Yes, I’m a bit behind on blogging this trip – but for good reason, we’ve been having a blast here in Orlando. Catching up some tonight and tomorrow.
As requested by my worn-out husband, who just finished a 6-week stint away from home, staying in hotels and working 12+ hour days, our first full day once settled into our temporary home away from home was a ‘rest’ day. Which is to say that we did leave the house, but we didn’t even try to hit any of the parks or touristy stuff here.
But believe me, nobody wanted to leave this house.
Even now, I want to spend as much time here as possible – just to soak up and enjoy the experience of all the space. The high ceilings. The big windows. The comfy furniture. The pool. The game/theatre room. And did I mention the space?
At home, our house is 3-bedrooms with 1 working full bathroom and is about 1,000 square feet plus the damp, cold basement. This vacation home has FIVE bedrooms, each with its own bathroom. That’s (count them), yes – a total of FIVE bathrooms. And there are five people in our family. I’m sure you can do the math… I claimed one of the gorgeous king master suites as my own, so I have yet another week before I’ll have to put up with Ron’s snoring again. Plus, the room is simply beautiful, and I’m loving having my ‘own’ space. The girls think it’s awesome that we each have our own bathroom – definitely something that we’ll miss as well.
Technically this vacation home sleeps a total of 14 people, so it’s definitely way bigger than we needed. Which is why I’m reveling in all of the space. As I sit here and look around, I think this would be a perfect option for two (or even three, depending on the sizes) families who wanted to vacation together. There are three master suites in this house, plus two bedrooms upstairs that sleep a total of six kids.
In a lot of ways, this house is similar to my dream house, which is why I’m enjoying every second of our stay here. The high ceilings and big, tall windows make it very open and airy. The décor is beautiful. There’s not only an eat-in kitchen and a formal dining room, but a breakfast bar as well. And a bay window. Plus the screened-in pool that’s definitely the girls’ favorite feature. Unless it’s the garage-converted-to-game/theatre room, complete with surround sound, theater seating for eight people, air hockey table, and upright video game.
The video game has a lot of sentimental value for me – it’s one where you can choose from 60 classic video games, like Pac-Man, Galaga, Dig Dug, etc. I grew up not only playing those games, but my dad supported my family by owning and putting upright and tabletop video games in various restaurants and other locations. He often brought them home to fix or in between locations, so my brother and I got very good at Pac-Man, Donkey Kong Jr., and many other games that sat in our family room or basement for days or weeks at a time. I love seeing my kids learn to play these classic games now too.
Now that we’ve been here for several days, I’m seeing the benefits of a vacation home rental – many of which I never even considered before this trip. Since we drove down, we’re free to come and go as we please and have a guaranteed parking spot in the driveway so we’re always right at the front door. This is a gated community, so I feel safe walking around or letting the girls run around to play. We bought groceries and with a full kitchen we can not only eat breakfast and lunch here, but on the days when we’re around at dinnertime, we can cook dinner too. Plus there’s a laundry room with washer and dryer, so I can do laundry whenever (and as often) as I want to without having to worry about leaving my stuff in a public laundry room or having enough quarters.
The best part of a vacation home, at least to me – is the privacy. After nearly a week of having to shush the kids every few minutes because they were singing or dancing or jumping around in the hotel room we were at in North Carolina, it’s pure pleasure to let them be… well, kids. And in the pool, they can play and splash without having to worry about disturbing others – or being disturbed by others. In past hotel stays, we’ve had older kids or teenagers basically take over the hotel pool, much to my kids’ disappointment. Here, they can swim whenever they want and nobody will disturb them.
Plus, I can sit outside with them if I want, or swim with them – or sit here in the air-conditioned living room and watch the girls swim through the huge sliding glass door on the back of the house. The pool is fully screened in, plus there’s a child safety fence, and a pool alarm on the sliding door. It took a couple of days to get the hang of the alarm, but I love that my 6-year-old can’t go out to the pool unless I know about it and turn off the alarm for her.
AllStar Vacation Homes has been a great team to work with – our check-in went smoothly and they even gave each of the girls a beach ball and bag. Then there was the ‘welcome home’ gift waiting for us when we got here to the house, filled with snacks and treats. The house is equipped with everything we need for the week – plenty of towels, and even a ‘starter kit’ of dish soap, toilet paper, paper towel, garbage bags, etc. The house was spotless and felt welcoming with beautiful place settings already laid out. There are plastic plates, bowls and cups to use outside – or for the kids, and everything we need to cook with in the kitchen.
Want a tour? I walked through the house with my camcorder right after we got here – you can hear the excitement of the kids as they explore in the background. The video is over 6 minutes, but it truly takes that long to walk through.
Yes, I am in love with this vacation rental home. Leaving is going to be so hard to do – but at least we’ll have had a vacation truly to remember and will bring home wonderful memories with us. And we’ll know how to plan for our next vacation stay.
Next post will bring things a little more up-to-date on our continued vacation….