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Experience VOLTA in Atlanta Now!

In the spirit of #DatingYourSpouse , Anil and I set out for a VIP experience with Cirque Du Soliel’s VOLTA in Atlanta until January 2020.

VOLTA VIP Experience

VOLTA is a captivating voyage of discovery. It’s about finding yourself, and unveiling your personal powers. Inspired in part by the adventurous spirit that fuels the culture of street sports, the show weaves acrobatics in a visually striking world driven by a stirring melodic score.

VOLTA is a story of transformation. It is about being true to oneself, fulfilling one’s true potential, and recognizing one’s own power to make it possible. Ultimate freedom comes with self-acceptance, and with the liberation of the judgement of others.

Freedom is the ultimate achievement.

VOLTA’s stage has a pulse and a life its own. In a heartbeat, it can turn from a dark, stone-dead quarry into a cathedral of light. Be sure to check it out before it is gone!

Your Chick,


The TRUE Cost of Visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

As a blogger, I frequently turn to other blogs for information.  So when I planned to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ at Universal Studios I thought I had all the information I needed to make my way through the whole thing without a glitch.  I got a lot of great advice, but one BIG thing that was missing from all the posts was the total TRUE cost of seeing all of it, so I decided to write about it.

My daughters are seven and eight years old and in the thick of Harry Potter, we just wrapped up the fourth book so a trip to Orlando seemed perfectly timed. To break down exactly how much you need to budget to truly experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™exhibit here is a tally.

Diagon Alley

Park Tickets (2 Park Pass)     $169.00 Adult / $164.00 Child

The whole Harry Potter world crosses between Universal Islands of Adventure AND Universal Studios. That means you have to buy a two park pass to get to all of its parts. It is connected by the Hogwarts Express train ride (which you CANNOT ride if you only have a one park pass).

Express Passes $120.00/ Per Person Total for Both Parks

You will need one for each person AND EACH PARK (they are $60, per park, per person)!!                                   

The reason why you need this is because if you are NOT lucky enough to live in Orlando and go on non peak times like weekends and holidays, then wait times can be up 120 minutes per ride!!!  If you are going all the way to Orlando to see this, then save up and get this pass to assure that you see everything.  Otherwise you are just wasting time standing in line.  

(**One tip here is to stay at a Universal Orlando Resort, your stay comes WITH fast passes, so you may be able to cut some of your losses there!)

Butter Beer      $6.50

It’s a must try really, and is actually really good…we ended up each getting our own!

Wizard gowns are $115.00, broom sticks are $35.00, chocolate frogs are $10.50, and wands start at $50.00.  The amount of money (if you have it) that you can spend here is never ending.  I did a little Amazon and Walmart shopping before hand and saved myself the trouble and cost of shopping for souvenirs there. 

All Aboard

The Takeaway:

Total cost with NO EXTRAS for a family of four to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™is $1152.50

Please know that even with the fast pass, it is UNLIKELY that you will see much else in either Islands of Adventure or Universal Studios, you would have to be really motivated (or have older children).

There are several blog posts that were really helpful and I have linked them below:

Tips for Visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Harry Potter Theme Park Tips: What to Know Before Visiting the Wizarding World


I wish I had a full understanding of the expenses associated with my most recent trip. Hopefully, you found this post helpful.

Your Chick,


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4 Reasons To Stay At The Hyatt Regency Orlando

When we bought tickets for our Disney and Universal Studios trip a few months back, finding the right hotel at the right price was a daunting task.  I know that the Disney and Universal Resorts are amazing. I kept asking myself if it is really necessary after spending the whole day at the park to pay a premium for that experience.  I got on Priceline and found an Express Deal of $119** for the 4.5 Star rated Hyatt Regency Orlando and immediately booked it.  I knew I would be happy no matter what, but after my stay, I know why this was worth it!

The Location

This property is located less than 5 miles (or a $10 Lyft ride) from Universal Studios and 12 miles (or a $17.00 Lyft ride) from Disney.  Parking at the parks were $25/day so in the case of Universal it was cheaper and easier to ride share.  What an incredible location, right on International Drive, less than 10 miles from the Premium Outlets. The Hyatt felt centrally located.

The Rooms

For a ‘standard room’ we were thrilled to find luxurious details like a chaise lounger, 415 square feet of space, marble accents in the bathroom, and my kids favorite, a TV in the bathroom mirror!  We had plenty of storage space to tuck away all our swimming accessories, shoes, souvenirs, and so much more.

The Pool

Ok, so this is NOT your average pool! It has a medium sized water slide, little beach area complete with beach umbrellas, waterfall cove, zero depth heated pool, hot tub, splash pad, private cabana, full size poolside restaurant, and a little shop that will inflate AND deflate floaters for you! Despite being there on a busy weekend, we never felt like the pool was over crowded and we really enjoyed the variety of settings for kids who like to move around. 

