Category Archives: TRAVEL

Heading to the Disney SMMC in the 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander SE

Being a blogger is filled with many ups and downs. For example, applying for a sponsored campaign with a big company and getting it: that’s an up! Thinking a brand or business would be an ideal client to work with…and then they don’t return your emails or calls: that’s a down. Getting invited to the 2017 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration and driving to Orlando in a brand new 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander SE: that’s a BIG UP! It’s probably the biggest up for the Modern Boca Mom blog to date, honestly.

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander
Thanks to American Tourister and the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, C3PO traveled with us in the 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander
What is the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration?

It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like. #DisneySMMC (for short) is an invitation-only conference put on by Disney where digital/social media influencers and bloggers like myself are asked to come together, collaborate and learn about their company as well as other likeminded brands. You have no idea you’re going to be invited until you receive “pixie dust” in your email box. It’s pretty exciting, especially if you love Disney like I do!

And this year, it was a “Land and Sea” conference, which meant 2 days at the Walt Disney World parks and 3 days on Disney Cruise ship, The Disney Wonder. I HAVE BEEN DYING TO GO ON A DISNEY CRUISE! So, this was pretty much the most amazing news ever…

How did we get there? By driving the 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander SE

My family (up to 3 additional people this year) was invited to join in on the #DisneySMMC fun, so we packed for Orlando using our awesome C3PO suitcase from American Tourister (as well as other bags- lots of them, ha ha) and hit the road!

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander

The 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander SE is a fantastic SUV.  We reviewed the 2015 Sport model last year and really loved that it offered dynamic styling and excellent value in the 5-passenger compact crossover segment.

However, the 2017 SE model that we test drove starts at $24,495 and offers seven passenger seating with its standard third row. It even has heated seats which can come in handy this time of year!

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander

The 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander SE features sophisticated upgrades like available heated front seats and steering wheel, front dual-zone automatic climate control and premium Rockford Fosgate® surround sound.

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander

Per usual, I also loved the Multi-View Camera System that allows you to see a 360 degree bird’s eye view of your vehicle as you back out of your driveway or a parking spot. I need as many eyes as possible!

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander

We also loved the sunroof as our current family vehicle doesn’t have one. Car jealousy. Thanks DriveShop USA.

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander
Nice view, eh?

You can learn all about the Mitsubishi Outlander SE on the Mitsubishi website. Also, be sure to connect with Mitsubishi on your favorite social media sites! Like them on Facebook and Follow Mitsubishi on Twitter to stay updated on all of their latest car trends and special offers!

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration: The Land Portion

Once we arrived at the conference, I literally hit the ground running. We checked into Port Orleans Riverside, which was gorgeous, and I sent #modernbocadad and #dailybocaavery off to the parks while I unpacked and sorted through the itinerary!

Then, conference attendees were invited to shop with the Hanes brand at a special suite at the hotel. I ended up LOVING their products! Who needs Victoria’s Secret when you can have a super soft bra from Hanes? I literally wear the t-shirt I won at the conference every night now. #happyinhanes

Later, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom…

That evening, conference attendees were shuttled to Animal Kingdom to a special cocktail party held at Festival of the Lion King. I love that show, so I couldn’t believe were having drinks in the middle of the auditorium. Surreal!

We were there because Disney had just announced the opening date of Pandora: The World of Avatar. We even got to peek at the model.

Pandora will transport guests to a mystical world of bioluminescent rainforests, floating mountains and soaring Banshees. Disney is bringing to life the fantasy world of Pandora, inspired by James Cameron’s epic film AVATAR. Pandora opens May 27, 2017!

#dailybocaavery and #minigolightly posing by the Pandora signage at dinner sponsored by GoGo squeeZ

I wrote about Pandora and the launch of what we saw next on BocaMag.com recently (did you know I contribute a column to the magazine 2x per month. It’s called “Boca Mom Talk”- check it out!).

Rivers of Light at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

There’s a new show after dark at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, and we got to see a sneak preview! Now open, Rivers of Light is an elaborate theatrical production that takes guests on a breathtaking emotional journey—a visual mix of water, fire, nature and light all choreographed to an original music score.

It was so impressive! The new 15-minute show is the latest addition to the lineup of nighttime experiences at Animal Kingdom.

Celebrating the majesty of nature and the connection between animals and humans in the world, the performance combines live performers, beautiful floating lanterns, glistening fountains, special effects and authentic animal imagery projected on giant water screens. We even found out that all of the scenes projected are from past Disney Nature films! Rivers of Light will be performed on select nights. It’s a must-see, MBMoms.

The night wouldn’t be complete without viewing the light show at the Tree of Life! So beautiful!

And that was only #DisneySMMC DAY 1!!!

I started to cover a little of Day 2 in this post, but barely scratched the surface. I’ll be back with all of the 2017 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration details along with why I’ll never take a 3-Night Disney Cruise ever again later this month!


Pin for Later!

Hosted: This Heading to the Disney SMMC in the 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander post was hosted by DriveShop USA, the Walt Disney Company, American Tourister and Hanes. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own. They are not influenced in any way by the sponsor. Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I have been given exclusive experiences and branded merchandise for promotional consideration, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

My Favorite Family Moments from Holiday Break this Year

YAY, the kids are going back to school this week!!! BOO, the kids are going back to school this week. Sure, I am excited for my daughter to get back into her preschool routine. But, it’s also been so nice to spend quality time together over the past two weeks. We’ve truly had some amazing mother/daughter and family moments. From visiting local museums like MODS to a trip to the 2016 Disney Candlelight Processional, this holiday break was one for the books!

