OUR 2020 DISNEY’S VERO BEACH TRIP: DAYS 0 AND 1 (BOSTON, TRAVEL DAY, AND DISNEY’S CARIBBEAN BEACH RESORT)

Well well well welllllcome everyone to another trip report!

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Now before you get TOO excited, this wasn’t like a full-on trip to Walt Disney World or Disneyland. It’s mainly a beach vacation.

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Oh but, it is a beach vacation at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort. So I mean. Disney.

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But this post? Well, there really isn’t any Vero Beach at all in it. This is like our pre-Vero Beach Vero Beach post.

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But….but…I will also get some Disney into this post. Because before we get to Vero Beach, we are staying at an actual Walt Disney World resort. No park or anything, but staying in Walt Disney World.

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Yeah, fine. I deserve that. Let’s just get on with it, eh?

OUR 2020 DISNEY’S VERO BEACH TRIP: DAY 0

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Yep, Day 0. If you have read any of my trip report posts before, then you know we often have a Day 0. That is, a day in which we don’t necessarily travel anywhere, but we have still begun our vacation. Travelling out of Boston, we often like to stay at a hotel somewhere near Logan airport so we can just walk to the airport or hop on a quick shuttle. Plus, staying at somewhere other than our house makes it feel so much more vacation-y.

Vacation-y is SO a word.

So Day 0 was a Wednesday. The kids had school, Nickie was off, and my plan was to mix in some getting-ready-for-the-trip-ness with working from home before we got the kids from school. But before the kids went off, I figured I would start their day with some Disney to get them in the mood for magic and what not.

So, I mean. Waffles.

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And as you also know if you’ve read any of our trip posts, we like to put together these airport bags for each other. And being that this trip was not only centered on Myles’s 16th birthday, but also Valentine’s Day, the bags were obvs squad more themed.

While the kids were at school, Nickie and I decided to exchange our bags to each other. Here’s mine from Nickie…

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I got a stuffed Pluto, some Star Wars jellybeans, conversation hearts, Lindt chocolate balls, some playing cards, a chocolate heart, a $25 dollar Disney gift card, a $10 Starbucks card, and a scented Frozen notebook. Plus look at that bag. Super cute. As far as bags go.

Here’s the bag I gave Nickie.

NICKIE AIRPORT BAG 1 VERO BEACH FEB 2020
(light saber not included)

Some stuff in her bag included a Yankee Candle (for our room), an Elsa night shirt, some Godiva chocolate caramel hearts, white chocolate Reese’s minis, a People magazine (for the beach), and a game to play on vacation – this game called “That’s It” (super fun!). And guys – look at this Minnie Mouse I got her.

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But I was MOST excited for these little pieces of adorable.

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We have a SERIOUS Disney mug problem in our house.

I got these beauties from The Lost Bros. I saw them on their site a while back and wanted to get them for Nickie, but they have been sold out like for like FOREVER. But they finally came back right before Valentine’s Day. So yay. Yay for mugs. And yay for love.

Given that we opted out of waffle time, Nickie and I went out for breakfast at one of our favorite places – Cappa’s Trackside Kitchen in Melrose, MA.

Nickie ordered a grilled blueberry muffin with a side of eggs and hash browns. Her first blueberry muffin came in a little burnt…

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“Top of the muffin TO YOU!!!” – Elaine Benes

…but they took it back and brought out a new one with her eggs and hash browns. Of which I dud not get a picture, but Nickie really seemed to enjoy it.

I got the breakfast sub with bacon and hash browns.

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Wait. Breakfast? In sub form? Oh sweet mystery of life. 

Very good. And good for you.

I also love Cappa’s because they serve flavored coffee. Well, they serve regular coffee but bring over whatever Coffeemate you want.

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“Say brainless, don’t you know where coconuts come from?”- George Bailey

I had some calls later that morning, but before that Nickie wanted to take me to Hell on Earth.

Oh, sorry…I mean the Christmas Tree Shops. Tomato, tomato.

We spent maybe an hour or so in that yard sale disguised as a store and then headed to the mall to grab something we wanted to add to Myles’s birthday present. And a coffee. Because coffee goes well with buying things to add to people’s birthday presents.

And then it was back home to do some work, get our shizz together, and spend some quality time with this girl…

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Aw, we were gonna miss us some Lilo. Thankfully, our good friend was taking care of her and the house while we were away.

The kids’ school day ended at 3:30 so we drove down, picked them up, and drove back to the house to get ready to leave. We called up an Uber and brought ALL THE BAGS out to the curb.

