orlando

Birthday Weekend | 28

What an undeniably great weekend.

Paul and I have this new tradition that involves Orlando and my birthday. Hey, I’m not mad at it, Orlando has come to be our home away from home.

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It started two years ago, when I turned twenty-six. We hadn’t been dating but for a few weeks when Paul mentioned that he had a birthday surprise for me and asked me to pack a bag. I was quite blown away because well for starters, we JUST started dating and I didn’t feel comfortable with him spending all of this money on me, and also I had NEVER had anyone surprise me for my birthday and didn’t know what to expect.

But of course, Paul isn’t like everyone else. He is thoughtful, and giving, and wants nothing more than to see me smile. Which I tend to do often when I’m around him.

This year we decided to change it up, and instead of staying at the Marriott Grande Vista Vacation Club, we checked into the Gaylord Palms Resort.

When we arrived, our suite was ready – perks of dating a traveling businessman I suppose. This being our first time at the Gaylord, we decided it best to unpack, and immediately start exploring.

The resort was just beautiful. It had an atrium full of lush green trees and colorful flowers. There was this peaceful waterfall that poured into a stream, and made its way around the entire hotel, going under little bridges and walkways. It had expensive restaurants and fancy shops, and beauty just radiated from every detail.

Outside we saw a waterpark for the kids with three or four slides that twisted and turned around the pool and an 18+ area for the adults. Palm trees and cabanas, frozen drinks and the smell of coconut. It was exactly what I had in mind when we were deciding how to celebrate my birthday.

Our first stop was the SandBar, a cute pool-side bar with a beachy vibe. I sucked down a frozen raspberry margarita, which was super tasty and gave me a few brain freezes and Paul had one of his favorite beers. We slowly walked hand in hand, ooing and awing at our gorgeous palace for the weekend until we wound up at Wreckers. We slung back a few tequila shots, ordered another round of drinks then made our way back to the room so we could relax and get ready for dinner.

What is it about being at resort that instantly makes you feel relaxed? I could have stayed in my hotel room all weekend and still had the best time. I know Paul had all of these plans to take me out to dinner in downtown Disney and listen to live music at the Blue Martini, but honestly, I didn’t want to leave the resort at all so we decided to do dinner at the Old Hickory Steakhouse. This was an upscale restaurant located in the atrium with beautiful views of the resort. We both ordered a glass of red and the cowboy ribeye.

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Also, while we were there, our real estate agent called to give us some amazing news! The inspection went well and we are moving forward with the home purchase! Best birthday present EVER!

When we got back in town on Tuesday (my actual birthday), my family and I went out to a local Japanese steakhouse where we enjoyed way too much hibachi food and left with super full bellies and even fuller hearts.

My birthday didn’t stop there though… When I returned to work on Wednesday, I was completely overwhelmed. My coworkers put together a beautiful brunch spread and a pile of gifts I needed someone to help me bring out to the car. I really truly am blessed and I am so grateful for everything and everyone in my life.

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