We visited the Museum of Discovery & Science (MODS) in Ft. Lauderdale  #hosted

http://mods.org/home.html

We played dress-up at the Boca Raton Children’s Museum

http://cmboca.org/

We traveled to Epcot for the 2016 Disney Candlelight Processional  #hosted

Modern Boca Mom was invited to let the memories begin during Epcot’s Holidays Around the World this season. Disney transformed their beautiful park into a holiday spectacular, featuring festive decor, diverse storytellers, spectacular shows and a Gospel choir.

We attended the Candlelight Processional (my first time!), a spectacular and wondrous show of pageantry that unites people from around the globe. Special guest stars like our narrator, Jodi Benson, recount the biblical tale of Christmas interwoven with rich orchestral music and song featuring a 50-piece orchestra and amazing choirs. It was spectacular.

Check out some of my photos and a short video from the show:

2016 Disney Candlelight Processional

2016 Disney Candlelight Processional

2016 Disney Candlelight Processional

2016 Disney Candlelight Processional

2016 Disney Candlelight Processional

 2016 Disney Candlelight Processional

2016 Disney Candlelight Processional

 We threw a New Year’s Eve soiree for friends with kids

We survived winter in Florida!!!

All in all, it was a fantastic winter break. We hope you and your family enjoyed a great start to 2017 like we did!


Hosted: This post was hosted by Walt Disney World and Museum of Discovery & Science. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and not influenced in any way by the host.  Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I was provided with complimentary park and museum tickets, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

Holiday Travel Gear for Kids You Can Actually Use Year-Round

After an exhaustive time traveling to/from the northeast for the Thanksgiving holiday this year, we vowed to stay local for Christmas. Well, easier said than done, especially when Disney invites you to come see their Candlelight Processional at Epcot two days after Christmas. You don’t say no to Disney when you’re a blogger. 😉 So, I was really excited when BubbleBum® reached out with some amazing recommendations for travel gear for kids– great for the car or on a plane/in transit.

travel gear for kids

BubbleBum is actually a family-owned company founded by mom of two, Grainne Kelly. Grainne was frustrated having to transport bulky, hard booster seats on planes and car rental companies not providing booster seats for her children. So, she designed her own portable booster seat and other travel innovations too!

The Latest in Travel Gear for Kids

BubbleBum: the First Inflatable Car Booster Seat

travel gear for kids BubbleBum

This is a must-have for road trips and all car travels (for kids 40+ lbs)! It’s an inflatable car booster seat for kids aged 4-11 years, weighing 40-100 lbs.

Weighing in at less than one pound, BubbleBum can deflate in minutes, making it simple to throw in a backpack or large purse. BubbleBum includes belt positioning clips in place of arm rests, so it’s possible to fit three boosters across the back seat of a car, minivan, or SUV. It’s available in black or pink chevron.

inflatable-booster-seat-black travel gear for kids

BubbleBum ($29.99) helps ensure that EVERY child has a safe booster seat on EVERY ride because they improve a child’s safety in the car by 59%!

BubbleBum Junkie

travel gear for kids BubbleBum Junkie

I set this up in my backseat on a recent trip to Vero Beach and this organizer is the perfect way to keep all entertainment and snacks organized! Especially if you have more than one child…

The BubbleBum Junkie ($39.99) features a tech sharing mount for tablets and other handheld devices. It also has stowable activity trays for backseat fun. The Junkie has an expanding compartment with a removable tote bag and organizes and carries your stuff from home to car.

It is a must-have for all of your family road trips and car rentals!

BubbleBum Sneck

travel gear for kids the sneck by BubbleBum

Don’t you hate watching your child’s head bob in their carseat?The Sneck pillow system ($14.99) is a travel pillow that converts into multiple uses. The innovative design makes napping in the car more comfortable.

The travel pillow’s micro-bead pods and cozy material allow kids to nap without getting a kinky neck. The Sneck easily attaches to the headrest with a Velcro strap. It stays in place allowing kids to rest without having to reposition the pillow. The Sneck’s stash pocket also allows kids to store MP3 players or small toys. Its three way design allows kids to manipulate and move the position for optimal comfort.

We are ready to hit the road (again) this holiday season and beyond with this travel gear for kids!

travel gear for kids


Hosted: This post was hosted by BubbleBum. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and not influenced in any way by the sponsor.  Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I was given travel gear for kids for consideration in a review post. That does not impact my views or opinions.

Make a Day of it at the Newly Expanded Disney Springs

Say farewell to Downtown Disney and HELLO to the newly expanded Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort this holiday season!

expanded Disney Springs

Disney Springs is wrapped and ready for the holidays following its multi-year makeover to a world-class shopping-dining-entertainment district. It honestly could be Disney’s fifth theme park, it’s so large (and fun)!

expanded Disney Springs

expanded Disney Springs

I had the opportunity to spend the good part of an entire day at the expanded Disney Springs and I still didn’t get to do everything.

expanded Disney Springs

The district is now separated into four “neighborhoods”, which have been transformed for the holidays through festive decor, entertainment and holiday shopping at some amazing new retailers- hello Lilly Pulitzer and Vera Bradley!

expanded Disney Springs Lilly Pulitzer

Retail locations range from name-brands to cozy boutiques to everything in between. There’s truly something for everyone!

