Magic Kingdom and Mini Golf!

Magic Kingdom and Mini Golf

*sorry for lack of posts, I am busy with university at the moment  so have less writing/videoing time. Plus my laptop broke….

Today was another 2 park day in a way, we got up bright and early for rope drop, I ran through whilst mum went to bag check and got a great view! It must be great to be the family chosen to participate!image

Once inside we rode 7 dwarfs mine train (fast pass) buzz light year (fast pass, flying carpets and Peter Pan) Then got some yummy snacks, I had my last Mickey Pretzel of the trip and mum got a strawberry fruit bar. I thought I was getting my last dole whip but I actually had one in the Poly another day too. I like my dole whip best as a float with pineapple juice!

It was one of the hottest days that we had while inside the park but then… As we were on the way to mini golf there was a huge storm! I guess someone in the heavens really didn’t want me to play mini golf! We hoped it would be 3rd time lucky so persevered anyway, getting a bus to the Swan and Dolphin.

The best way to access the Fantasia Gardens mini golf is by going to the Swan and Dolphin as they are right by it. There are 2 courses, an easier crazy golf course and a less decorative course. The plainer course is much more challenging. We went for the fun course.

I am amazing at miniature golf and (sack modesty I had to say so myself!) there aren’t many good courses in the UK. I definitely want to try the cool illuminated ones at Universal and the other Disney one located at Typhoon Lagoon on my next Florida trip!

We had to hide in the ‘caves’ which were part of the theming when there were showers, and I kept dropping my club; terrified it would be struck by lightning… But we did finish the course and I won (with 3 hole in ones!)

We planned to go to dinner at a Disney hotel again but the storm had set in by the time we got a shuttle back so we went back to Champions World and I ordered the boring vegan option in the bar of pasta and Mum got a veggie burger. We then went swimming for a while at the covered pool for Dive In Movies. It’s amazing to swim in a pool, while watching a film during a beautiful tropical storm.

Animal Kingdom; Tusker House Breakfast/Lunch review and Epcot!

On our second day at Animal Kingdom we had decided that we wanted to go to the Lion King Show, Rafiki’s Planet Watch and finish the Pagani Forest Trail.

At rope drop we went along to the Terra Treats stand, planning to get some Erin McKenna’s pastries for breakfast, however when we got there we saw that it didn’t open till 11.  By then we would want a sit down meal, so I opened the ‘My Disney Experience app’ and booked us into Tusker House Buffet for the latest breakfast slot at 10.40 am.

We had another look at the Tree of Life and then watched the Lion King Show – Festival of the lion King – it was one of my favourite theatre shows in WDW.  It featured songs from the Lion King and costumes in the style of those used in the Lion King Musical, as well as classic depictions of Simba and Pumba, using animatronics, plus Disney World costume versions of Rafiki and Timon.  It featured amazing singing, dancing and acrobatics.  It was also short enough in duration to hold the attention of younger children.

 

By the time this finished it was time for our breakfast slot.  As standard at Disney buffets, the chef came over to walk me through the buffet.  Vegan options included oatmeal, breakfast cereals, sweet fried plantain, bagels, corn bread, fruit chutneys, roast potato wedges and fresh fruit.  However, the chef told me that if I waited a little while before revisiting the buffet, the lunch options would be out too!  So I could choose from an even bigger selection.  Lunch options included 2 types of hummus, more chutneys, white rice, tabbouleh, lots of salads, vegetables and a delicious, spicy tofu curry.  I loved everything, especially the plantain bean salad, corn break and the tofu.  The chef also made me a batch of 3 vegan Mickey waffles and she brought me some chocolate soya milk.

I noticed many people doing what we did and making the most of the ‘changeover slot’, essentially cramming 2 meals into 1.  You could easily load up on pastries, cereal and cooked breakfast goods, and then get lots of the main lunchtime dishes and desserts too!  As with the other breakfast buffets; we even got a nice pot of coffee.

