip, I was chatting with a cashier I had come to know at Foodland in East City. We were talking about how some people I know were surprised that our Spa was closing down for this trip and that we’d all be sharing a house for the week.
To some, based on their work culture, that did not sound like a vacation. I will never forget what she said to me, she said, “Isn’t it nice to have a family that isn’t family?” Even from the outside, she knew what the culture at the Spa was like — and boy was she ever right!
The next day we would be heading back to Canada (for real), with so many fond memories from this week in Floridian Paradise. Though we were sad that the trip was coming to an end, we were excited to be going back to The Urban Spa feeling refreshed and ready to work extra hard towards the next big reward….
A trip to LAS VEGAS!
More on that hopefully sooner rather than later 😉
On Behalf of The Urban Spa