expanded Disney Springs Vera Bradley

expanded Disney Springs Vera Bradley

expanded Disney Springs

I highly recommend taking a day this December to experience the newly expanded Disney Springs.

expanded Disney Springs

Here’s your recommended plan of action, should you choose to accept it:

  • Drive up from South Florida in the morning and park for FREE in one of Disney Springs’ new parking garages. There are even sensors in each row that tell you how many parking spaces are available. Too cool.
  • Stop for a quick lunch at one of the many new dining locations such as:
  1. D-Luxe Burger– try the Southern. You won’t regret it!

expanded Disney Springs

2. Planet Hollywood Observatory (which is finishing up a HUGE renovation)

expanded Disney Springs

3. Paddlefish (near the entrance of Portobello Country Italian Trattoria)

expanded Disney Springs

4. Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza (I love the one in Boca!)

expanded Disney Springs

expanded Disney Springs

  • Get shopping! There are so many options, including one of my NYC favs, UNIQLO. I discovered so many new stores at the expanded Disney Springs!

expanded Disney Springs

expanded Disney Springs

expanded Disney Springs

expanded Disney Springs
Diamonds International

expanded Disney Springs
Adorable shoes at Melissa

expanded Disney Springs

expanded Disney Springs

expanded Disney Springs
Monogramming at Kipling

expanded Disney Springs

expanded Disney Springs
You can’t miss the Lego store!

expanded Disney Springs
Awesome pink Christmas trees at the World of Disney store

expanded Disney Springs

expanded Disney Springs

expanded Disney Springs

expanded Disney Springs

Shopping won’t get you into the holiday spirit? Then head over to see the big guy himself at Santa’s Chalet. Even better, once dusk settles, take a stroll through the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail! This was amazing. The entire time I was thinking, “which one of these trees can I recreate at home?” Plus SNOW!

expanded Disney Springs

Have I mentioned that Disney Springs also features some amazing new dining destinations?

Several bloggers and I experienced a multi-course meal at Morimoto Asia. What a delight! I love that I no longer have to travel all the way to NYC for Morimoto or Chicago for Frontera Cocina. They’re all (and more!) at Disney Springs. 🙂

expanded Disney Springs

expanded Disney Springs

expanded Disney Springs

The grand finale of your day? Something truly groundbreaking…

“Starbright Holidays – An Intel Collaboration” is a first-of-its-kind light show featuring 300 Intel® Shooting Star™ show drones. The hi-tech spectacle invites guests to gaze skyward and make a special wish this holiday season. The synchronized choreography of the drones is set to a specially orchestrated arrangement of classic holiday music. Be sure to listen for a few bars of classic Disney melodies too!

expanded Disney Springs
This holiday season, guests at Disney Springs-the shopping, dining and entertainment district of Walt Disney World Resort-will get a chance to see Disney and Intel exploring remarkable new technology as hundreds of lighted show drones take to the nighttime sky in “Starbright Holidays Ð An Intel Collaboration.” (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

This is the first time in the United States that 300 show drones have flown at one time. They weigh less than a volleyball and feature built-in LED lights than create more than four billion color combinations! It was extremely impressive. Definitely a must-see!


Other fun options to explore at the newly expanded Disney Springs:
  • Coca Cola Store & Rooftop Beverage Bar: Enjoy classic and exotic flavors from around the world while taking in panoramic views of Disney Springs atop the Coca-Coca Cola Store. It’s pretty cool. I tasted every flavor they offered!

expanded Disney Springs

expanded Disney Springs

  • Characters in Flight: By the time I made it to this awesome hot air balloon experience, it was too windy to go up. But, it’s definitely on my list for next time! More info and pricing HERE.

expanded Disney Springs

  • The Disney Springs Christmas Tree: Be sure to take a selfie by this beauty! The tree is the centerpiece of all of the holiday decor at Disney Springs.

expanded Disney Springs


Hosted: This post was hosted by Walt Disney World. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and not influenced in any way by the host.  Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I was invited on a complimentary media trip with park tickets, meals, shopping experiences and accommodations, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

Unwrap the Holiday Magic at Walt Disney World this 2016 Season

When you’re an annual passholder at Walt Disney World, there’s no weirder feeling than going to the parks without your kid(s) and all their “stuff” in tow. Alas, that’s just what I did before Thanksgiving when I was invited to unwrap the holiday magic at Disney with a fabulous group of media friends. I still haven’t told #dailybocaavery. What she doesn’t know can’t hurt her, right?

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom


Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

We were hosted at the fabulous Walt Disney World Swan Hotel, Convention Center and they gave us the 5-Star treatment. The newly renovated rooms were so cozy and the Starwood hotel is in the final phase of a $140 million renovation, the largest in their history, with a $12 million lobby transformation to come.

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

I’m getting ahead of myself here, but the farewell breakfast they served us on the last day of the trip? I’m still thinking about it. YUM. But, back to the subject at hand…

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom


Our mission: To preview all of the holiday happenings including all-new attractions and entertainment that will make the 2016 season of cheer unlike any other in the history of Walt Disney World Resort.

Mission accepted. And gleefully, I might add. Here’s where I netted out in terms of my top #disneyholidays recommendations after the trip…

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom
April Golightly, Modern Boca Mom & Bibbidi Bobbidi Brooke

When it comes to holiday magic at Disney, here are 6 things you can’t miss this season at the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios:

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

1. Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Think Magic Kingdom is the only park decked out for the holidays at Walt Disney World? Think again! Hollywood Studios is bringing the entertainment factor this Christmas with the all-new nighttime spectacular “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!”

