When life gives you Covid, you book a Treehouse.
Hello again friends. It's once again been far too long since my last post, but alas Covid is still with us so therefore my life hasn't slowed down one bit. In fact, it's only taken it up another notch. Last I left you, I was going away on a trip and promised a trip report that still hasn't come to be...like many other fun posts I have still waiting to see the light of day. This time though the culprit of my stalled trip report was getting hit with the Christmas rush as soon as I got home, followed by a Covid scare that sent my mom into the hospital for 6 days. Thankfully, she is home and nearly fully recovered but it was quite the scare and especially difficult because we were not allowed to visit her. We just had to sit by the phone and wait. My heart goes out to everyone who has gone through this and even more so to those who lost a loved one in this way. It's never easy to lose a loved one but, in this manner, it has to be especially painful.
Originally, we were supposed to be heading to California for two weeks in March but we very quickly realized that a trip like that, during Covid, would be a complete waste. We decided to cancel the Cali trip and went with a trip to Florida instead. Normally, I and the rest of the Wain Tang Clan are a very on the go type of family, however, after the last few months of Rona crazy we (meaning I) needed a slower pace, at least to start the trip. So where else am I gonna go but Disney? I decided to finally take that bucket list trip of going to Disney for a staycation solely consisting of pool time, shopping, and snacking- no parks. Since we weren't planning to go to the parks I knew we could finally fulfill another one of my Disney bucket lists and stay at the legendary Treehouse Villas. These "treehouses" have been around since the 1970s so don't expect an Airbnb level treehouse, but it's conniving enough for a 6 year old and 4 year old to believe. These treehouse villas are in a quiet, secluded area connected to Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort which is right across the water from Disney Springs, the mecca of Disney food and shopping, and exactly where I want to be. Transportation here on a good day is not the best, and your really should probably have your own vehicle when staying here, but since we are only headed across the water to the Springs we figured this is the perfect time to try them.
Normally, the Treehouse Villas have a walking path to the Springs, in addition to boat service and a bus that takes you to Saratoga Spring's bus stop where you can transfer to an additional bus to the parks or springs. Matt and I are big into walking because we always get there much faster so we decided to make the poor decision to try to walk the maze that is the Treehouse Villas' grounds at 9:30pm after a super delayed flight, with our kids who had already been up since 6:30am. After walking in circles for 20 minutes just trying to get off of the Treehouse Villas' grounds, we finally headed for the Springs. The Springs closed at 11pm on our arrival night and we finally got there at 10:23pm. Yes, nearly an hour of walking that should have taken us 12 minutes. We could not find the proper walking path to the Springs from the Treehouse Villas so we ended up having to cross the entire property of Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort to get there. You see, we found out, the hard way, why we had such trouble. Disney took down all the signage for the correct walking path because it is closed due to Covid. Silly us didn't understand that at the time so once Disney Springs closed we tried again with the correct walking path, this time starting from the Springs making it much easier to figure out. On our walk back we were met with a closed off walking path but it was so late and we were so far at that point, we continued on stepping around the barricade and making it home with great success. It took us 12 minutes to walk home!
Naturally, the next morning when we were ready to head for the Springs again, we gleefully headed for our correct walking path. BIG mistake. As we started on our walk, it started to lightly rain. No big deal, it's light and we only have a 12 minute walk. The rain starts getting harder. "This is fine. We're almost there." Now the rain is coming down harder but we're halfway there. Then we notice a sign "No Springs Access" that we didn't notice the night before on our victorious walk home. Um. "We'll be fine? I'm sure that's just because they don't want us walking near the golf course when they're understaffed and have less security. It'll be fine, we did this last night." We continue on and notice right at the start of the massive Springs parking lot the walking path we're on still is closed off like last night but with a sign again we didn't notice that says, "No Springs Access". The barricade, that was easy to bypass by taking one stop onto the grass, was there last night but we assumed it was their typical "walking path closed from dusk to down" type of situation like they do on many other walking paths on property so we never dreamed we'd see it today. So this morning when we hit the barricade at 11am, I was really concerned that we made a grave error. There was no going back now though. We had basically made it to the giant parking lot and the rain was really coming down, so we bypassed the barricade and a miracle happened... I ran. I mean like RAN across that massive parking lot trying to find the shelter of the Disney Springs and the comfort of a donut from the newly opened and highly popular donut shop, Everglazed Donuts. You can guess where this is going, right? We finally make it across the parking lot to the entrance of the springs to see two security guards standing there. Matt is further ahead of me since I haven't run in...hmmmm, let's see... I'm 35 so... 35 years, so I was a little slow and out of practice. I could tell by his body language (a.k.a. his arms flying up in the air) that we've got some bad news. Turns out, thanks to Covid, this entrance is closed and we have to walk all the way around to the parking garage to enter in order to get our temperature checked. Now, yes, this was our fault ignoring the signage and literal barricade, but it didn't matter at that point to my Jersey Boy. In his mind in this emotional moment, we are being turned away from shelter, in the pouring rain, to walk another 15 minutes. Boy was THAT a fun walk, said no wife ever. So here I am trying to do the whole "One day we're gonna laugh at this" speech but it was falling on deaf ears. Actually, I don't even think it was even getting that far. He was "hangry" so on we marched following our Bushwhacker leader. If you have no idea of the reference, I regularly mock Matt that when he's in a hurry he walks like the WWF (now WWE) wrestlers "The Bushwhackers" circa 1980s. It's a quite realistic comparison that for whatever reason, I can imagine why, Matt doesn't like. So I usually refer to it as his "Jersey bop" when he's around to keep the peace and still mock Matt & New Jersey- my two favorite past times. I really was trying to lighten the mood because at the end of this maze, we'd have to have our temperatures taken to get into the Springs and after all our running, bushwhacker walking, and now frustrations my biggest fear was our temperatures would be too high to get in and then... "hulk smash!!". Matt's reaction would have been legendary. Now, I understand science and that those factors shouldn't affect our body temperature, but the way this morning was going I knew anything was possible.
We did finally make it to the Springs and our temperatures were good. We had a wonderful time eating and shopping, but at the end of the night we decided to make the reasonable decision of taking the bus home that night. Taking the bus home from the Springs, which is normally a 12 minute walk, did take us over an hour since you have to wait for a bus, drive through a congested area, and then wait for an additional bus at Saratoga Springs since the Treehouse Villas don't have direct busses, but at least we were sitting most of that time. So while I absolutely love the Treehouse Villas, I'd only recommend them if you have your own vehicle, at least during Covid when everything is different. After a few more days of Disney Springs and Treehouse Villas fun, we'll be taking the kids to Universal Studios for their first ever visit, and we have another awesome room booked for our dinosaur loving 6 year old. I'm not promising future posts anymore during Covid, however, being on a slower paced trip, I do have much more availability to blog while I'm away, so you should expect more from me this week, but once I'm home, don't expect much and be pleasantly surprised if you do get a post here or there. I do have an epic story that I've been trying to share with you about a nail salon visit gone awry that I've been trying to post for way too long so hoping life gets back to normal soon so I can share that one as well!
In the meantime, enjoy some picks of a 1970a "treehouse" that sits 9 feet above the ground and not in a tree. Nonetheless, it still have the feel you want and it's so spacious. It has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, full kitchen, deck and BBQ grill. It sleeps 9 when using the pullout couch and pullout chair. It's a great little spot for some family fun!