After finishing our amazing African inspired character meal and meeting Donald, Mickey, Minnie etc. we left the bustling Harambe market place area and boarded the train to Rafiki’s Plant Watch. Over at a different area of the park, this is where WDW carry out lots of their conservation work and there is a cool education area there, where you can learn about that through videos and exhibits.  There were also lots of insects, amphibians and reptiles to view.  My favourite bit at Planet Watch was the affection section.  Lots of non-farmed ‘farm animals’ were here and they had their own climbing frames and enclosures with toys and beds where they could go when they fancied a time out!  The climbing frames were cool as goats are climbers after all.  The activity toys, like those given to dogs, monkeys and horses were great too.  The supervising cast member explained that ‘farm animals’ get bored and need mental stimulation too.  I brushed a friendly goat.  Another goat busied itself eating a girl’s wheelchair!  On the way back to the train we met Chip and Dale!

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Back on the Pagani Forest trail we saw the meerkats and silver backed gorillas.  We then went for some drinks at the Rainforest Cafe so that we could enjoy the interior. And of course, see a tropical rainstorm!

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It was quite early in the day so we went to Epcot to spend some time in the Nemo area and check out some more countries. I remembered to stop for some delicious vegan sorbet in ‘France’ and tried the mango one this time.

We caught a ‘Friendship’ boat over to the boardwalk area and Epcot resorts but there was a big storm so we had a coffee at the Swan (They had almond milk and larabars but not sure if they always do) and got an uber from the Boardwalk abandoning the idea of miniature golf!

India

x

 

Day 13- Florida mall, more bargain outlet shopping and Starwars Fireworks!

The next day was another shopping day! We got the hotel free shuttle to SeaWorld ( a location I would never actually visit for ethical reasons) then got a uber cab to Florida Mall for some shopping, it’s worth noting that the shops don’t open early on Sunday, this was a huge pain! But we did manage to map out our shopping while we waited for stores to open up!

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The mall was incredible. Think of the Trafford Center in the UK but with better air circulation, more helpful staff, and lots of areas to sit down. We went to all the more unusual stores first so Crayola store who had a cool pick a crayon feature where you could fill a tin with crayons and markers of all colours, after that M and M’s world to pick up some gifts, Hot Topic, Abercrombie and Fitch as our closest is the Flagship in London, and Sephora. After that Pandora, Build a Bear Workshop and Hollister.

After Florida Mall we went to the Vineland Premium Outlets, where the Chinese stall in the food court had some nice looking spicy tofu so I grabbed that randomly combined with plaintain…. I also got some bits in the Disney Outlet and 2 further pairs of sketchers.

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…and finally, when back at our hotel, we decided we could do with squeezing some Walt Disney World time into our day so Boom! We went to Hollywood Studios for the star wars fireworks!

We even managed to ride Star Tours again and…. Meet Olaf! At his new and exclusive meet and greet. We got a nice drink at The Hollywood Brown Derby lounge as I just had to see the interior in that place being a huge Chaplin fan and loving all the Hollywood movie stars. I also picked up the free souvineer recipe cards given out here although if I make them I will of course have to veganaise them. image

After a great firework battle we got back to our hotel room safely! Keep reading guys! And thanks to all of my new subscribers!

 

Rest day/ Magic Kingdom

The next day we spent at our leisure, we sunbathed on our hotel, ( Champions World Resort) private beach. Went to Target, Starbucks and Dollar tree and then my friend Laurel picked us up for a nice evening in Magic Kingdom!

The hotel grounds are beautiful and relaxing as you can see; like our own private paradise.

Above; all purchased in dollar tree. Video coming soon.

We got to Magic Kingdom at around 6.30 pm. I booked fast passes for both Buzz Lightyear and Haunted Mansion on my IPad. Before going on Buzz, Laurel suggested ‘Monsters inc laugh floor’ this is a stand up comedy style interactive show featuring audience members getting mocked by Monsters Inc characters! It was really fun, I am glad we did it and that Laurel mentioned it as otherwise we wouldn’t have bothered with it.

Next it was time for Buzz and I got an Easy Access for Seven Dwarfs for when we finished. My score on Buzz was pretty terrible as I only ever score well when the ride breaks down! Laurel and I rode Mine Train next, she hadn’t been on it yet as it’s pretty hard to get on so that was cool. I love getting the on ride videos too! It was really cool as the fireworks for Wishes for going off just as we reached the top of the ride before the drop. A must do!