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

The facade of the Chinese Theater comes alive with state-of-the-art projections, and guests will experience special effects, fireworks and even snow on, above and around the theater. We watched the spectacle from a private dessert party. Talk about holiday magic at Disney…wow! Here are a few shots from the festive evening.

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

“Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” will run to Dec. 31, 2016.


Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

2. “A Frozen Holiday Wish” at Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Guess what, MBMoms? Anna and Elsa aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, they’re the ones in charge of transforming Cinderella Castle into a glimmering, shimmering ice palace for the holidays. It’s pretty much breathtaking!

Your kids won’t want to miss this special performance before Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party takes over the Park (which is an extra special ticket for purchase- FYI).


Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

3. “Once Upon a Time” Castle Projection Show at Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Projections are the name of the game now when it comes to holiday magic at Disney and it’s the best technology has to offer. Be sure to make plans to witness the dazzling new “Once Upon a Time” projection show playing out on Cinderella Castle.

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

The show uses projection-mapping technology to produce a dazzling three-dimensional effect that fits every nook and contour of the Castle. It also lets guests relive some of their favorite moments from classic Disney stories. The show is pretty amazing…and of course, magical. Watch the video I took below!


Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

4. “Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration” at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Disney’s Magic Kingdom

This new stage show gives families the opportunity to crash a Christmas party at Mickey’s house! Isn’t that on your holiday bucket list? Just me? Ok…

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

Mickey and his pals host some of their friends for an unforgettable party on the Castle forecourt stage in “Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration.” Holiday songs, castle projections and merrymaking builds to a sensational, snowy finale. Disney brings out some of the characters we don’t see that often, so I really enjoyed this show…and its cheeky nod to technology and texting that is engrained in our lives now.


Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

5. Holiday Wishes – Celebrate the Spirit of the Season at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Disney’s Magic Kingdom

I’ve seen the show “Wishes” at Magic Kingdom a few times now this year, but it’s taking a backseat to “Holiday Wishes” during the season. If this show doesn’t get you in the holiday spirit, I don’t know what will.

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

The night sky literally bursts with color high above Cinderella Castle with this holiday fireworks spectacular…and more projections. 🙂


Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

6. Mickey’s “Once Upon a Christmastime” Parade at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Disney’s Magic Kingdom

I’m no stranger to parades at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. I already miss the Electrical Parade. Memories… But this parade was one for the books. I had never attended Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party before, but had heard the parade was nothing short of spectacular. I don’t even know how to narrow down the images that I managed to capture while experiencing this special seasonal performance.

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

The enchanting holiday parade transforms Main Street, U.S.A. into a snowy paradise. April Golightly and I watched in front of Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, which provided an amazing vantage point.

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

Santa Claus, gingerbread men, elves, reindeer, toy soldiers and other friends from the North Pole join Mickey and his pals on fantastical floats.

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf from “Frozen” also join in the fun! SO. MUCH. FUN.

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom


But there’s more…

In addition to all of the seasonal entertainment and holiday magic at Disney, which will keep you super busy at Mickey’s Very Merry–trust me, several rides have been “Christmas-fied” including the Jungle Cruise (dubbed the “Jingle Cruise”)!

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

You can also head to a variety of locations throughout the park to enjoy complimentary holiday treats. The hot chocolate and snickerdoodle cookies at Tortuga Tavern in Adventureland® are to-die-for! Allergy-friendly and alternative healthy options are available upon request too.

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

There’s just so much holiday magic at Disney World this season! I haven’t even covered all of the fun at the NEW Disney Springs yet, just wait. We are so lucky to live in South Florida, just a few hours from Walt Disney World Resort.

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom

Will you be planning a trip to the ‘happiest place on earth’ with your family this holiday season? We already have our calendars marked for the Candlelight Processional at Epcot in December. Stay tuned for more information on that.

Holiday Magic at Disney World- Modern Boca Mom
It’s so nice to have a “media trip buddy” like April Golightly!

Wishing you and your family tons of holiday magic this season!


Hosted: This post was hosted by Walt Disney World. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and not influenced in any way by the host.  Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I was invited on a complimentary media trip with park tickets, meals and accommodations, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

Have a Wonder-FALL Season at Walt Disney World

It’s the second most wonderful time of the year: FALL! Even though I’m digging the (slightly) lower temps down in Boca Raton, there’s nothing like experiencing the fall season at Disney World.

There are festive Halloween decorations, new attractions for the whole family and a farewell celebration for an old favorite departing on October 9th: Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade. We said our proper goodbyes to the classic parade earlier this month at the Magic Kingdom. I encourage you to experience it with your kids before it’s too late! It’s truly magical.

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Tag your Main Street Electrical Parade photos with #DisneyMainStreetElectricalParadeFarewell

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Waiting for the Main Street Electrical Parade to begin, I looked around in awe at all of the gorgeous harvest decor. It made me want a pumpkin spice latte real bad. 😉 Good thing there’s a Starbucks right there.

Fall Season at Disney World

Fall Season at Disney World

Fall Season at Disney WorldFall Season at Disney World

During this fall season at Disney World visit, we were also invited to experience several of the new attractions that just opened at the parks.


Fall Season at Disney World 2016

Frozen Ever After at Epcot

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This is the ride with the fabled (yet actually true) 3 hour wait time.

MBMom Tip: Get to Epcot EARLY! We went on the ride twice and waited less than 30 minutes each time.