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So. Much. Luggage.

And where was the Uber taking us? Well, the Uber driver sure didn’t know. His GPS wasn’t working nor did he speak much English. Which meant we had to do our best to direct him to our destination using hand signals and simple words. It was a bit touch-and-go but we made it to the Hilton Boston Logan Airport.

Our driver watched us try to figure out how to open the trunk and take out our luggage while he sat in the driver’s seat and we made our way into the lobby.

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Myles was….happy? I think?

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When we got to our room, we happily found we had a view of the airport.

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But that was quickly overshadowed by the fact that South Park was on TV.

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WATCHING SOUTH PARK 1 DAY 1 VERO BEACH FEB 2020

Owen pretty much immediately asked if he could have his airport bag. So we obliged.

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They got bags similar to mine (plushes – Owen got Goofy, Myles got Mickey, candy, playing cards) but they also got Sven keychains. Which I did not receive. So I guess they win.

OK, dinner. We were all over the place with dinner tonight. Nickie and I wanted to eat at the restaurant at the hotel – Connolly’s Publik House – and the boys wanted to go into the airport for our traditional adults-eat-at-Jerry-Remy’s-kids-eat-at-Burger-King pre-trip meal. Wordiest. Tradition. Ever,

It seemed as though the adults won out as we ended up at Connolly’s.

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When we sat down, we noticed both Myles and Owen were less than thrilled with the dining result. So we made a deal with them. We would have drinks and an appetizer here and then head into the terminal for dinner proper so they could get their Burger King and we could get Jerry Remy’s.

I got a Grey Goose martini, dirty…

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…and we ordered the short rib poutine special for the table.

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Both were delicious. Even Owen ate some of the poutine. So I mean, you know its good. On account of he is picky-town.

As we ate and drank, we talked about what we were looking forward to on the trip and our plan for dinner. The Hilton is connected to Terminal A and Terminal E through a walkway, but Jerry Remy’s was in the terminal we were flying out of – Terminal C.

While we could have taken a shuttle over, we wanted to walk so Nickie looked at a map and said we could walk through Terminal E and get right over to Terminal C no problem.

So down the walkway we went…

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And then we walked through Terminal E. And we walked some more. And more. And then we walked outside. What I am saying is this took a long time is what I am saying. We did finally make it though. So we went into Jerry Remy’s

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…and I took the boys over to…

…BURGER KING!

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Erm.

Yeah. Burger King was gone. They literally got rid of it like the week before. Womp a domp a domp. So eh, the kids still got non-Remy’s food by way of burritos from Currito.

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I started with a beer on account of I technically already had a pre-dinner cocktail.

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And Nickie and I decided to just split some apps for our meal. We got the nachos…

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…and the steak and cheese egg rolls.

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Both yumtown. The kids also liked their burritos btw.

If you’ve read about our past experiences at the Logan Airport Terminal C Jerry Remy’s, like this one here, we have often run into the same waiter, Eduardo, who always seems to remember us. Unfortunately, when we asked our waitress this time around if Eduardo was around, she informed us he wasn’t. But she said she wanted to take our picture to show him we were there.

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I don’t know if you can see up there, but I am holding up a picture of us with Eduardo from the blog. So it’s like he was there with us. Oh Eduardo, we will always have that time when I needed to eat yogurt to help combat the side effects of my antibiotic. Memories. Light the corner of my mind.

None of the desserts were crying out to us at Remy’s so we decided to head back to Connolly’s at the hotel to end the night. This time around, we took the opposite path and it took us MUCH LESS time to get there. So like…don’t go through Terminal E to get to Terminal C. Unless you like long walks through brightly lit white-walled hallways. In which case, that walk is for you, my friend.

Look, we are at Connolly’s.

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Like I said, we were there for dessert. So I got a Lagavulin on the rocks.

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Mmm. Dessert.

OK yeah we also got actual dessert. Myles got some ice cream and Owen ordered a Boston Cream Pie.

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I had a bite of the Boston Cream Pie and it was pretty good. I always am a bit let down by Boston Cream Pie when it’s not a donut. I assume Myles enjoyed his ice cream on account of he wouldn’t share it.

After I was done with the Lagavulin, Nickie asked the waitress if we could get some drinks to go. Which is always a dangerous question. The answer was yes, so this happened.

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Don’t worry. I took it easy. It wasn’t a Lagavulin. Only a Crown Royal.

