How to Staycation Like a Rockstar: A Ridiculously Fancy Evening at the Four Seasons Resort
Staycation is not a four-letter word. For me, the word "staycation" usually makes me shudder. Using precious vacation days to just SIT AT HOME? No plane? No new stamp in my passport? I'd rather not think about it. But a staycation can be an opportunity to shake things up a little bit. Because let's face it, we can't always take off to far-flung destinations---either because we have other obligations or financial constraints. But why shouldn't every day be an adventure? Even if that adventure happens in your very own backyard? We have the good fortune of living in one of the top tourist destinations in the world, only ten minutes from the Walt Disney World Resort. Right on the edge of property is a brand new Four Seasons Resort...so forget spending your days off catching up on laundry and watching reruns on Netflix---instead, here is some inspiration to help you staycation like a rockstar!
Anybody who knows Andrew and me knows we are very fancy people who conduct ourselves with formality and decorum.
A few weeks ago, we decided we had grown tired of the monotony of everyday life.We needed a little R&R, but our attempts to transform our front lawn into a spa turned out perfectly ghastly and left the neighbors staring (see photo on left). Therefore, the the only acceptable solution was to pack our bags and traverse down the road to the beautifully appointed Four Seasons Resort within the Golden Oaks community at the Walt Disney World Resort, where we were to enjoy a free night stay. And I must say, it was a RIDICULOUSLY AMAZING EXPERIENCE!!!!!---which we enjoyed with the demure formality for which we are renowned, naturally.
Our arrival at the resort was heralded by the resort staff, who greeted us by name (how did they know our names!?) and we were efficiently whisked away to our room. We calmly (OH MY GOSH!) surveyed the room before declaring the accommodations simply marvelous and then proceeded to explore the well-stocked mini-bar. Our suite had beautiful views of the pool and a bed with a thread count that met the threshold of my very exacting standards (so that's what that number means!). All in all, we were pleased and conducted ourselves with the reserved excitement that is the hallmark of people who stay at fancy resorts all the time.
I definitely did NOT jump on the bed before this photo was taken.
We are totally accustomed to our appliances greeting us by name.
All of the controlled excitement necessitated a stroll around the resort grounds, which were perfectly manicured. As other equally proper resort guests walked past, we serenely took in the scenery while the sun set behind the lazily swaying palm trees. Again, we were totally cool.
Thank you other guests who waited (mostly) patiently while we conducted these very necessary photo ops.
Even though we totally stay at places like this all the time.
After such a leisurely stroll, we were simply pining for an aperitif (it's ok if you google search that word...not that I did or anything). The uppermost level of the hotel boasted views of Magic Kingdom and Disney's Hollywood Studios' fireworks displays and we were assured the food and drink was unparalleled. With an aplomb that only comes from an abundance of class, we ordered two drinks, three appetizers, and a dessert in anticipation of our dinner, which was to take place in a mere hour’s time.
Sometimes it's ok if dessert comes before (and after) dinner. I'm pretty sure I read that in one of Emily Post's books.
I was just holding Andrew's drink. I swear...
Dinner was a delightful affair, and we found it our undeniable duty to experience everything—from amuse bouche to digestif. Every dish stimulated the palate and left us quite replete. (Does this restaurant offer table to bed relocation services? Because I can. not. move.)
After such a splendid evening, the morning broke with sunshine and birdsong. After tending to our very strenuous exercise regiment (and enjoying a post-workout gelato), it was time to enjoy the luxurious amenities this completely everyday resort had to offer.
There are some who may posit the waterslide was intended for children, but as an avid connoseuir of aquatic recreation (consider him the sommelier of water diversions), Andrew considered it his personal responsibility to thoroughly assess the slide's fun factor. With a sober air, Andrew conducted an earnest test of each slide, seriously relaying his findings along the way.
Yes, I'm looking...yes, I see you. Hi, yes, I see you!
As I observed parents and children make splash landings at the bottom of each slide, a women coyly asked whether we had children. I observed Andrew (child-free) skid to the end of the slide, making a rather polite splash, if you ask me. He staidly lept up and declared, "I'm going again!" before racing off with a professionalism I was quite proud of. I turned to the woman, and smiled primly before replying, "No." And then we both laughed as her husband came tearing down the slide himself.
After 8 or 9 times going down the slide in rapid succession (I lost count), we tore ourselves away to play the classic, time-honored game of corn hole.
After such a tranquil, slow-paced morning, we found ourselves famished once again. After finding a delightful spot near the serene adult pool, we imbibed in a perfectly reasonable mid-morning cocktail...and an appetizer...and a meal (they brought it RIGHT TO OUR CHAIRS! You didn't even have to MOVE!).
This picture is classy because it's in black and white. Obviously. Thank you nice lady for taking what was obviously a very strange photo.
Although checkout was promptly at noon, it is deemed quite rude in these high-class circles to retire from the resort any time before the restaurants and pool close. Therefore, we knew it was our obligation to utilize the lazy river, watch basketball at the outside bar, and soak up the sun until we were the last people at the pool and the resort staff cleared away the chairs. As we ended our evening in the hottub overlooking the lake (where we met the NICEST Australian couple spending 7 weeks in the US for their anniversary. Wherever you are, we hope you are having fun!), we considered ourselves very fortunate to have had a wonderful stay at this beautiful resort. One that we hope to repeat in the future if we haven't been placed on some sort of list.
Adventure doesn't always necessarily mean you have to be traveling the world. Finding your own escape can be as simple as doing something out of the ordinary a little closer to home. Especially if your spouse has a simple love of relaxation and good beer. So shake things up a bit and break out of the daily routine! I dare you to turn your phone off, call out of work, get a sitter, forget your diet, act like a kid, drink a little, laugh a lot---whatever it takes to remember that life happens in the little moments.
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