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Waiting in line…in Arendelle

Frozen Ever After is the most high tech ride at Disney to date. Olaf WALKS, all of the characters from the movie sing with custom projections on their faces (and new music) and the effects are spectacular, especially during the “Let it Go” sequence with Elsa.

Do not miss Frozen Ever After at Epcot! Our daughter wouldn’t let us anyway…

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Meet Anna & Elsa at Epcot’s Royal Sommerhus

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Anna and Elsa have moved from the Magic Kingdom into brand-new digs at Norway in Epcot’s World Showcase. I personally love their decorating style.

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But the best part? Meeting Queen Elsa and Princess Anna in person!

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This is a FastPass-enabled attraction conveniently located next to Frozen Ever After. Plan your day out so you arrive at Epcot early and get your Frozen fix!


Soarin’ Around the World

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Soarin’ Around the World, located at The Land in Epcot, is an updated version of the original which kept your glider flying firmly in the great state of California.

Now, you can see the pyramids of Egypt, the Taj Mahal in India, the Eiffel Tower in France, all from the comfort of a safe, air conditioned attraction. The new scents are awesome.

MBMom Tip: Try to sit in the second row of Soarin’ Around the World. That vantage point has a perfect view of the projection.

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Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular at Hollywood Studios

Fall Season at Disney World

And a spectacle it is! Star Wars: A Galactic spectacular did not disappoint my die hard, Star Wars-loving family. We snagged a viewing spot in front of the Chinese Theater about an hour before showtime and ate a pizza picnic-style while we waited.

MBMom Tip: Pizza Planet is now CLOSED! 🙁 The only place we could find to get pizza takeout was on Sunset Blvd. at Catalina Eddie’s.

I thought the show was a little heavy on the Star Wars movie clips, but the effects and projections have definitely been upgraded since the previous Star Wars fireworks show. As long as the movie score from John Williams is playing, I’m a happy girl.

Okay fine, I’ll be honest. As long as I’m at Disney, I’m a happy girl. 🙂

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Tell me, are you and your family planning a wonder-FALL season at Disney World this year? Comment below!


Hosted: This post was hosted by Walt Disney World. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and not influenced in any way by the host.  Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I was given 4 complimentary Disney Park Hopper passes, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

Eau My! How I Spent my Birthday at Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa

So, this Boca mommy turned 34 in August. In my book, not exactly a major milestone year to celebrate. Coincidentally, the Eau Palm Beach in Manalapan (15 minutes north of Boca Raton) invited me to experience the Eau Spa for the first time. So, I scheduled my visit for my birthday weekend, kissed #dailybocaavery and the hubs farewell and had quite the amazing solo spa day…

Eau Palm Beach on Modern Boca Mom

If you haven’t been to the Eau Palm Beach yet, it’s simply amazing. You can’t visit the resort without indulging in their amazing ocean views. So, I started off my birthday spa day at their newest oceanfront restaurant (also, right by the pool): Breeze Ocean Kitchen.

Eau Palm Beach on Modern Boca Mom

Eau Palm Beach Breeze Ocean Kitchen

At Breeze Ocean Kitchen, I experienced a celebration of Floridian cuisine featuring Latin, Caribbean, Asian and American flavors while I enjoyed a tropical cucumber cocktail…and the amazing views.

I was initially concerned about sitting outside in the South Florida summer heat, but the roof of the restaurant closes and opens, so the sun is never bothering you and they have outdoor a/c!

Eau Palm Beach on Modern Boca Mom

Let’s just say I didn’t suffer while enjoying my crispy Key West rock shrimp appetizer, Maine lobster roll and key lime CAKE POPS. This lunch was indulgent!

HydroPeptide Active Body Scrub

After lunch, it was time to head to Eau Spa! Prior to my visit, I test-drove one of the products the spa regularly features, the HydroPeptide Active Body Scrub.

Eau Palm Beach on Modern Boca Mom

This mild exfoliator ($48), made of volcanic pumice rock and Tahitian black sand, is heavenly. You can be a little aggressive with your scrubbing, but it still leaves your skin in tact.

If you like to work out like me, it is definitely effective at making your muscles feel invigorated. It also contains peptides, like Pentapeptide-25, which releases energy as heat and has been shown to decrease fat and cellulite. AND the Acetyl Terapeptide-2 peptide, which has been proven to increase collagen and elastin, helping to lift and tighten the skin. Take THAT, thighs! I’d also recommend it prior to sunless tanning.

If I liked a product this much, I was sure to be in for a treat at the actual spa!

Eau Palm Beach Spa

Eau Palm Beach on Modern Boca Mom

It is a magical spa playground. First, my very own Spa Fairy had me make a wish in the spa’s wishing well. Then, she took me on a tour of the facilities and showed me where the snacks and ‘Scrub & Polish’ bar were.

And by snacks, I mean Jodi’s Cupcakes.

Eau Palm Beach on Modern Boca Mom

Eau Palm Beach on Modern Boca Mom

Eau Palm Beach on Modern Boca Mom

Eau Palm Beach on Modern Boca Mom

Eau Palm Beach on Modern Boca Mom

Eau Palm Beach on Modern Boca Mom

I was booked for a facial, so I changed into my comfy robe and slippers in the spa’s luxe locker room, grabbed a (complimentary) glass of champagne and curled up with a book in the cozy Relaxation Lounge until my appointment. Truly, that’s all I wanted for my birthday– to read the new Harry Potter book in peace while drinking some bubbly. 😉

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In addition to facials, you can choose from an array of body and skin treatments that will leave you in a sheer state of bliss.