After riding the cute little mermaid ride ( you sit in a clamshell!) and going on Haunted Mansion we headed back to the car as it was getting late and Laurel and I would have a busy day the next day.

India x

Vegan feast with Chef TJ- Disney’s Trails End

As I stated on my last post, we went to Trails End Restaurant at Fort Wilderness resort ( via the free boat from the Magic Kingdom gate). The main chef at this buffet;  TJ, is famous for catering for both vegans and those with allergies.

For the same set price as the Omnivorous buffet TJ will whip up special dishes for us vegans! Although he is also super accommodating of both gluten intolerant and allergic guests!

When TJ came out he did the same as all the buffet chefs and ‘toured’ us around our choices. These were super limited at this southern buffet. It was full of chicken, cheese and ribs and that kind of food. We could however have jacket potatoes, 2 salads and mixed leaves. All the veggies etc had cream, butter etc so stay away 🙂

TJ was super apologetic and told us he would take care of us. First he brought bread and vegan butter.

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Mum suddenly thought I was wrong about the whole thing despite me showing her pictures of TJ’s creations before we booked the ADR, I told Mum that I was sure he was just cooking and that we hadn’t paid $27 each for bread, potatoes and leaves.

The next course was immense, handmade vegan nachos with fried onions, chillis and a homemade coconut based nacho cheese!

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Followed by samosas topped with BBQ sauce, I am not a samosa fan but I don’t mind the Disney samosas however the BBQ sauce made them more tasty. The cheese was winning so far though.

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A gorgeous Carrot and Ginger soup followed, this was also coconut based, Mum didn’t have hers as she doesn’t really like Carrot but I loved it as this type of soup is among my favorites.

image We were both stuffed so didn’t manage to finish the main which was amazing fried tofu, and veggies in a sticky marinade on a bed of fried noodles with soy sauce. The dish was savoury and sweet and super delicious! Mum loved the yellow courgette and I loved the giant portabella mushroom! TJ was kind enough to box up our leftovers too! image

However I couldn’t skip dessert! This was dessert….

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I ate every mouthful apart from the gummy bears which Mum had and the candy floss which the girl on the next table had. (I don’t like chew candy or candyfloss) The tower was made up of Tofutti cuties (I think thats what they are called, Chocolate tofutti, Chocolate cookies, banana, strawberry, jelly, Hersheys chocolate syrup and mickey sprinkles.

I felt ill afterwards :p

I even took an obligatory photo with the chef!image

 

Lots of the Disney chefs like making special off menu dishes for ‘special diets’ but Its great one can be so enthusiastic abo
ut it! All the meat eaters on the next table were super jealous so it is super powerful too! Vegans can eat any type of food that omnivores can eat! 🙂 Just Veganized of course….

Be sure to catch a boat to Fort Wilderness to eat at Trails End during your stay in Florida! You could even catch the campfire singalong with Chip and Dale afterwards (Free activity)

India!

Day 10, another Magic Kingdom day

Day 10 was another magic kingdom day as in the evening we had a meal booked over at Trails end at Fort Wilderness. The meal was so great it will even get its own blog post.

This post will be quite short because of that. We got the early shuttle to Magic Kingdom and I ran through the ‘no bags’ security leaving mum with all our bags, I got us a great spot to watch rope drop.

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I love being at the park gates when they open, this is a must do for every Walt Disney World newbie!

After filtering through I went to some rides! I had Fast Passes for Peter Pans Flight, Barnstormer and Dumbo, so we hit Peter Pan first, and then I used my Easy access pass for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (aka best ride ever!) and did some meeting and greeting!

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Early morning pretzelling

I managed to meet Aurora, who meet and greets at her wall and the Fairy Godmother just by the castle. imageWe also managed to got to ‘Storytime with Belle’ This is an extremely child oriented show, however it offered a failsafe way to meet Belle in her yellow dress. (She wears her blue dress in Epcot France) You also get a free bookmark. I grabbed some popcorn from a cart, mainly for the souvenir bucket, all Disney Popcorn machine popcorn is vegan and only ‘butter flavoured’. We also grabbed some fruit and some hummus and crackers from Gastons. All of this was done before the 3pm Parade. After the parade we went to my other Fast Passes, the 7 Dwarfs mine train and then managed to meet Tiana!

