This year we did something a little unusual for our family. Rather than throwing Leo, my now four-year-old, a birthday party, we planned a fun weekend getaway to celebrate instead. It was the perfect celebration for him and a sweet little family refresher as we get ready to head back to school!
Leo is beyond blessed to have a huge family. I was lucky enough to marry a man with a large, loud, incredibly loving Puerto Rican family. While this is quite the blessing, it is also exceptionally difficult to throw parties and events without spending a ton of money! And with the start of school just days away from his actual birthday, we decided to go another route. So, we booked a room at the Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista Resort and invited family and friends to either book a room as well, or simply come by the resort pool for a day of fun in the sun!
The resort was much more beautiful than I imagined, especially considering the low price we snagged it for! As soon as we arrived I could tell how pleased I would be just from the view from the valet line. The inside was lavishly decorated and extremely clean. The lobby featured Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company, a personal favorite of mine during our stay, and plenty of staff to answer any questions or lend a helping hand.
We booked a standard, two-bed room that worked wonderfully for my family of four. The beds were clean and the sheets smelled fresh, the bathroom was spotless and the shower water was warm and well pressured. Valet helped us unpack, the bellman helped us unload, and getting acquainted was simple and easy.
The pool was absolutely perfect for the weekend we had planned. The area features an Oasis Aquatic Pool Playground for the children to enjoy where they climb through water sprinklers and shoot water guns, as well as a pretty waterfall in the middle of the main pool. Leo spent hours climbing up the playground, playing spray tag with his friends, and cannon-balling through the waterfall. Next to the pool you can find a full-service bar and restaurant for the adults, which gave my husband and I the perfect vacation vibe we needed!
I brought cupcakes along so Leo could still have his family and friends sing “Happy Birthday” to him. I really wanted him to get that “center of attention” feel even though we sort of skipped the party. I also brought the many toys my husband and I gifted him with, something I was insanely excited about! I don’t shower Leo with toys often, I pretty much leave it to his birthday and Christmas, so he was due for an upgrade! His recent obsession for Power Rangers meant that Leo was lined up for the entire Imaginext Power Rangers line. I couldn’t wait until we got home to witness his excitement, so we did it Saturday night in our hotel room when we knew he would have time to open them and play for a bit.
One of the best parts of our trip was walking over to Disney Springs. Yes, I said walking, the Wyndham Garden has a nifty little bridge that gets you there in under five minutes! This was our first time visiting since the new renovation, and we had a blast! We grabbed sandwiches at Earl of Sandwich, showed off our best dance moves at the dance party, and spent some time playing at the Lego Store. It was extremely crowded when we went, hello Saturday night, so I definitely plan on visiting again on a weekday to see if we can enjoy more of what they have to offer!
Over the weekend Leo spent countless hours in the pool, as did my baby Ava. They are both such little swimmer Florida babies. Leo had donuts for breakfast, pizza for lunch, and Hawaiian rolls for dinner, all of his favorites. He was surrounded by family and friends and showered with love, adoration and gifts, something that makes my heart explode with gratitude each and every year. I don’t think I’ll ever stop being amazed by the love my sweet boy receives this time of year.
The entire family was exhausted and completely warn out when we arrived home Sunday evening, which means our weekend of fun in the sun was a complete success! Rather than putting hundreds of dollars into a two-hour birthday party, we gave him an entire weekend of fun and play for the same expense!
On our way home all we could wonder was why we hadn’t spent weekends like this more often. This just might be the new Perez Family weekend ritual!