To anyone who has ever pondered over what makes a perfect holiday, You & I brings to you one such getaway that radiates days of perfect weather, experiences of amazing cuisines, memories of spectacular sights, and the promise of more adventure. This month, Mallika Jain shares her recipe for a memorable vacation, when she and her family made their way to the sunny state of Florida.
Mallika Jain is the proprietor of Fashion Capsule, a Delhi-based fashion and lifestyle exhibition. The brand’s year-round events, meetings and conventions barely allow her as much free time as she would like. But there was no stopping her this time, when she decided to fly across the pond with her family in pursuit of a well-deserved holiday.
“From the moment we arrived, it was easy to tell that Florida was one of the most beautiful places that we’ve ever visited,” reminisced Mallika. “The perfect mix of fun, food, drinks, and adventure eagerly awaited us.”
The family’s nine-day holiday began in the sunlit city of Miami. “The words that flash in my mind when I think of Miami are sun, sand, serenity, beautiful cars and people, and classy hotels and nightclubs,” she said. The Jains began their exploratory expedition from the plush properties of the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel. From there, the Jains took in the city’s signature restaurants, luxurious spas, lively party spots and, most importantly, its pristine beaches.
And where there is a beach, there are definitely water sports. “While I opted to soak in the sun, there was no way my two sons would miss out on experiencing the many exhilarating water activities; and South Beach was filled with adrenaline junkies having the time of their lives in the water,” she added. After two days of absorbing Miami’s vast stretch of delicious cuisines, invigorating cocktails and nightlife, the Jains visited their family in Orlando and continued their Florida adventure.
“Our agenda for the remaining week was to explore the best part of the city – its theme parks,” shared Mallika. This began with an extensive tour of the renowned Epcot Center. Devoid of roller coasters and parades, Epcot (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) features exhibits from all parts of the world, as well as from beyond it. Divided into two halves, one part of the park is devoted to everything from the future. An apt representation of this half is the futuristic looking Epcot symbol – the Spaceship Earth, which happens to be encased in Alucobond tiles. Future World treats its visitors to the park’s versions of modern technologies through a variety of rides and displays.
The other half is the World Showcase, which lets patrons experience the myriad cultures of up to 11 countries. Other attractions include live performances by Disney characters, a NASA-style shuttle simulator, acrobatic feats, laser shows, cuisines of the world, and much more. “We experienced the World Showcase of eight countries,” said Mallika, “and we even got to taste Coca-Cola from different countries; no two tastes were the same!” she added.
Next on the Jains’ list was Disney’s Hollywood Studios. “This amusement park was filled to the brim with rides that are based on movies, television, and theatre,” explained Mallika. “While the boys marvelled at the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and the Star Wars 3D ride, I had my fill with the beautifully organised plays and musical shows,” she shared.
Following the wild rides was the wildlife at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. As a family that enjoys trekking and experiencing the wild, the Jains revelled in the Discovery Island Trails, safari and wet river raft rides and, of course, the musicals. This theme park exploratory trip edged towards its conclusion with Universal Studios and the Magic Kingdom, a personal favourite of Mallika’s. “Visitors are able to meet the Disney characters, walk around Cinderella’s magnificent castle, sit through more thrilling rides and, finally, witness the Main Street Electrical Parade,” she reminisced. “At one of the final performances before the parade ended for good, we were lucky to experience this visual treat of glowing, spinning and gliding floats that were filled with our favourite characters. The fireworks finale made for a great ending,” she said.
Apart from experiencing almost all of Orlando’s theme parks, the family also made sure to get a good amount of shopping done, while devouring all kinds of international cuisines and an equal amount of junk food. “Never a dull moment, this was certainly one trip that was all about the essence of a perfect family holiday – spending quality time together and creating memories that we will cherish forever,” said Mallika. – as told to Roshni