Tiana was hilarious, I told her I liked her jewelry and she told me she got it through Voodoo, and for me not to get into that. Straight after meeting Tiana we rushed over to meet Snow White! I noticed that the girl behind me in the line was wearing a great Disney bounding outfit.image

After meeting Snow we went to see the classic that is ‘Country Bears Jamboree’ a must do! I love this show.

Our reservation at Trails End was for 7pm so we perused the shops on Main St for a while before going to get the boat over to Fort Wilderness Resort.

Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground is like a Disney Centerparks equivalent, it is made up of campsites, log cabins and lodges. It is also home of the Disney ranch where the Disney horses and ponies live, Dinner shows- Mickeys Backyard BBQ and Hoop de doo Musical Revue, Bike rental, a play park and lots of wilderness!

We were going to Trails End, a western buffet where a chef specializing in Vegan, Gluten Free and Other special diets works. This is Chef TJ, he currently works in Trails end most nights I believe but ask on the Veg Disney Facebook page for recent visitors to update you on this!

Before our meal we took a nice stroll around the resort.

Check back for my Chef TJ meal review coming soon!

Have you seen my Youtube channel yet?

So, It recently came to my attention that some of my readers did not know I was on Youtube!

So far my channel is mainly Disney Hauls, But there is a cruelty free cosmetics video and I have just done a USA vegan snack haul!

When I have finished all my ‘What I bought in America’ videos I shall take suggestions for any other Disney or Vegan related vlog ideas so do subscribe!

MY CHANNEL!

Thanks so much!

India

Day 9- Blizzard Beach,T-Rex Cafe and Disney Springs

On our next day we decided to head to one of disneys water parks, as uk visitors, our 14 day passes included entry to both waterparks! We got a shuttle from Animal Kingdom to Blizzard beach water park. Blizzard beach has super cool theming; it is themed like a melting ski resort! There is also a matching miniature golf course; blizzard beach.

The outdoor water parks in America are completely different to the indoor ones we have here in the uk, there are lots of sun loungers and places to react, the large areas, dry land and the sand which is at Disney water parks meant these were like actual water theme parks rather than being glorified swimming pools! There were huge intense slides and lots of little ones too, as well as a wave pool, lazy river and a little kids water play area and a tween obstacle course thing.

There were also shops and places to eat so be sure to invest in a cover up or kaftan. My cover up is an Ariel one from hot topic!

We left after around 2 hours which was enough I ever for me but I know some families do stay for ages with the kids getting in and out of the water for ice creams and the parents relaxing and lounging around.

We caught a shuttle to Conorado resort and then we transferred to another shuttle taking us to Disney springs for some shopping!

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I went to Basin again for more goodies- this one was even bigger than the one in the Grand Floridian, like a giant super Lush! All natural soapy /skincare goodness

I went in all the shops! Disney springs marketplace has a huge amount of different shops, a tea and spice shop, goofys candy co, little miss matched which was a cute girly shop for kids and tweens selling odd socks, clothes and accessories, toy shops, The world of Disney; the biggest Disney store at Disney property, rainforest cafe shop, D tech where you can design your own phone or tablet case, Trend D where you can get stylish Disney apparel and lots of others such as pin shops and Christmas shops.

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I was excited to go to Design a Tee however it wasn’t what I imagined, although I reckon it would be really exciting for kids. Basically you choose from generic designs of all the characters, (although it is not really all, it is mainly more popular characters) and choose your colour and text. You can write whatever you like on your shirt! At around $30 for a tee, I gave it a miss as there were cuter pre made shirts I loved at lower prices!

We did pick up some nice lip balms with SPF protection in Rainforest Cafe though, the brand was Sunbum, mum chose mango and I chose coconut as I absolutely adore any coconut scented products or coconut flavours. We also went to the Lego Store, they had some amazing Lego sculptures of various characters including a scene from 7 dwarfs mine train so it is worth having a look even if you have no intention of buying any Lego!

We had a reservation at a T Rex cafe at 4 so we walked over there so we did not miss it. I have never heard good things about vegan food at any of the Landrys restaurants but I love the theming in Rainforest Cafe so I wanted to try the dinosaur version! Who doesn’t love dinosaurs!