It was only 9:40 PM but being that we had to be up at around 5AM for our flight, we called it a night relatively soon after that Crown was emptied. Which brings us to…

OUR 2020 DISNEY’S VERO BEACH TRIP: DAY 1 (TRAVEL DAY!!!)

Yup. An actual Vacation Day. Day 1!!

And like I said, Day 1 started bright and early at 5AM. So we were up at 5AM and greeted with…snow.

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But not enough snow to make us all that worried about our flight. Well, I mean…it was enough snow to make Nickie worried about our flight. But I mean, no snow is also enough snow to make Nickie worried about our flight. But it was enough snow to make us excited to be leaving the Northeast. So there was that.

We woke the kids, got our stuff together, and made our way down to the lobby. We decided to make use of the shuttle this morning, given the weather and the fact that none of us wanted to walk.

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For breakfast, the kids wanted something other than our typical day-of-trip Dunkin Donuts breakfast sandwiches. So we walked into the new tequila bar at Logan and they didn’t like anything on the menu. Then, we walked into a favorite of mine when I travel for work – this bao bun place. Nothing there either.

So, we got Dunkin Donuts breakfast sandwiches.

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Check out our plane!

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Tacko Fall!!

We boarded soon and the seating arrangement this time was Nickie and the boys in one row and I was riding solo across the aisle, same row.

No one loves me.

Except TV. TV, you love me. What I am trying to say is I watched the seat-back TV on my way down to Florida. I started with Judy.

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And followed that one up with Abomniable.

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And yes. I cried at both of them.

The boys both watched Zombieland: Double Tap (which I had already seen on a recent trip.) And then they switched to listening to Alt Nation.

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And Nickie didn’t watch anything, really. Which was an odd choice.

Within a few hours we landed in Orlando Jacksonville.

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Yeah, we flew into Jacksonville to save some money and add in a bit of a road trip. And speaking of road trips, look at the space shuttle we were gonna be driving.

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That, my friends, is a Ford Expedition. Thing was huge. The boys really enjoyed each having their own row. On account of brotherly love.

And you may have noticed that car was parked in some sort of fenced in lot. And you may have said to yourself upon seeing said picture, “where in the crap is that car parked?” Well…this. This is where that car was parked.

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Aw yeah, Waffle House. We had about a 3 ½ hour drive from Jacksonville airport to our home for the night and the boys REALLY wanted to stop at Waffle House on the way.

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These are their Waffle House faces.

Immediately upon entering ANY Waffle House, Myles makes straight for the jukebox.

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And with that, the entire restaurant is treated to a medley of Weezer, Vampire Weekend, Green Day, and Christmas music.

But while the jukebox is cool and all, the main event is obvs the food.

Owen ordered straight-up waffles.

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Nickie got a patty melt with a side of hash browns.

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Myles and I both ordered the All-Star  – eggs, meat, hash browns, and waffle. I went with eggs over easy, bacon, and smothered and peppered hash browns.

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Of course it was good. It was Waffle House.

We made it to our destination at around 4PM – Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort!!

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And while Nickie went to check in, the boys and I did some exploring and found SPA WATER!!

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Man, I love me some spa water.

Once checked in, we drove around to our room location – Aruba. We went up to our room and made ourselves comfortable.

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We have stayed here before, but it’s been a while. And a lot has changed at Caribbean Beach. Including the views. Being able to see Disney’s Riviera Resort across Barefoot Bay makes for a pretty nice landscape.

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We got our suits on and went down to the pool.

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The boys and I took a quick run down the waterslide…

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It sure does.

…but the pool water ended up being pretty cold so the hot tub was much more inviting.

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The kids did some exploring after that and Nickie and I laid on some chairs by the hot tub. Which was super relaxing, especially with a view of the Skyliner off in the distance.

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And especially with one of these in my hand.

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That right there is a Bourbon Breeze (Bulleit Bourbon with Cranberry, Pomegranate and Lime Juices topped with Fever Tree Ginger Beer.) Good stuff. In fact, it was so good and the scene was so relaxing, I think I fell asleep for a little while.

Sleeping by the pool may be one of the best things ever.

The boys were back soon enough and asked if we could take a spin on the Skyliner before dinner. Nickie wanted to get ready anyways so we walked over to the station.

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The line for the ride to Hollywood Studios was short so we hopped in and pretty much walked right on. And we didn’t have to share our car with anyone. Which is nice. On account of we are anti-social.

