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Nashville Opryland Staycation
We headed over to Nashville’s Opryland for a staycation to celebrate the end of the school year and had the BEST time! The hotel is very family friendly and B-E-A-UTIFUL. It features 9 acres of indoor atriums, an outdoor pool, live music, special summer activities such as the atrium fountain show and live performances, scavenger hunts & hotel garden tours. And of course – SoundWaves!
Typically we venture all around the resort, but this trip we couldn’t drag our kids out of SoundWaves if we tried! After 8 straight hours there, we were able to pull them out to eat dinner. They both agreed it was their “best day ever.”
After three or so staycations a year since our boys were babies, we consider ourselves “Opryland experts.” I wanted to share some of our tricks that we’ve picked up over the years and answer some FAQ’s.
Atrium view rooms are SO fun. We love watching the twinkle lights on the balcony. Grab an ice cream at the end of the night and sit out on the balcony as a family. It truly has a magical feel! Since it was such a quick stay we did the regular atrium room. When we come at Christmas we will sometimes stay in the upgraded atrium view room. We chose the two queen beds (you can also chose a king) The upgraded atrium has two bathrooms, a living area and a kitchenette. In the living area is a murphy bed (the kids think that is so fun!) and a pull out couch as well. It’s a great option to have a separate space for the baby to sleep or if you are coming with another family and need a gathering place.
If you are coming predominantly for SoundWaves this summer, I would suggest booking the Garden section. It’s the closest area to the water park.
SoundWaves is the BIGGEST hit with our boys. We decided to get a cabana this time with the baby. It was nice to get a designated meet up spot and have somewhere that Cambre could nap. (We shut the curtains while she was napping.) A waiter comes around and you can order food/drink to the cabana. The cabana is an additional expense, but it really made our trip this time. If you are worried about shade.. there are umbrellas at some of the chairs outside as well as some more shady spots inside. You would need to get there early to save those on busy days.
The waterpark has both an indoor and an outdoor section. There was a baby/toddler splash area that Cambre just loved. Most of the slides were 42″ and up to ride. Our boys could go on everything if we were with them. There are indoor & outdoor play areas with a big bucket.. they spent a ton of time in those! Food is available and drinks (including cocktails!) inside of SoundWaves.
One of the questions that was frequently asked on Instagram was about leaving the resort. We personally do not leave the resort, but you totally could! With how many restaurants and shops are on property, we find it simpler to stay put.
Speaking of restaurants… Old Hickory Steakhouse is our favorite food on property. A bit more upscale than the others and on the pricier side. If you’d like the splurge just be sure to make a reservation for that one. Cascades (near the waterfalls) features a breakfast buffet that our children love. Ask if there are available seats in the booths under the cave. Just a fun little touch for the kids! They also have an Italian restaurant, Mexican restaurant, pizza spot etc. that are very kid friendly. If you venture down to the Magnolia area there are pubs and more adult style spots as well.
Each night we also go by the arcade. Just a quick trip since it’s not too big. Always a fun way to end the night out.
Local residents… be sure to check out the deals. Right now they are offering 40% off as a local discount.
Opryland has become our children’s favorite family tradition. The memories made here are priceless to us. We consider ourselves lucky to have something so special this close to home!
30A Girls Trip With Sanders Beach Rentals
We spend so much of our time in the Panhandle of Florida area and absolutely love it. The beaches have white sand, beautiful teal water and the prettiest watercolor sunsets.
This trip I stayed with some girlfriends in the WaterColor area. It was so nice to have a house that was big enough to comfortably host a large crew and also be within walking distance to amenities. Click HERE to check out the house we stayed in with Sanders Beach Rentals. You can check out their other available properties HERE.
The home is walking distance to WaterColor Beach Club, which is where we spent a lot of our time. You can get beach rentals through the beach club as well as access to multiple pools, bars, etc. Cabanas are available for rent and you can order food directly to your pool chair. It’ a great spot for adults or kids.
If you are thinking about taking a girl’s trip… 30A is such a perfect spot. We were able to lay poolside or hang at the beach during the day and hit up a couple beach bars at night. (Bud & Ally’s and AJ’s are both fun late night spots!)
Vendors From The Trip-
Food & Drink:
Hey Mama Wines– The house was stocked with Rose and their rose cans! Love their girly packaging.
Graze30A– Beautiful charcuterie boards. We had it at our beach bonfire, but fun touch to stock your home and snack on during your trip.
** Finding reservations for large groups in the 30A area can be difficult. If you plan on doing that make your reservation as far in advance as possible. A great alternative is bringing someone into your home rental.**
Hibachi Joe– One of the highlights of the whole trip. He brings hibachi to you. His food is top notch and much better quality than your typical hibachi. We set it up out by the pool and it was just the most fun time. He’s so funny and truly made the experience extra special.
Emerald Coast Catering– They set up a fajita bar for us one night to enjoy at the house.
Beach Brothers Beach Service– There is something SO special about a beach bonfire. They bring everything and tear it all down. You just show up and enjoy the prettiest sunsets!
Gilbert Glassworks– We took a glass class and I really enjoyed trying something new! Would be perfect for a rainy day.
Grove30A- If you need a beauty filled day.
** Need some help knowing what to pack? I’ve got a full blog post on some beach wardrobe staple pieces that you can find HERE. **
A few weeks back my friend and I took a much needed girls trip to Puerto Rico. We stayed at the El San Juan Hotel by Fairmont.