  • Massages
  • Body Treatments
  • Body Treatments Add-Ons
  • Skin Care

My facial was perfect and my facialist, Lorraine Ruggiero, was fabulous. She even remembered it was my birthday and brought in some extra cupcakes into my treatment room!

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The blue light was very relaxing, by the way.

Last, but not least, it was off to the Bath Lounge! It’s quite famous, I’ve heard. My photos don’t do this place justice.

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I spent my last 45 minutes soaking and reading on the heated lounge chairs. Heaven.

A huge thank you to the Eau Palm Beach for hosting me! What a wonderful way to spend your birthday…

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What’s coming up at Eau Palm Beach’s Eau Spa?

On Saturday, September 10 from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m., Eau Spa guests will have more than one reason to glow.  The Forbes Five-Star spa is busy “nesting” in anticipation for some very special guests – moms-to-be.  The inaugural event is in honor of expectant mothers and will offer tips about pregnancy-safe products, services, health and fitness.

Guests will be treated to samples of pregnancy-safe spa products; prenatal mini treatments; a mini prenatal yoga class; baby shower games and raffles to win spa prizes; a diverse panel of speakers on prenatal health and wellness; gift bags; and discounts on prenatal spa services.  Participating vendors to-date include Comphy sheets, Redflower, FarmHouse Fresh and Luka cosmetics.  Breakfast bites are included and children aged 5 and older are allowed free access to AquaNuts, the Resort’s over-the-top children’s programming.

Spa Garden Swing

Access to the event, which comes with a day pass to Eau Spa, is $25 with the donation of a pack of 120 diapers. The diapers will be donated to the Junior League of Boca Raton’s diaper bank.  Without a donation, access to the event and spa facilities is $60.

Eau Spa is located at Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa at 100 South Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach.  Reservations are required.

For more information or reserve a spot, please call the Eau Spa Fairies at 561-540-4960 or email concierge@eauspa.com.


Follow Eau Spa on Facebook @ILoveEauSpa, on Instagram @EauSpa and on Twitter @EauSpa.

Zipping Around Boca in the 2016 Mazda CX-3

For the first time in 12 years, I’m actively preparing for back-to-school and I’m EXHAUSTED! How does a 3 year-old need so many supplies? Mucho props to all the moms out there who have multiple kids…and school supply lists. Seriously, MAJOR KUDOS! Luckily, the week I ended up ordering uniforms and making (multiple) trips to Office Depot also happened to be the week I tested out the new 2016 Mazda CX-3.

2016 Mazda CX-3

What a zippy car! That’s what I nicknamed the Mazda CX-3 that week: Zippy.

2016 Mazda CX-3 Boca Mom Test Drive

Even though my bulky toddler car seat was a bit of a tight fit in this “not quite a car, not quite an SUV” subcompact crossover, we still managed to make it work and fill up the trunk space with tons of school stuff.

2016 Mazda CX-3

Plus, I didn’t feel guilty driving all over town (multiple times, mind you) because the 2016 Mazda CX-3 is engineered with breakthrough SKYACTIV® TECHNOLOGY. It delivers unmatched driving dynamics right alongside outstanding fuel economy.

2016 Mazda CX-3

Mazda Mom

This is not the first Mazda I’ve test-driven in the name of blogging. You can read several of my other reviews HERE and HERE.

I really like the brand and have not been disappointed by their different sized models.

2016 Mazda CX-3

You may have noticed that some of my photos in this post look a bit rainy. Well, that’s because it’s summer in South Florida and I couldn’t manage to time my shoot correctly. BUT, we all know that on the road, the weather can change in an instant. Mazda’s uniquely smart ACTIV AWD® system monitors conditions and adjusts your power to help give you ideal traction before wheels have the chance to slip. Safety first for my family!

The 2016 Mazda CX-3 has my favorite MAZDA CONNECT™ infotainment system with bluetooth and commander control knob.

2016 Mazda CX-3

It also has a killer leather interior that made me feel way cooler than the basic Boca mom that I am. 😉  Look- red leather!!!

2016 Mazda CX-3

2016 Mazda CX-3

All in all, I was a happy driver that week…albeit a very tired one. Thanks Mazda for letting me take one of your babies out on the Boca roads!

2016 Mazda CX-3


Hosted: Modern Boca Mom was loaned a 2016 Mazda CX-3 for the period of one week for consideration in this review.

Connect with Mazda on social media! LIKE on Facebook and Follow Mazda on Twitter to stay up to date on all of the latest car trends and special offers. #drivemazda

What to Pack & Expect on an Impact Travel Cruise with Fathom

When the Enactus team from Flagler College (full disclosure: I’m an alumnus of the Enactus team that is working on an independent impact project in the DR) reached out to me and asked if I might be interested in taking an impact travel cruise with Fathom Travel to the Dominican Republic, my first inclination was to say no. First off, I had no idea what impact travel was. Secondly, the cruise was only three weeks away.

How was I supposed to turn my life around that quickly to accommodate a 7 DAY CRUISE? I immediately started Googling ‘what to pack and what to expect on an impact cruise with Fathom’. But, I also decided I should invite some friends to join me on the adventure!

Impact Travel with Fathom
Courtesy AprilGolightly.com

Yep- that’s April Golightly and Essentially Erika (aka Modern Boca Crunchy Mom) with my best childhood friend, Rose. We all somehow convinced our husbands to watch our kids for the week (the youngest allowed on board is 8 years old) while we went off to do some good and make a difference in the DR.

