Hey everyone! Sorry this post is coming to you a day late but the Cabrera Crew has been busyyyyyy. We had a really productive weekend and Monday but my to do list is still a mile long. We're slowly getting there, though! I may not have gone grocery shopping in the last 2 weeks but our car seat is installed, the nursery is is about 95% done, and really the last essential we still need is our stroller. We ordered it a few weeks ago and it should be here this weekend! Besides knocking things off our to do list and visiting with my Nana (she broke her hip last week and had to have surgery...my poor little Nana - please keep her in your prayers), we went to see Wicked on Sunday! I have been waiting to see this musical for over 10 years. It was absolutely incredible and if you've never seen it either, try your hardest to go see it on this national tour! After the show we decided to pop into our favorite dinner spot in Chicago, the Tortoise Supper Club, and had a delicious dinner. Funny enough the last time we went there I was pregnant, but we didn't know it at the time! Now that I'm at the tail end of my pregnancy and this past Sunday felt like one of our last true days out just the two of us without having to worry about making plans for Nugget, it felt like a great way to bookend the pregnancy. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, too!
Today I want to bring you some really fun travel content (after all, it is Travel Tuesday!) and tell you about all the really fun places you can bring your pups when you visit Niagara Falls! Last spring we took a road trip up to Canada with Wrigley to see the Falls. I had read that dogs were allowed at the Falls and being the crazy dog mom that I am, had this dream of taking him up there to see it and getting a really awesome picture of him being grumpy about it. Wrigley is so cute all the time but sometimes we'll get these really awesome pictures of him where he is just looking at the camera like "seriously guys?" Well it turns out Wrigley LOVED the whole experience and pretty much looked like the picture you see above the entire time. I did get one "grumpy" one though...
There...that's all I wanted! But seriously, I'm so glad he enjoyed the trip and experience as much as we did. He really is our first baby, and we love taking him with us as much as possible. So here is a fun list of places that you and your pup(s) can enjoy when you visit Niagara Falls with them!
Ok so duh, you can obviously have your dog with you when you are viewing the Falls from either the US or Canadian side. They can also walk with you across the Rainbow Bridge. Just remember if you live in one country and want to view the Falls from the other country you need your passport and your dog's rabies shot information. You won't be able to cross the border either way without it.
On the Canadian side of the Falls, you can enjoy what is called the Niagara Park, and one thing inside the park is this amazing clock! Thousands of flowers are planted around it and it is one of the most visited attractions in the whole area every year! It was so beautiful and relaxing. After snapping some shots, we plopped down on a bench and watched the start of the sunset. It was a nice way to end the evening.
Again, in the Niagara Park, there is a botanical garden that allows dogs! There are some beautiful plants inside the garden and another great way to spend some time in the area.
Niagara on the Lake
This quaint Canadian town is a must visit spot if you're in the Niagara Falls area. There are tons of bed and breakfast spots in this town for you to stay in with your pup and also a good amount of shops and restaurants. We could take Wrigley into some of the shops and with any food spots either one of us would run in, grab what we wanted, and find a bench nearby to enjoy our food. We had the most delicious crepes and gelato here!
Hike in Devil's Hole State Park
One of Wrigley's favorite things ever is to go hiking. On the US side, along the Niagara Scenic Parkway, there are multiple state parks and Devil's Hole has some wonderful trails to go hiking on.
The Finger Lakes region on the US side and the Niagara Wine Trail on the Canadian side of the Falls has some really incredible wineries! While not all of them are dog friendly, here is a list of a few that are! Muddy Paws Wine Festival! This is definitely on our list to do next time we make a trip up to Niagara!
If you're planning a trip to Niagara Falls and have a furry friend, you should definitely bring them! Granted you aren't able to go on the Maid of the Mist and go on any indoor attractions at Niagara Falls, it is still so nice to just be outside and enjoy the nature. The wonder of the Falls is truly spectacular and if you can make it possible, bring your fur baby along to enjoy it, too!
Make sure you follow me on Twitter for my #pregnancytales and other daily ramblings! Have a happy Travel Tuesday!
Hooray it's Friyay! I am so looking forward to this weekend and hoping it's going to be 50% relaxing, 50% productive. I'm really starting to get that feeling of too much to do and not enough time to do it in, but it's so hard to be productive when you barely sleep at night! You know what I mean, other mamas to be? Anyways, today I wanted to bring you all a fun little pregnancy post! There are things that I knew I would greatly miss while being pregnant like wine and sushi, of course, but there are a few things that I didn't even really think about or know about in the early stages of pregnancy that I wouldn't be able to do which would leave me longing for them these days. They are all so random and simple, yet things I've always just taken for granted! Here are a few things I've been missing the most these last few months...