As a U.S. territory, Puerto Rico is excluded from the CDC requirement to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test to return to the mainland United States. As a U.S. citizen you also do not need a passport to travel to the Island. It makes Puerto Rico a great tropical getaway option. Be sure and check with the latest CDC needs to enter.. we needed a negative test to enter, but not to return. They did offer tests at the airport as well.
We planned on staying at the resort a majority of the time so we wanted somewhere with some great restaurant options.
Our favorite restaurant at the hotel was Caña by Juliana Gonzalez. It’s a great way to try some authentic Puerto Rican cuisine in a modern way. We LOVED the breakfast at Caña. They had fresh squeezed juices and some of the most amazing coffee options! You can sit out on the patio so you can have an amazing view as well.
However, the restaurants fill up quickly! You need to reserve as early as you can on Open Table. There aren’t a ton of great options within walking distance to the hotel. The last night we tried walking down in the morning to book for that evening and it was full… so be sure to plan ahead!
Our favorite thing we did was enjoy a Cabana that is front of the beach and around the pool. It’s a great way to have a beach view with the luxury of cabana service. We had lunch at the beach club and drinks. It was so nice to be able to have that option and relax.
In totally honesty, our room view left much to be desired. The rooms itself are nice, but make sure you get a sea view room!
One of the days we took an Uber into Old Town San Juan. Super charming! We enjoyed coffees and strolled around to see the famous kite street and the architecture of the pastel buildings.
** I shared a blog post with a lot of my staple items to pack for the beach HERE! **
What I’m Packing For Spring Break At The Beach
After being so cooped up in our home for months we are THRILLED to be heading down to the beach for a bit. I have some tried and true pieces in this round up that our classics and a few fun new pieces as well.
This Amazon suit is the most flattering/forgiving suit ever! It does not move around and has a full coverage back. (Perfect for chasing kids…) It comes in a few other colors. I went one size up from my typical size. The quality is far better than other Amazon suits I’ve tried.
Summer Tote Bag- loved that this can fit a ton for the beach, but also looks nice enough to dress up and wear out to dinner at night.
Leopard Print Kimono- This cover up can be worn open, but has a belt as well. If you are on the shorter side..warning this one runs a little long.
WHAT TO PACK FOR A SPRING BEACH TRIP:
Easy To Wear Dresses:
Nashville Opryland Staycation
We headed over to Nashville’s Opryland for a staycation to celebrate Wilder’s birthday and had the BEST time! The hotel is very family friendly and B-E-A-UTIFUL! It features 9 acres of indoor atriums, an outdoor pool, live music, special summer activities such as the atrium fountain show and live performances, scavenger hunts & hotel garden tours. And of course – SoundWaves!
The hotel has taken several safety precautions to ensure a safe stay for you and your family. They have provided enhanced cleaning technology, hospital-grade disinfectants, attendants dedicated to sanitizing frequently throughout the day, etc. All staff and patrons in common areas were wearing masks. There was also plenty of signage throughout the hotel showing social distancing best practices, signs on the floor that marked 6 feet, etc.
The upgraded atrium view room was perfect for our family and Wilder’s birthday party. We chose the two queen beds (you can also chose a king) and it had two bathrooms, a living area and a kitchenette. In the living area was a murphy bed (the kids thought that was so fun!) and a pull out couch as well.
Wilder asked for candy and to “stay at a hotel” for his birthday, so this was extra special to have a Nashville Opryland version where everything feels bigger and better!
The hotel is not currently operating at full capacity, but there were still plenty of options for food. Cascades restaurant had sushi (yum!) and we were also able to order room service for a special breakfast in bed. Pizza night is always a hit and we were able to enjoy that in the room.
Soundwaves was the biggest hit of all! (P.S. If you are a Tennessee resident and wanting to head to Soundwaves for the day without staying the night… you now can! Check out the information on that, HERE! )
The waterpark has both an indoor and outdoor section. Our boys (ages 3 and 4) loved the toddler areas, lazy rivers, and slide in the toddler section. For anyone over 42″ there are tons of slides and rides.
I also recommend renting one of the cabanas. It was nice to be able to order food and drinks (ahem, and a few adult beverages for mama 😉 ) right to the cabana. We have been diligent with social distancing and this made that super easy. The cabana was also great because we had a “home base” to meet up. Wilder was going so hard he fell asleep… so the couch in the cabana converted into his nap spot.
The past several months have been hard on everyone and it was SO nice to have a little break as a family. We made the most precious memories and can’t wait to go back again this Christmas season!
I had to wait till the last minute to book my flight out to Vegas since I wanted to make sure and get the doctors approval before I went. However, all the quick direct flights were snatched up! I knew I was going to have a long day ahead and went for comfort in my favorite travel sweatshirt. (I sized up for the bump….) The necklace is by a designer I have become obsessed with, Sarah Briggs. You can shop her handmade jewelry here.
The ACM dress inspiration came from Chrissy Teigen’s baby shower dress. She wore a white Kym Ellery dress with huge bell sleeves….and a $1,650 price tag. I found a similiar look with a Black Halo dress. It has sold out, but I’ve found some great alternatives. This lace up version is a stunner, and this one has some great detailing! I paired the dress with my classic Christian Louboutin nude pumps.