Tuesday, November 25, 2014

11/25/14: Cape Codder Resort and Spa Getwaway

For the holidays we like to go to lots of fun activities as a family.  Recently we were invited to stay at the Cape Codder Resort and Spa which was the perfect little weekend getaway with some holiday fun thrown in.  We had a wonderful stay and took a ride on The Train to Christmas Town on the Cape Cod Railroad.
We had stayed at The John Carver Inn and Spa in Plymouth which is another of the Catania Hospitality Group's properties and had loved it so I knew it would be a hit with the family.  It is beautiful from the time you enter the lobby.
 I also learned on a tour that in June they enlisted the talent of Sandwich artists David McDermott of McDermott Glass Studio and Cris Reverdy of Studio-Brush to create a new centerpiece for the lobby.  Debra Catania, Vice President of the Catania Hospitality Group, had a vision of an ocean-themed chandelier.
The result: a 6’ by 6.5’ cluster of 400 hand-blown pieces of glass, including twelve fish, three scallop shells and one large Whelk shell suspended from the center.  The 400 pieces were attached individually to a metal cage, custom-crafted by Turn Wright Machine Works in West Dennis. McDermott has created commissioned pieces for six U.S. presidents and Pope John Paul II among others, and his work is in the collections of several prestigious museums including the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Still, this was the first chandelier he and his studio ever created.  The color of the LED lights illuminating both the chandelier and Reverdy’s installations can be changed by remote control to create a special ambiance at different times of the day and for holidays.  It is magnificent.
The rooms are beautiful.  We had a room with two queen beds.  There are a variety of types of rooms including Deluxe Rooms and Fireplace Rooms.
The kids were quick to test out their bed.  They approved.  I must say that I had a wonderful night's sleep.  Sometimes I struggle to sleep outside of my own home but I had no issues.
 Here you can see the TV, there was also a coffee maker and refrigerator.
 Here is our little desk area.  There was ample space and the room was extremely clean.
 After we were settled we headed to the Indoor Wave Pool which the kids couldn't wait to see.
The pool area was by far one of my favorites of a variety of places we have stayed at.  The wave pool was really fun.  You are given a wrist band to wear for the pool area and these bands colors are changed daily.
It is a very large wave pool with a cool looking boat that has two slides in it.  There is also a large whirlpool area built into the side to the left of the pool however it was being renovated when we were there.  We were told it would reopen Thanksgiving weekend.
 Here are the kids coming down the slides.  They loved them.
I even tried the slides and they were really fun.  One was faster and less windy and the other one was windy but slower.  They were both lots of fun.

 Here is another view of the pool.
There is also the "Rainbow Falls" Heated Outdoor Pool.  It is a year round heated pool however it was closed for renovations.  It looked really neat.  It has a hot tub and there is a waterfall area with lighting.
 Here is a view from up above of the outdoor pool.
 We got to tour the property and see the game room.
 There is a state of the art fitness room.
There is Beach Plum Spa and Med-Spa which has couples massages, individual treatments and even kids manicures and pedicures.
We ate breakfast at the award-winning Hearth ‘n Kettle Restaurant.
 The food was really good.
 The kids enjoyed their pancakes.
They also have another restaurant that has fine wines and entertainment on the weekends called the Grand Cru Wine Bar and Grill.
 There is an outdoor deck you can eat out on.
There are lovely courtyards with a bonfire area.
 Here you can see another courtyard area.
There is also a residence club that you can buy in to.  We were able to see one and it was amazing!

You can learn more here about the Fractional Home Ownership.  This was one of the bedrooms.
Look at this amazing bathroom with jacuzzi tub.

Plus for the holidays they decorate and have an Enchanted Village including Cape Cod Surftones Carolers and Santa on weekends December 5 - 21, 2014.  Santa visits and sits here.
The hallway leading up to Santa was already decorated and look awesome.
It is free admission and open to the public.  They are accepting donations of gift cards and new, unwrapped gifts will be accepted for Independence House.  Guests staying at the resort, as well as the Cape Cod Community, are treated to a magnificent display of lights, animation plus a special opportunity to help others! 
They also offer the "Enchanted Village Overnight Package" starting at $119 weekdays ($179 Friday and Saturday nights) which includes: 1 night in a deluxe room and $100 in dining, lodging and shopping certificates to other Catania Hospitality Group venues.  $20 toward meals at Hearth 'n Kettle or Grand Cru Wine Bar and Grill $10 toward dinner at The Dan'l Webster Inn and Spa $10 toward spa services in the Beach Plum Spa $10 toward a purchase at our hotel gift shops 1/2 off your second night of a future stay.
The courtyard was in process of being decorated with 100,000 lights.  Plus there are topiary animals, rows of miniature Christmas Trees and Santa's Reindeer.  
I can just imagine how beautiful it will be.
It is a Santa's Village reminiscent of an old fashioned Enchanted Village. 
What an awesome Resort.  I highly recommend staying there during any season!
Find them online:  http://www.capecodderresort.com/
Twitter:  @capecodresort
Disclosure:  I was provided with a night's stay at the Cape Codder Resort and Spa and breakfast at the Hearth 'n Kettle in exchange for review.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

