Experiencing Valentine’s Day

Experiencing Valentine’s Day

How many people actually remember what they got for Valentine’s Day last year?  How about the year before?  I would venture not too many of us recall those gifts.  But, what if the gift was a trip to Napa Valley touring the wineries and vineyards?  Chances are pretty good that we would remember THAT gift, right?

Lulu’s Valentine’s Day party looms large in the Keats household.  Of course, because I work at a Stationary/Craft store that specializes in fantastic, creative and colorful cards and gifts, the pressure is on  to deliver something unforgettable for Lulu’s class. I’ve already spent a small fortune pulling together the Valentine’s surprises for Lulu.  Once I finished buying the stuffed animals, cards and candy, I started to wonder how much is too much to spend on Valentine’s Day?  Is it normal to spend $40 on specialty cards that our children must assemble and decorate prior to giving to her classmates? Is there a right amount?  How much should Adam and I spend on each other?  What, exactly is “love” worth on Valentine’s Day?  So, like any good mom addicted to google, I looked for an interesting infographic to share on my site:  


Courtesy of: CashNetUSA It’s Economic

I’ve come to a decision.  My love cannot (and should not) be measured with dollars.  I guess I can’t be included in these statistics because this year, it’s not for sale.  In lieu of tangible objects, I have requested that my loved ones shower me with great experiences.  It looks like DailyFinance.com  agrees with my preference too. (At last!  Some validation!) Today’s article entitled “Last Minute Valentine’s Gifting: Survey Reveals Consumers Want an Experience” identifies that more and more couples (or in our case families) are craving having experiences like going to concerts, musicals and other large group venues.   (Monster Trucks anyone?)  I guess it’s time to throw away that gift box and candy I was going to give Adam tomorrow for Valentine’s Day because we have decided to go tUniversal Studios Orlando for Valentine’s Day, President’s  Day, Mardi Gras and Purim: It’s a celebration of multiple holidays wrapped into one adventure.

We are hitting the road and venturing down to Florida to embrace:

  1. The sun (Sorry, but when you live in Chicago, it’s hard not to crave a warm sun shining on your white & pasty skin)
  2. The Despicable Me Minions
  3. Mardi Gras parade to rival the ones in New Orleans
  4. The Incredible Hulk Coaster
  5. And, of course, my personal favorite, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Best of all, I will toast Valentine’s Day with my two favorite people: Adam and Lulu.  Better yet, we’ll all be drinking butter beer!

butter beer

Mmm….Butter Beer. Lulu gets a Butter Beer Mustache in front of Hogwarts.

Wishing everyone a sunny, love-filled Valentine’s Day!  I can’t wait to experience my gift!

The Minions Are Coming!  The Minions Are Coming!

The Minions Are Coming! The Minions Are Coming!

"We see the light!"

They’re here!

On my street, if you ask any child under the age of ten, she’ll tell you that she is “just dying to see Despicable Me 2!” So imagine her surprise when I told my soon-to-be 9 year-old that she was going downtown with me tomorrow morning to meet “Gru” and the minions at the Wit Hotel! Squeals of joy and surprise, the likes of which caused the dog to whine and the cat to hide, emanated from her tiny body as she jumped up and down and told me that I “am the best mother in the world!” If only it were that easy.

Gru and his minions are traveling all over the country and are in Chicago this week to promote the new “Minion Mayhem” attraction at Universal Studios Orlando as well as the latest Despicable Me movie (scheduled for release in 2013). So tomorrow we are off to show some love to the “funny and cute” minions of “Despicable Me”. K is anxious to question “Gru’” the minions’ leader, about his many despicable choices and what “lead him to change some of his ways?” (Seriously, these were her words.) K has always had a soft spot for movie villains and Gru is really no exception. I am not sure if I should be worried about her fascination with sketchy-types or thrilled with her curious and fact-seeking nature? Anyway, while K is interviewing Gru (and possibly dancing with the minions) I’ll be snapping some photos and possibly videoing K’s interactions. Knowing that I will be there with a camera ensures some crazy antics by my precocious child.

Did I mention that K is the PERFECT age to take to the Universal Studios Orlando latest attraction? Well, actually, I think any age is PERFECT to check out Universal Studios Orlando. There is something there for EVERY age including K’s grandparents. (Hint, Hint) From what I understand, there are a lot of new things to check out at the part this year. So guess what? I have already informed my parents who happen to live in Florida to expect us sometime next winter.

So who’s with me? Maybe we can plan a Tweet-Up at Universal Studios next year? Okay, I realize that I am “geeking” out a bit but stranger things have happened, right? And how fun would it be to meet up with old and new friends on what is promising to be the ride of the year? As for what’s going on in Chicago tomorrow? Well, like the Elf sightings in downtown Chicago during the holidays, keep your eyes open for those hilarious Despicable Me minions. Wherever they wind up fun, frivolity and perhaps a bit of confusion will follow.

If you want to keep track of the mayhem tomorrow morning, we’ll be using the hashtag #YearToBeHere on Twitter. To tweet directly to the Universal folks, their handle is @UORNews.

Check back tomorrow night for our update (and pictures) of Tuesday’s events and more information about what’s happening this year at Universal Studios Orlando!

Thank you to Universal Studios Orlando Resort for this sponsored opportunity to blog about Despicable Me, Universal Studios Orlando Resort and the nationwide tour. Although I am being compensated for my time and posts, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

"Mooooo" "I am NOT impressed!"