Category Archives: Orlando

CoCo Key Hotel & Water Resort

by Trish Utter

Water-Slide-Far_webCoCo Key Hotel and Water Resort is perfect for the family that is on a budget but still wants theme park amenities. In 2010 CoCo Key Hotel and Water Resort underwent a complete remodel. Located on International Drive and within walking distance to restaurants, entertainment and minutes from Universal Studios, it puts visitors right in the middle of everything.

The hotel has a tropical theme with vibrant Caribbean colors. The slick lobby allows you to check in while the kids get cookies and watch a movie or get on the internet using one of the many computers available for guests. Room rates can be as low as $89!

Titanic_webGuest rooms are large, metro style and feature Serta Perfect Sleepers, luxury cotton linens and 37″ flat screen televisions, offering high definition programming, Wi-Fi, room-service, hair dryers and coffee makers. You can choose rooms with a King sized bed and a pull out couch or a room with two double beds.

Up, Up and Away in a Beautiful Balloon

by Trish Utter

floating-balloons_web There is not a more romantic way of starting your day than to get up early, and I do mean very early, and head up into the dark sky with only the sound of the fuel feeding the flames to the hot air balloon. The peace and serenity are breathtaking; you are in the best seat for a close up of the sunrise. As you look down over the central Florida landscape you will see a variety of wildlife such as alligators and deer running through the trees.

On one of our family trips to Orlando we visited Orlando Balloon Rides, a massive Balloon operation that hosts local and international guests on magical balloon rides over the Orlando area. The experience is right out of “The Life Styles of the Rich and Famous” and leaves lifelong memories. Pat Schmitt, Chief Pilot and President says, “It’s old fashion seat of the pants flying with modern technology and safety”. He has amassed hundreds of hours in balloons from two passengers all the way up to 20 passenger balloons. Flights last approximately one hour in their majestic first class balloons.

We wore comfortable clothing as guests must be able to climb into and out of the baskets that have been specially designed for this company to ensure the safety and comfort of their passengers. We had our camera charged up and ready as the spectacular views could not be missed. Ballooning relies heavily on the weather so make sure you are somewhat flexible with your schedule.

New Reasons to Visit Disney World

by Trish Utter

Disney World Fast Pass

No more waiting at Disney’s entrances. Now guests just wave their admission card like tickets over a wand like object and breeze right in.

Magic Kingdom
Fantasy Land has undergone the largest expansion in the Magic Kingdoms history, adding over 10 acres of Disney magic. The new roller coaster called the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Ride will open in 2014. Two new castles, gardens, waterfalls and Storybook Circus have been added and more amazing things will be unveiled in 2014.

A Trip to Orlando: Hilton Bonnet Creek

Pampered, Special, Indulged. These are words that come to mind when I think of our stay at Hilton Bonnet Creek in Orlando.


The grandness of the entrance has you anticipating something out of the ordinary. Check-in is quick and easy and within minutes you are in your room. The views from the rooms are panoramic. As always Hilton’s rooms have sumptuous beds, wonderful linens, a huge flat screen TV, a refrigerator and best yet electrical outlets everywhere! I love that as I am usually on my hands and knees looking for a place to plug in my iPhone. One of my other pet peeves is loud air conditioning units that blast cold air and then switch on and off during the night. Here you won’t even notice it and the temperature is just the way you like it.

Although it is right off I-4 and within the gates to Disney World this property feels as if you are in the countryside as it sits on a 482 acre nature reserve. Guests are able to rent bikes and enjoy the wide, car free cycling and take in the breathtaking landscape.