Florida Vacation without the RV

For the first time in many years we took a vacation without our RV. Instead, motels and a condo were our home for the week.

We decided to break up our trip to Orlando and spend a night near a beach to take a drive along A1A. Flagler Beach sounded like a perfect place. It’s a small beach town on the Atlantic Ocean that still has that old Florida feeling. Driving down A1A the Atlantic Ocean is on one side of the road and beach houses and locally owned restaurants are on the other. Heaven! After a walk on the fishing pier we ate fish sandwiches with an ocean view at the Funky Pelican next to the pier.

Flagler Beach Fishing Pier

Our home for the rest of the week was a condo in a resort in Lake Buena Vista. We enjoyed the screened porch with a view of the fountain and pond.

Our home for the week

We had the condo to ourselves for the first three nights. We celebrated my birthday at Bongo’s, a Cuban restaurant at Disney Springs.

We started off with a mojito at the bar at Bongo’s
Birthday Dinner at Bongo’s at Disney Springs

On Wednesday we picked up our two oldest grandchildren at the airport. After a long travel day they enjoyed a dip in one of the pools.

Pool at the resort

Going to Universal Studios to see the Harry Potter attractions was at the top of their wish list so the next morning we got up early to be at the park as soon as it opened.

Universal is made up of two separate theme parks with Harry Potter attractions in both parks. We purchased the park hopper tickets so we could ride the Hogwarts Express train between the parks. The train ride was fun and when we disembarked we were in The Islands of Adventure Park in Hogsmeade. We cooled off with a Butter Beer before riding any more rides.

The kids loved the two Harry Potter thrill rides. Henry liked the Escape from Gringotts. Our 14 year old grandson said the Forbidden Journey was his favorite. Our granddaughter liked them both. I’m not a fan of thrill rides. The train was more my style.

After our epic day at Universal we took it easy the next day. While it rained all afternoon we played some games and enjoyed hanging out with our grandkids.

One evening the kids enjoyed the pool while I enjoyed the evening sky.

Sunset at the pool

On our last day we put on our bathing suits and went to Blizzard Beach, one of the Disney water parks. We were able to enjoy a few rides before the afternoon thunderstorm came through. Just as predicted, at 1:00 the lightening was so close they closed all the rides.

The Summit Plummet at Disney’s Blizard Beach is on the right where the flags are.

One thing that is almost guaranteed if you travel to Orlando in late June is the daily thunderstorms. The only day we didn’t get rained on was the day we went to Universal. How lucky was that?

What a great week making memories with our two oldest grandkids!

16 thoughts on “Florida Vacation without the RV

  1. What a wonderful way to spend time with your teenage grandchildren.We live just two hours away and have not yet visited the Harry Potter exhibit. Our 28 year old daughter, who grew up with that series has been several times and still loves it. You are so right about those afternoon storms!


  2. Sounds like so much fun. What wonderful memories with your grandchildren. My daughter and I enjoyed an amazing visit to Disney World ten years ago and we’re always talking about going back and taking in Universal. She is a huge Harry Potter fan. Love that photo at the top … really tempting me to plan that trip.


  3. Now, I don’t know where you’ll be and when, but may I recommend Clark’s Fish camp on the St. John’s river west of Jacksonville. Good food, lots of “eye candy,” and a lovely sunset. Check it out. Let me know what you think. It is also kid-friendly. Jean



    1. We love visiting Florida. We’ve traveled around most of the state both with and without the Rv. I’m glad we discovered Flagler Beach. We had never been there before.


  4. What a great birthday! And you even got to Harry Potter! I would love to walk down Diagon Alley…

    Recently, we drove to California without the RV and it was a nice change but we missed some of the comforts of our RV. It was nice to sightsee in a car vs the F250!!

    Enjoyed your post, Beth.


  5. I want to wish you a Happy belated birthday. I hope you enjoy many, many more! Your birthday adventure sounded just perfect! Getting to spend time with hubby and then with your grandchildren. I enjoyed reading the Harry Potter books and would love to visit the theme park one day.

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