The Market

Even though the property has SEVEN dining options on site (yes, 7!) each morning we took advantage of The Market.  It truly has a full ‘grocery store’ type menu with not overly inflated prices.  My girls were able to grab their favorite cereal, yogurt or oatmeal while I grabbed a coffee and bagel.  Starting off my day at The Market for less than $20 was such a convenience before we headed out for a long day of adventure

Photo Courtesy of Trip Advisor

This property is also attached to a convention center so to say that it is a big property is an understatement.  With all the hustle and bustle of international conferences and weddings, the Hyatt was able to still provide an intimate experience that we really enjoyed.

Typical of any mom in my situation, I was happy that my kids were happy and I was thrilled that I didn’t have to pay more for a place to rest my head after a busy day.  If you are in the Orlando area, look into scoring a deal on the Hyatt Regency Orlando, you won’t regret it!



** On my bill on the way out I noticed that I was charged a $25/day ‘Resort Fee’ which I told the manager was a sneaky move on what I thought was a great deal.  But after some consideration, even at $144/night, this place ends up being a pretty good deal.  

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4 Trendy Spots to Enjoy The Atlanta Weather NOW!

As many of you know, Sonia and I (Rina) grew up in the Chicago area. After getting married, I moved to a small town outside of Atlanta with my husband and now we’ve been married for 13 years (time flies…!).  After the initial shock of being away from friends and family wore off, I have grown to love so many things about the South — particularly the city of Atlanta.

At the top of that list is the weather. Being able to spend time with my family outdoors most of the year is unbeatable. To make use of the endless southern warmth, Atlanta has several new developments that merge a love of eating, of drinking, and of shopping entirely outside!  I want to share my top four ways to chill in Atlanta. These spots are versatile: good for family activities, date nights, and a night out with the girls.

Krog Street

Another new concept in metropolitan areas are these European style “supermercados.”  It is an emptied out warehouse with filled restaurants and vendors. These vendors line the interior of the warehouse in an interactive way that includes fun samples of different types of foods. On a recent trip with my sister and a friend, we all craved for different things: Shelly wanted ramen, I wanted Pho, and Hannah wanted chips and salsa. Lucky enough, Krog Street delivered on all of it!  I want to make a special mention of Superica, an elevated tex mex experience that uses locally sourced ingredients. They are also very mindful of their food presentation, making the experience delicious and beautiful.

My midi dress is on clearance for $44 | Shop similar summer dresses here and here | If you have not scooped up a good pair of white sneakers yet, my Adidas rose gold kicks are on sale | My top selling bag by Zac Posen is also on sale here

The Atlanta Beltline

Around the corner of Krog Street is the Atlanta Beltline.  Similar to the 606 in Chicago, the Atlanta Beltline is much larger and more robust having been built on 22 miles of unused railroad tracks.  All kinds of people enjoy the beltline for long walks and bike rides. A cool accent of the beltline is the support of local artists as the walkway is lined with casual and creative artwork.

Ponce City Market

This “market” opened in 2014 in the old Sears, Roebuck & Company building. It is linked directly to the Atlanta BeltLine.  This is a large flexible space to eat, drink, and shop. See the list of places to eat, shop, and hang out here.  My personal favorite is the adult-only roof top ($10 cover) and carnival complete with putt-putt golf, carnival games, and a beer garden with fire pits — and some of the best mixologists in town.  This place is a little piece of heaven and perfect for literally whatever mood you are in.  Find a corner, make it yours, and enjoy yourself.

Video is from Vimeo: ASD|SKY – Ponce City Market Roof | Skyline Park + Nine MIle Station

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Fashion Museum

The location of this school is what really makes this a sight to see. With an unparalleled view of Atlanta from its main patio, SCAD is a unique blend of culture, art, and education. It is the home of one of the premier design schools and several influential designers have emerged from the institutions. Although the Atlanta location is the main campus building, they are very friendly about visitors and with its unique view of the city, it is definitely worth a visit.  The fashion museum inside the main campus features designers and art that change almost quarterly.  The view alone is worth the visit and completely free, but the museum has an admission of $10 — an educational experience into the world of art and design.

If you only have a little bit of time in Atlanta and have already done some of the more obvious tourist activities (like visit the Coca Cola museum, CNN, Georgia Aquarium, Stone Mountain, and Centennial Park), consider a local experience that is hip and relaxing.

Of course, no trip is complete without trendy luggage to go along with it! If you have not yet checked out Andiamo luggage, click here.  We have gotten so many compliments on their carry ons its not even funny, see our post here. 

Hope that this was helpful. Which of these placed have you visited?

Your Chick,


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