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The ride from Caribbean Beach to Hollywood Studios was about 6 minutes. And it really was a cool way to get there.

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We took the Skyliner back to Caribbean Beach and then hopped on the EPCOT route. The line was a little longer and we did end up having to share a ride there. The ride to EPCOT takes you through the Riviera Resort and then onto the park for a full ride of about 14 minutes. Longer than Hollywood Studios but still pretty convenient.

When we got back from EPCOT, we had to get up to the room to get dinner-ready. As we were leaving our room, we saw this little guy out waiting for us.

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We walked on through the resort and caught a couple seconds of A Bug’s Life playing on an outdoor screen.

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Dinner on Day 1 was at the resort. At the new­ish restaurant – Sebastian’s Bistro.

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Our reservation was at 7:30 PM, but we arrived a little early so our table wasn’t ready. No worries, though. On account of Banana Cabana was right next door. And in addition to sounding like a euphemism for a speedo, this place was pretty cool.

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Check out this steel drum chandelier.

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Nickie and I grabbed a couple beers to enjoy while we were waiting for our table to be ready. Which ended up being longer than we anticipated. Our reservation time came and went. And we waited an additional 30 minutes. And of course, Karen Nickie wasn’t having it. She went in to have a talk with the manager.

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She first informed Nickie that this happens all the time and sometimes people wait an hour or more for their reserved table. Which is….not good. Seems like their system is a bit off, no?

Anyways though, my pager went off soon after and we were led through the restaurant to our table.

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I really liked the feel of the place. Had a nice beachy vibe to it. And there was a lot of Sebastian playing. Like, a lot. And there were a lot of pictures of Sebastian all over the walls as well. Dude really likes himself. I mean, he puts himself all over his own place. Pretty vain, man.

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Look at these guys. Pretending to like each other.

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Nickie and I started out with some wine.

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For starters, we ordered the Caribbean Pull-Apart Rolls and Beef Empanadas.

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Both were good, but I give the edge to the rolls. It was sort of like their version of a bread service. The rolls were super soft and flaky and I liked the variety of sauces that came with them – guava butter, onion jam, and Jamaican jerk oil. The guava butter was especially good.

For his main, Owen ordered the Smoked Pork Shoulder off the kids’ menu, with  side of Macaroni and Cheese.

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Myles ordered the Taste of the Caribbean with the Jerk Chicken, Smoked Pork Shoulder, and Plant-Based Curry. It also comes with Black Beans and Cilantro Rice.

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I also ordered the Taste of the Caribbean, but instead of the Plant-Based Curry I got the Coconut Shrimp (along with the Jerk Chicken and Smoked Pork Shoulder.)

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It was delicious. The pork shoulder was probably my favorite of the three meats, but I really enjoyed all three.

Nickie got the Jerk Chicken. She said it was good, but a little too spicy so the waiter ended up bringing out some extra Coconut Shrimp and Pork Shoulder out for her to eat, totally on his own. Super nice. Nickie really liked the pork but she doesn’t eat shrimp. So, being the incredible husband I am, I ate them for her. I know. She’s a lucky girl.

Overall, I really enjoyed my meal here. The food was tasty and flavorful and the service was top-notch. Aside from the reservation issue, everything was excellent.

After we left dinner, the fireworks were going off in the distance.

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We opted to skip dessert at Sebastian’s in favor of ice cream on the boardwalk. We jumped in the Expedition and made the short drive over to Disney’s Boardwalk Inn.

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Ice cream was on the other side, so we walked through the lobby, stopping for a second to get obligatorily CREEPED THE FRIK OUT.

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But the sense of dread brought on by those chairs was soon soothed by ice cream. At Ample Hills.

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And once we were inside, it was like “Ample Hills? More like Ample People. Amirite?”

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But it was worth the wait. I got a small scoop of Ooey Gooey Butter Cake and a scoop of PB Wins the Cup in a waffle cone.

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Myles got an Ooey Gooey Butter Cake sundae.

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And Owen got a brownie sundae.

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Nickie got the Sweet Cream N’ Cookies. I thought I snapped a pic of it, but I can’t seem to find one.

And man, that ice cream is gooooood. As far as ice cream goes, Ample Hills is pretty high on the list. We brought our ice cream outside and ate on the boardwalk.

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It was a pretty great way to end a pretty epic day. And it’s only Day 1. Day 2 brings us to our ultimate destination – Disney’s Vero Beach! But not before we have breakfast at a brand new spot in Walt Disney World! Get. Excited.

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