September 6, 2017 The Traveling Gals

Review: Empress of the Seas When the travel restrictions were eased for traveling to Cuba, the cruise lines jumped at the opportunity to start sailing to Havana. We finally were able to go aboard Royal Caribbean’s Empress of the Seas over Labor Day weekend! Needless to say, we had a wonderful experience. We are very loyal to Royal because we always have a nice time and they have a fabulous loyalty program called Crown & Anchor Society. Since we reached the Diamond level, we almost exclusively sail with Royal now because the perks are so worth it. We also enjoy…

May 18, 2017 The Traveling Gals

Attention all foodies! Savor Sarasota is coming up from June 1-14. Here is an interesting fact for those new to Sarasota and those who live here…Sarasota has the highest concentration of Zagat® rated restaurants in Florida.  It makes sense because even just spending a weekend here provides you with so many quality, food options. 79 restaurants are set to participate this year in the 12th annual Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week.   This 2 week extravaganza is hosted by Visit Sarasota County (VSC), and provides everyone an opportunity to try new restaurants and revisit favorites by enjoying pre-fixe three-course dinner menus and multi course lunch menus.  This…

November 22, 2016 The Traveling Gals

Date Night at Disney World While Disney World is mostly known as a family destination, there are actually some wonderful date night locations throughout. These are great ideas if you live in the area, or if you are on vacation and want to do have a nice night out together. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, or you can spend a ton of money. Disney World has a variety of restaurant and entertainment options that will make your date night at Disney magical. Even just taking a stroll and enjoying one of the fireworks shows can make for…

September 6, 2016 The Traveling Gals 12Comment

Best Places to Grab a Drink at Disney World Whoever says Disney World is just for kids needs to read this post. There are actually some very fun bars and restaurants throughout all of Disney World. These are a few of our favorite places to go. House of Blues: As far as we know this is the only place that offers Happy Hour specials. There is also a cool vibe and good music. You can sit inside or outside. (Disney Springs) Lava Lounge at the Rainforest Café: The actual Rainforest Café restaurant is fun, but the Lava Lounge outdoor bar…

June 7, 2016 The Traveling Gals 18Comment

Barrier Islands of Florida Post by Kary The splendor of Florida can be found in its hundreds of barrier islands. Barrier Islands are long, thin sandy stretches of land that protect the coast from the full force of storm waves. Between the island and the mainland is a calm water body such as a bay. Florida has more barrier islands than any other state. They are idyllic places to enjoy the tropical sunshine. By: Keoni Cabral Panhandle There are many barrier islands in the Florida panhandle and many are connected via bridge for easy access. Some…

May 31, 2016 The Traveling Gals 4Comment

The Traveling Gals at Opening Night of Disney’s Animal Kingdom After Dark When we booked our Memorial Day weekend at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge last year, we had no idea how much extra magic we were in for!  All three of us gals arrived just in time for opening night of Disney’s Animal Kingdom AFTER DARK!  In the first phase of the massive expansion happening at Animal Kingdom, the park is now open until 11 p.m. with a spectacular nighttime transformation.  It is always so exciting to see everything you have read about come alive Disney style! Our first stop was the…

February 22, 2016 The Traveling Gals 3Comment

Towles Court Creative Arts Community Tucked away amongst the moss-draped oak trees in the Laurel Park neighborhood of downtown Sarasota is the Towles Court Creative Arts Community.  In 1905 Sarasota’s first Mayor built his home in this area along with a nine-hole golf course.  In the 1920’s William Towles turned the golf course into a small residential neighborhood.  The area went through periods of prosperity and peril until 1983 when NJ Olivieri saw potential in Sarasota and bought up decaying properties in the area with the intention of razing them and building new homes.  Instead friends approached him with the…

December 22, 2015 The Traveling Gals

This is a guest post from one of our very close family friends who came to visit us in Sarasota! We are so happy she wrote this post for us and we hope you enjoy!  Shopping While on Vacation – A Great Way to Preserve the Memories As a first-time visitor to Sarasota, I was expecting beautiful white sand beaches, warm temperatures and lots of sunshine. Even the quality of restaurants didn’t surprise me that much, but I have to say that I was amazed and pleased with the wonderful shopping experience the Sarasota area had to offer. After all,…

December 3, 2015 The Traveling Gals 2Comment

Weekend Getaway: Universal Studios Orlando [UPDATED FOR 2017!] Of course we are unashamed big fans of Disney World. It is our favorite place to go, and we just love love love it. There is another theme park in Orlando that we also love, and that is Universal Studios. On some websites we have found that many Disney fans hate Universal and think Disney is far superior. While we think Disney exceeds Universal in certain aspects, we think it is a little ridiculous to say one is better than the other. They are different and we absolutely think you should spend…

November 26, 2015 The Traveling Gals 1Comment

First Thanksgiving – Plymouth Rock or St. Augustine, Florida? Conventional belief is that the first Thanksgiving was held at Plymouth Rock in 1621.  Over 50 years earlier in 1565, the Spaniards settled in St. Augustine, Florida and celebrated the “First Thanksgiving” with the local Native Americans.  St. Augustine has the distinction of being Our Nation’s Oldest City.  Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon discovered Florida in 1513 and claimed it for the Spanish.  He named it Florida after the Easter season known in Spanish as Pascua Florida.  In 1564 French Huguenots were able to establish a fort in Jacksonville.  King Philip…