Impact Travel with Fathom

This was our ship, the Fathom Adonia. You can expect to spend each night on board, even when you’re in port (which is so nice- you only have to unpack once!). It fits 704 passengers, so it’s a more intimate vessel. It’s beautiful and I truly enjoyed running into the same people over and over again onboard.

Your impact travel cruise will depart for Amber Cove/Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic from the Port of Miami, so it’s also an easy drive from Boca Raton, Florida.

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But what is impact travel and why would you take a Fathom cruise to experience it?

Also known as voluntourism, impact travel according to Fathom is “a whole new category of travel: it’s travel with purpose. Travel that transforms lives. Sometimes including your own. Impact travel with Fathom provides the opportunity to build community with like-minded travelers, become immersed in another culture and work alongside its people to create enduring social impact.”

Impact Travel with Fathom
Staking holes to mark where seedlings should be planted

In the Dominican Republic, you have the opportunity to work side by side with local residents in programs that focus on improving the lives of children, families and communities. You can help to reforest different areas of the island. How about helping to build a concrete floor in someone’s home? You can help to increase the production of recycled paper for a co-op of single moms. There are also options to work on a water filtration project, help to teach families English or produce chocolate bars.

Up to three impact travel activities are included in each Fathom journey. We chose to participate in: Reforestation, Concrete Floors and Recycled Paper/Arts & Crafts. We had amazing experiences connecting with the Dominican people during each project and felt like we really made a difference in the lives of the people we worked with.

Impact Travel Cruise with Fathom: What to Pack & Expect

Impact Travel Cruise with Fathom: What to Pack & Expect

Impact Travel Cruise with Fathom: What to Pack & Expect

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Impact Travel Cruise with Fathom: What to Pack & Expect

Impact Travel Cruise with Fathom: What to Pack & Expect

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Impact Travel Cruise with Fathom: What to Pack & Expect

That didn’t mean our impact travel cruise was all work and no play. We alternated our impact travel activity days in port with some traditional tourist “stuff” as well!

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Teleferico Puerto Plata Cable Car

In Puerto Plata, we took the Teleferico Puerto Plata Cable Car up the mountain to see the island. It was amazing getting to see how beautiful the country is from that height! It’s a fun, quick and easy ride up. Once you’re on the mountain, there is a park, restaurant and gift shops to explore.

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Fun fact: The Dominican Republic’s giant statue of Christ the Redeemer, situated on the Isabel de Torres mountain in the north coast city of Puerto Plata, was recently named a sister statue of Brazil’s statue of Jesus, situated on top of the Corcovado Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

27 Waterfalls (The Damajaqua Cascades)

Nestled in the rolling hills of the Northern Corridor mountain range and behind the long stalks of sugarcane lays a treasure you won’t find anywhere else in the world: 27 awe-inspiring pools, etched out of limestone, for tourists’ enjoyment.

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Our impact travel group managed to swim, slide and jump off of seven of the falls before we were so hungry, we had to break for lunch…

Even though I was a bit scared going in, it was an amazing experience. You MUST NOT  miss it if you visit Puerto Plata!

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Brugal Rum Factory, Playa Dorada Beach and Fort San Felipe

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From Wikipedia: Fortaleza San Felipe is a historic Spanish fortress, also known as El Morro de San Felipe and was used to protect the City of Puerto Plata from pirates and corsairs. It is located on a hill at the Puntilla Del Malecón, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean; its strategic location protected the entrance to the city’s seaport. The construction of the fort was commissioned by King Felipe II of Spain in 1564, and it was completed in 1577 by Don Rengifo de Angulo, the fort’s mayor.

We spent our last day in port:

  • Touring (and buying gifts at) the Brugal Rum Factory
  • Swimming and shopping at Playa Dorada
  • Visiting Fort San Felipe

We managed to do all of this in one morning with the assistance of our fabulous taxi driver we hired for the day. Request Valera in the port– you won’t be sorry!

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Brugal rum aging- 1 bottle for each consecutive year
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Playa Dorada beach

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Onboard the Fathom Adonia

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There is no shortage of great food, drinks and activities on the Fathom Adonia.

In our two sea days alone, I managed to take a Yoga class, Pilates class, two Mixology/Cocktail classes, a Wine & Paint class, saw a movie, sang karaoke  and met with our cohort groups to prepare for and measure the impact of all the projects we participated in.

Yes! You actually get to see in black and white the difference you and Fathom Travel are making in the Dominican Republic! The cumulative numbers blew my mind.

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On our last day, I even decided to splurge on a pedicure at the ship’s spa! You can’t beat a view like that…

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If you spring for a balcony room, I encourage you to spend some time reading (or meditating) with this view.

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What to Pack on a Fathom Impact Travel Cruise

  1. Coffee tumbler
  2. Waterproof sneakers. You will wear them if you do the 27 Waterfalls and during messier impact projects. Mine were Speedo brand and are available for purchase HERE.
  3. Insect repellant (there is a Zika alert in the DR)
  4. Long, lightweight pants. Jeans are too HOT.
  5. Hat
  6. Sunscreen
  7. Backpack
  8. Socks and flip flops (TIP: Keep your flip flops in your backpack if you do any activities where your sneakers might get muddy or wet)
  9. Plastic bags for wet/dirty clothes shoes
  10. Cash (Internet in the DR is spotty, so credit cards are not taken at very many places)
  11. Wine (you’re allowed 1 bottle per person onboard)
  12. Bottles of water (We brought a whole case and stashed them in our refrigerator onboard)
  13. Camera
  14. An e-reader
  15. Workout clothes
  16. Casual dresses for dinner in the dining room
  17. Sandals (no heels)
  18. Travel hair dryer
  19. Small satchel/purse (for around the ship)
  20. Swimsuits (pack multiple)

You can follow along with other people traveling with Fathom by following the impact travel hashtag #TravelDeep on your favorite social media channels. I can’t wait to make a difference with Fathom and my amazing travel buddies again!