1. Laying on My Back
In the last few weeks you might have been hearing me say the first three things I'm going to do after I give birth is have a glass of wine, eat some sushi, and take a nap on my back. Because I'm dead serious, I miss laying on my back so much. I've never been a side sleeper (I'm actually a stomach sleeper!), but I really love just lounging on my back on the couch to watch TV or take a cat nap. So if you don't know this already but after about 20 weeks in to your pregnancy, you're not supposed to lay on your back because the weight of the baby and placenta can push on a main artery that returns blood to your heart, which then results in your blood pressure dropping and the baby not getting enough blood/oxygen. Scary stuff, but your body warns you before you even reach that point with the baby. I start to be really short on breath or dizzy if I'm not propped up enough. So in order to avoid this discomfort I just always lay on my side now. Well my hips are really starting to get extremely sore and I just toss and turn all night long from side to side to try to find some relief. You might also remember me mentioning how I've been having some awful left side rib pain in my Bump Date post and when that is acting up I'm restricted to just my right side. I crave just rolling onto my back so badly, you guys! Soon though...soon :)
2. Hugging My Hubby
Or really anyone! I can't properly hug people these days and yes, I'm a hugger. Especially this time of year when you're seeing family and friends who you haven't seen in awhile! My bump is so big now that I have to do this awkward butt out hug and it just feels so impersonal. Not being able to hug Caleb though makes me the saddest. I truly long for our first embrace once I'm sans bump...feeling that love and warmth from your hubby is one of lifes simplest pleasures.
3. Taking a Hot Shower
I know taking hot showers is never really the best thing to do for your hair or skin but I just love them so much! Especially on a cold Chicago winters day. Hopping in the hot shower in the morning when it's chilly out or at night to wind down from a long day is just something so wonderful to me. So if you're not pregnant or didn't know about this you have to be careful about water temperature all throughout pregnancy. You can't have it too hot or too steamy to the point where it raises your body temperature too much. If your body temperature goes up too high it can harm the baby. So for the last 6 months I've been having to stick with just warm showers and baths.
4. Fresh Goods
Being pregnant all summer and fall was tough for many reasons but one random one was not being able to get a lot of fresh goods from the farmers market. I'm talking juices, ciders, stuff of that sort. I absolutely love freshly squeezed orange juice and lemonade or grabbing a stemming hot cup of cider in the fall on a brisk morning. I have no problem grabbing the store bought stuff but there is just something so lovely about fresh goods that are from the source. The reason you can't have this stuff while you're pregnant is because you're suppose to stay clear of anything unpasteurized. Thankfully in the US, most cheese is pasteurized but there was times where I had to say no because I couldn't confirm or was specifically told it was unpasteurized, so those were some really really sad times.
5. Walking Up Stairs
I haven't been able to walk up a flight of stairs without feeling sick or light headed since about week 8. It's awful, especially because we have a two story house with a basement. If I'm doing laundry in our basement I literally have to climb the flight to the first floor, take a 5 minute break, and then climb the next flight to the second floor and take another break before I can do anything upstairs. I get so out of breath that I either feel nauseous or like I'm going to pass out. It's also so annoying to have to wait for an elevator or find an escalator to just go up one floor when I'm out in public. Plus I've always used stairs as an extra form of exercise! I'm that person that climbs the stairs in the mall or in a parking garage just to get some extra steps in, so I can't wait to be able to breath properly again and get my stamina back up to do this simple daily thing!
All so simple and random, right?! What are some things you miss most while being pregnant? I'd love to hear, so please leave me a comment below!
Hi ho everyone! I hope you're all having a magical week! I thought I'd bring some extra cheer to you today and share our top tips for going on vacation to Walt Disney World. One thing I always notice when chatting with people who have never been to Disney or haven't been in a long time say is how overwhelming all the options can be. There's so much to choose from and tons of questions swirling around in our heads when it comes to planning a Disney World trip, so here is our best advice for planning it all out to ensure you will have the best trip ever!
1. Stay at a Disney Resort
This is seriously our number one tip, and I'm going to apologize for the long winded explanation but it's necessary. I know it may be tempting to stay off resort because you might find a cheaper option or because you want to do other things in Central Florida besides Disney, but this is speaking from first hand experience, don't do it. If you are going to go to Disney at all, stay on property. It will make your experience so much better, relaxed, and organized. If you want to do other things in the area besides Disney, that's fine...in fact I highly suggest it! Universal Studios is so fun, and we loved going to the coast and seeing the Kennedy Space Center. In order to do these things you have to have a car, so in your head it might be better to just stay somewhere besides a Disney hotel because of that factor. It's not better, it's actually kind of frustrating. Most hotels in the Orlando area are what they call "Disney Good Neighbor Hotels," meaning that they only provide shuttles to Disney World. No shuttles to the coast, Universal, or the airport. Ok that's fine right because you have your car. Well you have to pay to park at their hotel plus you have to pay to park at Universal plus you have to pay for gas. You can kick the shuttle idea out too and drive to Disney, but you'll have to pay to park there, too. If you do choose to have a car with you and you stay at a Disney hotel, your parking is free. Let's say you don't want to have a car with you though (rental fees can be really high in the Orlando area), you can take the Disney Magical Express for free from the airport to your Disney resort! Then you just simply use the Disney bus system to get all around Disney World. You also have the convenience of being able to go back to your room all day long. You don't have to wait for specific hotel shuttle times (they are usually every 2 hours if you're lucky) and the logistics of getting back to the bus depot can be a nightmare. One time we missed our shuttle bus to our off resort hotel and had to wait in the parking lot for an hour and a half because we couldn't get out of the parks fast enough (this is really really common...lots of people go to Disney World!) On our first trip we had to spend all day long at the parks with no breaks, and I can't even imagine how miserable that would have been with kids. I was exhausted, so imagine our poor little ones! Disney is supposed to be the most fun vacation you go on so take advantage of the 30 hotels that are available to stay at there. If you book everything together their budget friendly hotels are the same if not cheaper in price as most off-resort hotels. There really is a price range for everyone. You'll also get so many more perks like being able to purchase a dining plan, free mini golf, extra magic hours at the parks, and early FastPass+ selections.
