Located in Orlando, Florida, Marriott’s Harbour Lake is surrounded by the magic and thrill of one of the world’s favorite family vacation destinations, but with hourly activities, pools, board games, mini golf, water fun zones, and sports who wants to leave the property? I’ve gone to theme parks and left frustrated, tired, and stressed and that’s not to mention the financial drain of tickets, parking, dining, and extras. I thought about visiting one of the major parks while in Orlando, Florida but I decided to skip the stress and enjoy the amenities and activities on-site. Marriott’s Harbour Lake is like summer camp for the entire family.
In one day, I was able to play big family volleyball, water balloon toss, mini-golf, and basketball. In between those activities, I relaxed in the pool, played on the water slide, and splashed in the water fun zone. Hourly resort activities made the planning easy and when I didn’t want to participate in one of the events, I could do what I wanted. There was no waiting in lines, no over-priced tickets or trinkets, and no paid parking.
It had been two years since I played basketball. I hadn’t even noticed that an activity that was a huge part of my entire life hadn’t existed for a long time. The empty court was calling my name. I picked up a basketball and rolled it around in my hands. Dribbling to the three point line, I prepared for a shot. I lined up and… air ball. Wow! That was embarrassing. I hope no one was watching. Nope, wait! There is an entire field full of people right there. And they are in fact watching closely. I gave a little wave to the activity coordinator who was looking in my direction and just witness my epic failure of a shot. He waved back and smiled . Most likely, he was thinking, “what an idiot.” Fortunately, it didn’t take long to get into a groove and within five minutes I was sinking shots left and right.
Two men, a few years younger than me, noticed that I was playing and they asked if I wanted to play a game. They were guests of Harbour Lake, attending a family reunion. We played three different games and I won two of them. Proud of my accomplishments, I quit while I was ahead. It felt great to roll the ball off of my finger tips again. The sound of the ball hitting the backboard is the sound of my childhood. When I get back to North Carolina, I might look into a house league that I can join. I’d hate to go another two years without a basketball touching my hands.
Rather than asking my new friends if they’d like to play mini golf with me, I played on my own. My recent golf lesson in Dominican Republic was of no use to me on the putting green, but I did manage to do okay. I didn’t keep score or keep track of the course. I just relaxed and practiced different swings, enjoying the sound of a course waterfall and letting the breeze cool me off.
Both Big Family Volleyball and Water Balloon Toss were for the whole family. Kids and adults played as if age didn’t exist. Watching children soak their parents with water balloons made me wish Athena had joined me on this trip. They offer too much for her to miss out. I didn’t attend any of the 9 am activities but they are designed specifically for toddlers. She would have a field day at Bubble Bonanza or Tot Tunes. I’m certain that I’ll take her back here with me. This trip was the preliminary trail and gave me a chance to test out the best of all activities. When we return, we can focus on the most fun ones for her.
If I could create an adult or family summer camp, I’d model it after the activities at Marriott’s Harbour Lake. I’m actually not sure why that’s not a real concept. Are there family summer camps? Do they exist in North Carolina? I’m going to look into it. That might be something to add to next year’s list.
*This journey was made possible with help from Marriott Vacation Club; however, as you probably know by now, all opinions & thoughts are my own.*