Monday, November 24, 2014

11/24/14: Polar Express at Edaville USA Do You Believe?

Nothing is more magical than watching children's faces at the holidays.  We were lucky enough to journey to the North Pole on The Polar Express Train at Edaville USA and had a wonderful time.  
We have loved going to Edaville USA and I loved going there as a child.  It is good to get there early and ride some of the rides and then enjoy as it darkens and you can see the lights.
There are cute little boxes with Christmas displays.
Evan has loved trains since he was little.  He especially loves Steam Trains and learns all he can about them so he loves travelling to Edaville USA in Carver MA and seeing the Steam Train. 
The kids are all ready for their voyage on the train.  
We took a 4:30 train which was great as we traveled on the train in the light and some as it was dark.  This was a beautiful view as the sun was setting on the train.

On the Polar Express you are given hot chocolate.

The cups we were given did not have an opening to drink out of so we had to take the cover off.  With younger children I would recommend bringing a cup with a cover.

The same person who delivers your hot chocolate also brings you a cookie and shows you the Polar Express book during your voyage.

You must buy tickets in advance to ensure you will have a spot on The Polar Express train.  Tickets can be purchased at www.edaville.com.  The Polar Express is $38 per person, with children under 2 being free.  When you arrive at the North Pole you see the big man himself, Santa!  This ride takes you on newer tracks that are not on the Festival of Lights route.  When at the North Pole you stop to allow Santa to walk along the side of the train and wave to all the kids and get on to the train.  I highly suggest getting on to the left side of the train which is the one nearest the boarding area.

Santa gives each child a bell.

I love Evan's giggle in this one.

The bell rings for all that believe!

You can also enjoy the Festival of Lights train and rides.  Check out their website or Facebook page for times, prices and details.  
The lights are beautiful. 
 I love this one with Santa on the computer.  He has come a long way with the way he lists out who has been naughty and nice.
 After the train ride we headed on to some rides.
The rockets are always fun.
Then we headed inside to see Santa.  There are also some smaller rides for little ones inside upstairs and bumper cars on the lower floor.
 Make sure to bring your letters to Santa as you can mail them.
 We then went over and said hi to the big man himself.  The kids got to spend some more time with him and tell him what they wanted.
There is also a new Santa VIP Experience on November 30th, December 7th, 14th and 21st which includes:
Getting into the park at 1pm. (An hour before they open!) 
20 minute VIP train ride with Santa 
A special Gift from Santa 
Specific Rides open early for our VIPs 
Gingerbread Decorating Party with Santa 
Park admission for regular hours 
Adults: $20 Children: $35 Under 2: $15 
All park rides are included in admission 
 Christmas Festival of Lights runs November 21st to January 1st.  
If Carver, MA is not a good location for you The Polar Express is also coming to Hopedale, MA.  Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, families are sure to enjoy their trip to the North Pole, complete with hot chocolate and cookies served on board the train. Passengers will then be entertained by a reading of The Polar Express™ . 
Upon arrival at the North Pole, Santa will greet the children and each child will receive their own sleigh bell, just like in the movie, to those who BELIEVE.  Experience the joy of caroling and holiday entertainment that will surely become an annual holiday tradition for the whole family. Families are encouraged to wear their pajamas for the ride and join in on the magic of Christmas. Reservations are required to ride the train. Tickets are between $36 - $56 are on sale now. You can purchase by calling 508-866-8190.
 Edaville USA is a must visit in at the holidays!
Check out Edaville USA on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EdavilleUSA
Folow them on Twitter: @EdavilleUSA
Disclosure:  Tickets were provided to me for review purposes of The Polar Express.  No other compensation was received.