Thursday, August 18, 2011

Orlando Gift Show and Cash and Carry Show August 2011

So we decided to venture out to Orlando to see if shows outside of our area would carry products we dont normally see in this area. We've been to expos in Boston, Atlantic City, Philadelphia, NYC and Ocean City. Ive notice they do tend to carry products for that area. The Ocean City show carried products for resorts - Ocean City is a beach town. Philadelphia and Boston carried products popular in the city... etc...

So I got a package from JetBlue that included Air, Car and Hotel.... we went for a long weekend. Our flight left Friday at 8AM and landed at 10:30AM - The show did not start until Saturday so we drove to universal studios and visited Island Of Adventures. We had a great time but were super tired. Saturday we head show at the Orlando Convention Center. The show was West wing, this place is HUGE! But it was easy to find.

Parking was $13 but the show reimbursed me for $5. The hall appeared small from above, the front half was not cash and carry but the back half was. We walked around first then made choices and walked back thru. There was A LOT of jewelry. Something Im picky on carrying... but I did find other things that were worth picking up at the show. A lot of low priced products were available but there were also a lot of sales people trying to get you to buy their products. I thought cash and carry was you buy and take it with you right? Well most of these people were selling single pieces and all. I have no idea if I was getting a deal for because there were not too many people buying by the dozen of in minimum orders.

Overall I was not impressed with the cash and carry part. I went back to the non cash and carry side and made a few purchases. Will I attend again in the winter? I dont think so unless I happen to be in the area already.

I hope the purchase I made will cover the cost of the trip.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mini Trip - Island of Adventure

So this past weekend we took a short trip to Orlando. We had a 8AM flight out of Newburgh NY - we arrived in Orlando just after 10AM. We picked up the car at the airport and drove along. We ate lunch at the Golden Corral, one of my favorite places to eat while down there. We do have a tendency to eat A LOT. We purchased one day passes to Islands of Adventure - which we picked up at the park. Parking is up to $15! Which is insane! Anyway the park was pretty packed as usually for a summer Friday.

We entered and headed toward the right as I wanted to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We walked thru the Dr Seuss area as I did not have the kids with me. Going over a bridge we found Poseidon's Fury. We stood online for a half hour only to be turned away when we reached the door. Something had happened and they closed the ride at leaat we were in the A/C. So we started walking again.We had quickly reached the WWOHP - the area was crowed. There was the Train, which blew smoke every so often. Then the stores.. so many little stores with cute little features... forget the snow atop of the buildings... the crooked windows and doors, the signage. The ambiance was very good. There was the Dragon Challange, Flight of the Hippogryth and The Forbidden Journey. They wait was over an hour for all of them so we left and decided to check out the rest of the park.

The day was very hot and it was tough walking around but we checked out stores and the next ride we came upon was the Hulk ride. One of my faves but it had been over 8 years since we had been on it. We were able to put our things in a locker just in front of the building and we waited about 15 minutes to get on the ride. Its still as amazing as I remember it! We walked back to the stadium to see a bike/skate show which was fabulous. We also got on the Spider Man ride which was pretty neat.

By now it was after 6 and we walked back to WWOHP - we walked in the 'back way' - there are two entrances into the the area. The wait was down to 40 minutes for the Forbidden Journey. We put our things in the locker and waited on line. It was super long but the ambiance was amazing. It was the back of the castle and it had a cover to make it look like a green house. Once inside the castle there were statues and the bird to Dumbledore office, then you passed the area with the Unicorn tapestry, then you passed the area with the talking paintings, then you were in Dumbledore office... you pass the sorting hat. It was totally amazing! I was in AWE. You get on the ride and I couldnt believe how fantastic it was!

Once we got off the ride there was this horrible rain storm which caused everyone to gather inside the building. It was so crowed we could not move, it was almost an hour before we were able to get out - the worst part of the day. Finally it let up and we were able to leave but the rides were delayed and lines started to form already. We walked back to the other side of the park. We managed to get onto the Hulk ride again. Once again we walked back towards WWOHP to try the other rides we finally got on Poseidon's fury and tried to get the other rides. By now it was close to 9 and the ride still was not ready so we just left the park.

It had been a long day and we were tired. We are planning a trip in the future to take my kids to these parks. I loved it, but it was not worth the over $80 for a single day pass.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Heading to Florida again!

OK Im a travel nut, but this time is business.

Ive been attending business expos in the area within a 3 hour distance from my store. I started to wonder if going to another place entirely would show me different product. We tried Ocean City Maryland... which was filled with Beach Resort themed items. So I found out about the Orlando Gift Show in August. They actually have this twice a year. The dates for August 2011 are the 5th thru the 8th which is a weekend. Normally this would have worked out perfectly since our timeshare is the same weekend. However this year we were unable to use it or rather reluctant to use it since I already went to Orlando two weeks before and stayed at my sisters timeshare. So we banked our week and I was going to forget about the show.

It kept bothering me, you know that feeling that I should attend the show. So I kept researching rates to fly, rent a car and a hotel. We usually drive but for just a few days it would not be worth it. I had so many prices my head was spinning, in the end I figured it was going to cost me close to $1000 for two people to fly down, rent a car and stay at a hotel. Not counting meals! Again I gave up.

So about 2 weeks ago I get this feeling, I start to look at prices again. I found flights, hotel stay, and car rental for 3 nights for two people for $625! I booked it without even a second thought! Since this was the lowest price I had seen. Now I gotta admit I am afraid of staying in a hotel. We've been staying in Condos and suites for so long Im not sure what to expect, lol. Call me spoiled or what you will. We leave on Friday, I have no idea what we are going to while there.

We will attend the show on Saturday and most likely on Sunday too, but thats done by 3pm. I like to look at product on the first day and buy on the second day anyway so it will work out. But we will arrive in Orlando at 10:30AM on Friday and have the whole afternoon to play. I have not figured out where we are going yet, I was thinking of checking out Aqautica since we have never been there.

We want to see Universal Studios, well I wanna see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! I love the movies but Ive never read the books. I still wanna see it! Besides we have not been to Universal Studios or Island of Adventure in over 8 years. My husband is calling it a mini vacation for us, lol. Isnt he cute?