Now that it's officially 2016 and the first month of this year is already half over, it feels like the perfect time to start getting properly excited about my upcoming trip to Orlando, Florida later in the year. Okay, so I might not be going until late September/early October but the fact that we booked up straight away for 2016 when we last visited in 2014 means that I've been waiting some time for 2016 to get started. And as I'm starting to think about my holiday and what I'm hoping to do whilst I get there, I thought that I would share 10 of the things that I'm looking forward to most. I also know that quite a few people and fellow bloggers are visiting Orlando, Florida for the first time this year so hopefully this might give them some inspiration, that's if they need any to be honest but here are the 10 things that I'm already really excited about;
1. The warmth - Now this immediately sprung to mind as I'm currently sitting in about three layers of clothing, which include fleece pyjamas, my big fluffy dressing gown and a pair of cosy socks and I have the heating on as I type this. Living in Scotland it's very, very rare to experience a truly warm day here. That rare that I've almost forgotten what the heat of the sun feels like. And even though the holiday technically begins when I arrive at the airport ready to board my flight, I know that it won't feel totally real until I step off the plane at Orlando International to be met by a wave of heat and humidity.
2. Shopping and not only that but Christmas shopping - As we'll be there in October this means that it's totally acceptable to start my Christmas shopping whilst I'm there. I will probably be operating in a 'one present for so and so and one present for me' type of mentality but nonetheless, I can't wait to see what I can pick up whilst I'm there. That and the fact that I'll be able to get a lot more for my money and pieces that I could only dream of finding in the UK. Let's just hope that it all fits in my suitcase on the way home!
3. Sephora - And whilst we're on the topic of shopping, how could I not mention Sephora? Do you think it might be too early to start thinking about what I hope to add to my Sephora basket whilst I'm there? I'm also hoping that they might just have some of the Christmas gift sets in the stores when I'm there too. I've definitely got my fingers crossed for that.
4. Epcot's Illuminations: Reflections of Earth - Ever since I first visited Orlando back in 2001, Epcot's Illuminations fireworks display is synonymous with all of my happiest memories and previous trips to the Sunshine State and it's also one of my favourite ways to spend an evening mid-trip. It's also fantastic to try and spot them when you're out for dinner or shopping, especially if you're relatively near Disney property at the time. For some reason it makes me feel like a child again and I don't think that there's been a time when I haven't gotten a little emotional watching it from the World Showcase.
5. ALL THE FOOD - I'm already starting to drool a little/a lot when I think about all of the food that I'm going to be consuming in the US. Even with my IBS, last time I was there I managed to work out what kinds of foods and restaurants would work for me and my tummy and that even includes some of the big American chain restaurants and fast food establishments that you just have to pay a visit to (give me all the McDonald's McChicken's, Auntie Anne's Pretzel Nuggets, KFC wedges and Johnny Rocket's food that I can physically eat!)
6. Visiting Disney Springs for the first time - When I was last in Orlando Downtown Disney, or what it is now known as; Disney Springs, was getting ready for it's big transition and as a result a lot of it was blocked off and under construction. I'm really looking forward to seeing what they've been working on and spending hours and I can imagine, quite a few dollars, in the process.
7. Wal-Mart and Target - Now this might seem like an odd thing to get excited about, especially to my American readers but I could happily spend hours and hours in these stores, which I normally do when I'm there, with my jaw constantly on the floor. The prices, the products, how could I not run around the stores like a small child? I'm also so excited to be reacquainted with some of my favourite American treats and as we're there in the run up to Halloween that means one thing; the candy aisle! What's your favourite American candy?
8. Taking a dip in the pool - Swimming is one of the rare forms of exercise that I actually enjoy yet I don't know the last time that I went swimming here at home. There's nothing better than waking up to an early swim (just imagine doing that as part of your regular daily routine!), taking a dip after a long day at the malls/theme parks or swishing my feet around in the water with a good book in one hand and a glass of ice cold Floridian orange juice in the other.
9. Exploring places I've not yet discovered - Despite holidaying in Orlando over ten times now, there are still so many places that I've yet to discover or spend time exploring. The plan for this year is to visit some of Florida's parks, reservations, beaches and even some of the non-touristy areas of town. If anyone has any tips or recommendations of places like these that I just have to visit, please let me know below.
10. Spending time with family - Last but not least, what really does make the holiday to Orlando one that I truly treasure. Since we all operate on different schedules ordinarily here in the UK, our biennial holidays are one of the rare times that we all spend a significant chunk of time together. This has it's ups and downs, mostly ups but any family unit can get a bit strained when you spend 24 hours a day together for a number of weeks.
Have you got any holidays planned for this year? If so, where are you flying off to in 2016? And who else loves Orlando, Florida like I do? I also meant to say again just in case you haven't heard me mention it before but I'm planning on vlogging my trip. Is that something that you would potentially like to see?