Our experience with our server, was unfortunately negative, he was very dismissive and thought that veganism was extremely entertaining. I have heard from other vegans on the Veg Disney Facebook page that they have also received bad service from severs in Rainforest and Trex in Disney Springs, they are not Disney owned, and landrys are not very accommodating, after being quite dismissively told I could only eat fries and a side salad. I requested the Jurassic salad and quesadillas with salsa and black beans but with no cheese or chicken. Mum got the children’s tomato pasta and some bruschetta, the children’s pasta had a side included so I got to have mums corn too! The food, once attacked with sauce and Tabasco was good, it was basic, nothing special obviously but filling. Other vegan things on the menu were the Omnivores delight without cheese, the regular pasta veganised, the waffle fries, rice and the sorbet. Although the food was sub par and the service lack lustre, I loved our visit to this place!

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The decor in the T. rex is themed to take you back in time to a Jurassic world! There are boulders, water features, volcanos and huge animatronic dinosaurs and mammoths! Every 10 to 20 minutes there were meteor showers staged which were really cool! A really fantastic experience in that sense, very immersive and a unique dining experience.

We used a Landrys rewards card to pay for our meal, you can buy one of these for $25 and the price is redeemable as your ‘welcome reward’. A further $25 is rewarded to your card on your birthday, so be sure to make your registration birthday, your Disney birthday!

After our meal and a visit to the toilet to look at fossils! We went next door to the T Rex shop and Build a Dino. Build a Dino is owned by Build a Bear Workshop, and it is exactly the same but with Dinosaurs! Kids can choose a Dino, perform the heart ceremony, assist stuffing, choose outfits, create a birth certificate and then read the ‘Dino’ promise. Super Cute! I have worked in Build a Bear Workshop in the Uk and I adore the Bears and the brand! So I absolutely had to pick up a bear/Dino for Sebastian, my nephew. I was going to go for a pink triceratops as Seb loves pink, but because I wanted his new buddy to last him a long time, I chose a purple T. rex in case he decides he has out grown pick sparkles at any point.

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After Dino making fun, I headed on over to Erin Mckenna’s Bakery again! This time I tried a chocolate chip layer cake with cookies in it and chocolate and vanilla frosting which the server said was called ‘Bakers Delight’ ,a chocolate soft serve ice cream with cookie crumbs and a slice of pumpkin chocolate loaf. I had the chocolate loaf for breakfast and it was moist and delicious! The cake was good too, I love the Erin McKenna frosting, it is coconut oil based and very tasty!

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Seb’s Birthday Dino!

We really enjoyed our visit to Disney Springs for shopping and a nice themed meal!

Keep an eye out for the next post!

Epcot and Hollywood studios for Seasonal dine!

Our next day, once dressed in my new bargain dress, I decided we ought to try a split day! So we got an early start in Epcot to explore the other countries.

I adored the shops at Epcot, especially popular is the Mitsukoshi Store in Japan, selling a huge range of Japaneses imports; kimonos, chopsticks and crazy candy.  I picked up some ‘Studio Ghibli’ stuff for my sister, Nic, and some Sanrio stuff for me and my friends.  If you like Totoro, Kiki, Panyo or Hello Kitty and friends, then have a look in Mitsukoshi.

After Japan, we went to France.  The Paris area was mum’s favourite.  It reminded me of Mike and Frankie on ‘The Middle’ – “we’ll always have fake Paris!” The sorbet in Paris is gorgeous and vegan, I grabbed a scoop of mixed berry, mum got chocolate ice cream, which she recommends all you non-vegans try.  It can be served with Chantilly cream.

Next it was time to see some fish and read up on Manatee conservation at The Seas.  We also went on The Nemo ride and visited Turtle Talk with Crush.  Turtle Talk was brilliant, it’s an interactive show but some of the questions and responses from the children were hilarious.

Time to go over to Hollywood Studios, so we popped onto a Disney Bus for ……..another character meal!

We had booked Minnie’s Seasonal Dine.  The chef talked me through the buffet. where I chose rice, pretzel bread, bread, peas, tater tots, roast potatoes, kohlrabi and a ton of different salads.