2. Get a Dining Plan
If you stay at a Disney hotel, get a dining plan. Imagine how nice it is to show up for your vacation and everything is paid for even your food? That's what the dining plan does for you. You get snacks, quick service meals (like a hot dog and fries), and table service meals (like steak or buffets). It doesn't matter if you order a salad or a steak for dinner...it's all the same because you're just using your table service credit for that day. You can also use your credits however you want...so if you technically only have one table service meal per day but you want to use two, you can do so...you would just use two quick service meals the next day to make up for it. You can go almost anywhere in Disney World and use the dining plan, too. You order what you want, scan your MagicBand (which is a free wristband Disney provides to you if you stay at a resort that is your room key, park admission pass, and even allows you to pay for things without pulling out your wallet), and get your food. It's so simple, and we love not having to keep track of how much money we've spent on food. We actually saved money because we got the dining plan. When all is said and done we all spend a lot of money on food each day so if you do the math, based on the prices of the dining plan versus how much you'd naturally spend on each item, you would see that you'll save hundreds of dollars. Plus in 2018, table service meals allow your drink to be alcoholic for all of us that want to unwind after a long day at the parks :)
3. Do 1 Park Per Day
I'm not even going to say you'll get the most out of Disney if you do 1 park per day because that is honestly a lie. You honestly probably need 2 days per park plus extra days to enjoy everything else, but that's excessive. I know personally we try to limit our vacations to 5-7 days, but in order to have a fun and relaxing time, you really should try to just do 1 park per day. This way you're not wasting too much time on transportation and you can spread everything out. We had way more fun this time around when we only hit up 1 park per day and were able to take breaks back to our hotel, see more shows, and not have to rush through meals. So what I'm technically telling you is you don't really need a park hopper. It's nice to have just in case you want to pop over to a different park but it's really not necessary and will save you a couple hundred dollars. In our minds it was better to save $200 and just enjoy each park we picked to start our day out with the whole day.
4. Make Dining Reservations 180 Days in Advance
You might not know that you're going to Disney 180 days in advance, and that's ok, don't panic. You can still eat at some really spectacular places. But if you do know 6 months ahead of time, log on at midnight EST and make your reservations. You will have a much better chance at getting to eat at places like Be Our Guest, Cinderella's Royal Table, and Victoria & Albert's if you do so. And trust me, these restaurants are some of the best in the world and amazing experiences you don't want to miss.
5. Make Your FastPass+ Selections as Early in the Day as Possible
If you stay at a Disney hotel, you can make your FastPass+ selections 60 days before your trip (hey another Disney hotel perk!) or you can make them 30 days before your trip if you aren't staying at a Disney hotel but have your park tickets purchased. You can make up to 3 in advance. When you go to make your selections you can only do 1 park per day (hey another reason to stick with 1 park per day!), and I highly recommend trying to make them all for morning time slots. This way after you're done with your first 3, you can start making more for the rest of the day. FastPass+ selections tend to open up all the time because of people cancelling and changing their plans, so you really can get some good ones the day of. I can't promise you can get Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom the day of, so maybe make that one 60 days in advance and stick to it, but you can get some other very popular rides the day of. If you spread your first 3 out too much and your third one isn't until 7pm, you won't be able to make anymore until after 7pm. So it's worth it to select them as soon as you can but also to pack them all in early so you can add more later in the day.
6. Keep Track of Your Trip on the My Disney Experience App
This last tip is so simple but so necessary, make sure you download the My Disney Experience app to your phone. You have to create a Disney account when you book any form of a Disney trip anyways so that part is already done for you. After you download the app, just log in with that account and all your reservations will be available for you to see through the app. You can also make FastPass+ selections from it, see wait times for rides and shows, have maps of all the parks, and check on your dining plan. This app is so useful and well put together it's almost as mind blowing as Disney World itself. If you also chose to purchase the Memory Maker (which is the photo pass), you can view all of your photos from the entire trip through the app, as well.
I think I'm going to leave it at these 6. I can talk about Disney World and logistics of planning a trip there for days, so if you want to know more please leave me a comment with your question below! Look for more posts from our Disney series in the future, too. We'll cover some of these same topics with more in depth information, so make sure to send us your questions so we can include them in our next posts!
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