What to Pack & Expect on an Impact Travel Cruise with Fathom


Special thanks to Flagler College Enactus for helping to organize this life changing impact travel experience and my fellow travel buddies and bloggers, Essentially Erika and April Golightly for contributing photos to this post. 


Sponsored: All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and not influenced in any way by Fathom Travel. Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I was given a complimentary 7 day cruise (not including taxes, fees, gratuities and extras) and cable car ride at Teleferico Puerto Plata but that does not impact my views or opinions. 

Make Every Weekend a Boca Holiday Weekend at the Waterstone

We live where you vacation. I love to say that to non-Floridians, especially when a summer holiday weekend is on the horizon. 😉 And now after our third visit, I’ve decided there are few places better to stay-cation during a Boca holiday weekend than at the Waterstone Resort and Marina.

Boca holiday weekend Waterstone
The views are to die for…

Boca holiday weekend Waterstone

I mean, the daily champagne reception from 4-7PM should be reason enough in itself!

Boca Holiday Weekend Champagne

Like I mentioned, my family and I have stayed at the Waterstone Resort & Marina before, but Boca holiday weekend times are my absolute favorite because you get that little bonus day to enjoy the resort’s MANY amenities.

This visit, we were invited to bunk in a suite. It is so much easier when we have a separate snoozing space for #dailybocaavery, so us parents can hang out after she goes to sleep. Game of Thrones isn’t going to catch up on itself.

This room was so freaking beautiful. That bathtub…

Boca holiday weekend Waterstone

Boca holiday weekend Waterstone

Boca holiday weekend Waterstone

Boca holiday weekend Waterstone

Boca holiday weekend Waterstone

Avery easily fell asleep on the suite’s pullout couch, snuggling with Morty, the Waterstone’s manatee mascot… 

Boca holiday weekend Waterstone

…while we enjoyed the welcome spread. Ok fine, we did share the cookies and milk with our daughter.

We live where you vacation. I love to tell non-Floridians that, especially when a summer holiday weekend is on the horizon. ;) And now after our third visit, I've decided there are few places better to stay-cation during a Boca holiday weekend than at the Waterstone Resort and Marina.


We had a big Boca holiday weekend itinerary ahead of us at the Waterstone!

First up: BREAKFAST

Whether you’re eating inside at Boca Landing or outside with a view, the Waterstone’s buffet breakfast has something for everyone.

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You can also eat breakfast and lunch out by the pool or order food to bring up to your room. SO NICE when your kids need an a/c break.

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Next up: POOL TIME

The Waterstone’s pool has a front row seat to the Boca Raton bridge and intracoastal waterway leading out to beautiful Lake Boca. It’s the perfect setting to enjoy a frozen cocktail or two with friends and celebrate a Boca holiday weekend!

Boca holiday weekend Waterstone

The weekend we stayed happened to be Father’s Day weekend. Let’s just say that I scored major points towards my birthday in August with this fabulous stay-cation…

Boca holiday weekend Waterstone

 Next up: BOCA HOLIDAY WEEKEND BOATING

Our Boca holiday weekend at the Waterstone overall was absolutely amazing. But, I would have to say that my favorite part was renting and taking out their electric boat on Lake Boca. It was so much fun!

Boca holiday weekend Waterstone

#modernbocadad was obviously the captain of our vessel (even though us moms sported the captain’s’ hats). We grabbed some drinks and snacks and hopped aboard!

Boca holiday weekend Waterstone

The boat was really easy to maneuver (I promise- not complicated at all!) and we were even able to find a cool spot to let the kids swim around in the lake. It was hot, so they were really excited to cool off.

You can find more information about boat rentals at the Waterstone HERE.

Boca holiday weekend Waterstone

Boca holiday weekend Waterstone

Boca holiday weekend Waterstone

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After our boat ride, it was time to cool off in the pool and get ready for dinner. My mom’s Father’s Day gift to my husband was watching our daughter that night, so we could have an adults-only dinner at Boca Landing. However, we could have also very easily eaten as a family outside at Waterstone Bar & Grill.

Next up: GOURMET DINING

Ever eaten a lionfish? How about the freshest fish dip in South Florida? You can find it all at the Waterstone’s modern on-site restaurant, Boca Landing.

We indulged in so many wonderful dishes including a peanut butter & jelly cake finale (yum!) featured in the gallery below:

It was hands down, the best Father’s Day weekend we’ve ever spent together. And that’s the best part– we spent it TOGETHER as a family at a beautiful resort close to home in our own little vacation paradise: Boca Raton. Thank you Waterstone Resort & Marina.

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Sponsored: All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and not influenced in any way by the sponsor.  Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I was given a complimentary weekend stay at the Waterstone, boat rental, food and beverage gift cards and dine at Boca Landing, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

To experience the various dining options at Waterstone Resort & Marina – A DoubleTree by Hilton, call 561.368.9500 or for more information visit www.waterstoneboca.com and www.bocalanding.com and find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

For reservations at Boca Landing, please visit Open Table at http://www.opentable.com/boca-landing-waterstone-resort-and-marina-a-doubletree-by-hilton.