The chef also brought me sweetcorn without butter and spaghetti with lentil meatballs.  Now, I did double check with him, saying that I had allergies, so was he sure there was no egg in the balls, he told me they were lentil soy base and 100% vegan   meatballs, however some people are telling me this is not true and that other chefs told them different.

Dessert was house made vegan brownies and coconut ice cream, which I am told are also offered next door at 50s Prime Time Diner.  They were very good but the coconut ice cream won the show for me!

Spot on!  It was a nice meal, we got a memory maker picture with Daisy , a special autograph card and a basket to play ‘pass the basket’ which was supplied as the ‘table activity’ for spring.  All the characters wore springtime attire, this changes seasonally.  As we had booked as part of the ‘Fantastmic’ package we also got priority seating that night for the show, so we did not have to queue for ages just to get a good view.

Fantasmic was amazing!!  I won’t ruin it for anyone who has not yet seen it with too many details,  but it’s a live action Fantasia based adventure starring tons of characters and Sorcerer Mickey.  It is on a water theatre and combines water, set projections, fire, live action, cast members, music and lasers to create a really exciting and magical evening spectacular.  It was our favourite out of the Illumination Reflections of Earth, Wishes and Celebrate the Magic, and even the Star Wars Galactic Spectacular evening events (firework/light shows).

The evening shows at Disney are more than just fireworks; they all have several other visual aspects such as water and projections (apart from Star Wars) and they all fit with the music used beautifully.

 

 

 

Day 7- Big Giant Shopping Fest at International Premium Outlets

Today was exciting! It was shopping day!

We weren’t relying on a resort shuttle so I had the hotel breakfast buffet, it was nicely surprising, I had toast with chocolate syrup, a cinnamon raisin bagel with peanut butter and jam, cereal with milk I had bought at the supermarket, melon, pineapple, cinnamon sugared pecans, a banana and some grits. Very full and feeling I had got my monies worth we grabbed an uber taxi to the Orlando International Premium Outlets. This was further than the Vineland location, it was up on Idrive in Orlando but I heard it was bigger, and it had the Victorias Secret Outlet.

 

In VS I got a dress, cardigan, pullover and the 5 for $25 pantie deal, I tried on some bras but none of the recent ranges which I love (the really comfortable lacey unwired style ones) were in stock and the prices weren’t as heavily discounted as I expected.

We moved on to Sketchers for some gorgeous shoes, Shoe comfort-ability is super important to me. Then American Apparel and Amercian Eagel, Didn’t see anything striking in either so we went to Aeropostle! They had 30% off all sale prices, so I went a little mad. $3 Tees….

Next the Disney Outlet, I have done a video especially for this bad boy! You will not believe how incredible it is! Real Disney Parks merchandise from both WDW and Disney Land at up to 70% off! Clothes, Toys, Christmas Decor…. You name it!

We got hungry at 3ish so had some lunch, Mum had some noodles but I fancied something more ‘junky’ so I had the veggie option at five guys which is basically a bun fully loaded with all the salad veggies, fried onions and mushrooms and all of the sauces except mayo, the cajun fries were the best bit though!

Not to forget Claires who had some nice cheap $1 subtle jewelry. Nice in that it looked expensive but wasn’t. The ditsy style of the chains was super cute but the price means you wouldn’t kill yourself if one were to get lost, say at a festival etc.

I also liked Justice, Its a kid- tween shop but some of the things were quite cool; I grabbed some nice vests. Then the Yankee Candle Store where I finally got a Wax Tart melter (Its electronic and was only $12!)

Mum went to the Levi outlet where she got some nice jeans for just £25 dollars and some shorts for the same, she said they are the most comfortable denims ever… Then onto Gymboree which is a kids clothes shop for Sebastian gifts. We looked in more shops, but didn’t buy anything else, If you like The North Face though, they had some jackets and coats at 50% off.

We uber-ed back to the hotel where I had a nice swim in the non covered pool before having another Amy’s Kitchen meal. I was happy with my purchases, I always feel guilty after shopping but at least I know I had saved all of my money from work and birthdays and some huge savings were made!

Here is the Haul video!-  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-Qh1IwmwUQ