Tag Archives | JW Marriott

3 Weeks until ILCA 2012! {my stomach is growling…}

Written by Amber McCann, IBCLC

In addition to getting there and finding fun things to do, all ILCA 2012 Conference attendees will need to EAT!  While Orlando and the surrounding area offer endless options for dining, our conference hotel, the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes, offers tons of food options.  I’ve spent days reading reviews and menus and we are certainly in for a treat!

Photo via JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes

Dining at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes

  • Primo – I fashion myself a “foodie” and am only a wee bit (OK, a LOT bit) excited to dine at Primo.  Chef Melissa Kelly, the co-owner and executive chef, boasts an impressive resume but what really makes my heart swoon is the fact that the restaurant has their own organic garden to supply their kitchens…that and the thought of warm goat cheese flan with herb roasted tomatoes inspires a reservation on my part.  Care to join me?
  • Citron, An American Brasserie – While a “brasserie” is typically a casual, upscale restaurant, don’t you think it is a fitting name for a place where lactation consultants will gather all week?  All kidding aside, this restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and “word on the street” is that their breakfast buffet is the place to be with made-to-order omelettes, waffles and pancakes.
  • The Lobby Lounge – Need a mid-afternoon snack or a late evening drink?  This spot looks to be just the right place to ask a few more questions of your favorite speaker, discuss options for new support procedures with colleagues, and get to know a new IBCLC friend.
  • Quench  Poolside Bar & Grill – Too relaxed in the Lazy River to bother getting dressed and make a reservation?  No problem.  Food and drinks, poolside.  ‘Nuf said.
  • Café Bodega – Need a quick little something on your way to your next session?  Hungry for a quick breakfast?  This little “grab-and go café” will suit your needs.
  • Starbucks Café – Starbucks coffee might as well be the national drink of the USA (and it surely flows through my veins).  You’ll find me and hundreds of my closest friend there each morning!  In fact, you can bid on a $30 Starbucks gift card in the ILCA silent auction that has been donated by Starfish Lactation (surely enough to feed your addiction for the entirety of the conference!).

Photo by LancerE via Flickr

For even more dining options, conference attendees can sign up to go to Pointe Orlando on Saturday evening (July 28).  There are 16 different restaurant options there including B. B. Kings Blues Cafe, Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar, Johnny Rockets, and The Capital Grill.  Round trip shuttle service is available for $15 USD and more information can be found in the conference brochure.  What a great opportunity to meet new people!

If you’d like to purchase your own food, there is a Walgreens (pharmacy and convenience store) just off of the hotel property within walking distance and a Costco within 2 miles.

Make sure that you stop by the ILCA Lounge to mingle and perhaps meet up with people to make plans for dinner.  It will be open until 6pm each evening so come, meet your friends, and make dinner plans. I know I will.  Sushi anyone?

Amber McCann, IBCLC

Amber McCann, IBCLC is a  board certified lactation consultant in private practice with Nourish Breastfeeding Support, just outside if Washington, DC and the co-editor of this blog.  She is particularly interested in connecting with mothers through social media channels and teaching others in her profession to do the same.  In addition to her work here, she has written for a number of other breastfeeding support blogs including The Leaky Boob and Best for Babes and served on the Communications Team for GOLD Conference . When she’s not furiously composing tweets (follow her at @iamambermccann) or updating her Facebook page, she’s probably snuggling with one of her three children or watching terrible reality TV. 

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4 Weeks until ILCA 2012! {Fun Things to Do!}

Written by Amber McCann, IBCLC

As I look over the 2012 ILCA Conference Brochure, I can barely fathom having the time or energy to partake in anything other than conference sessions, meals and a few precious hours of sleep.  But, as many of you have let me know, taking advantage of FUN activities is an essential part of the experience.  Many of you have shared how the conference was often the “springboard” for a great vacation.

Lazy River

with permission from JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes

In last week’s post, I shared about how the “Lazy River” at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes was mentioned often to me as a highlight of the Orlando ILCA experience.  I’ve already had one request to meet with a colleague while lounging, tube rafts hooked together with a heel, gliding down the river.  If you have never had the opportunity to experience this kind of water feature, you are in for a treat.  Typically, the river consists of shallow, heated water (approximately 3 feet or a little less than 1 meter) with a slight current.  You can walk, glide, swim or ride one of the provided rafts.  So, if you have a bit of time and are in need of some relaxation, come join me on the Lazy River.

The Ritz-Carlton Spa

with permission from JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes

At the moment, while my house is a bit of a wreck and my schedule is jammed packed for the rest of the week, the thought of an hour or few at a spa seems like bliss.  Fortunately for those attending the 2012 ILCA Conference, there is a world class spa on the Grande Lakes property.  The Ritz-Carlton Spa is offering conference attendees 15% off all services (make reservations here). Deluxe Reflexology Pedicure, anyone?

Medieval Times

Photo by Brian Wilkins via Flickr Creative Commons

Need a bit of lighthearted fun?  Need to eat with no utensils?  Need to cheer on your team in a jousting battle to the death?  Medieval Times is the place for you! As conference attendees, we have been offered a 50% off coupon to Medieval Times.  Go grab some friends, raise your glass and become a royal princess…if only for the evening.

Local Activities

And, if all of this isn’t enough, ILCA has partnered with Hello Florida® to provide tickets and tours to conference attendees at a discount. Tour dates and pricing can be found at here.  Some of the options include a Sunset Gator Hunt, Seaworld Select Tour, Backstage Safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Wonderwork’s Tour, and a Dave and Buster’s Family Night! Tours will be available from Friday, July 27 through Wednesday, August 1, 2012 and the deadline is July 1st so make your reservations this week!

Photo by Miss Kels via Flickr Creative Commons

Of course, there’s always “the happiest place on earth”…

See you in 4 weeks at ILCA 2012! 

Amber McCann, IBCLC

Amber McCann, IBCLC is a  board certified lactation consultant in private practice with Nourish Breastfeeding Support, just outside if Washington, DC and the co-editor of this blog.  She is particularly interested in connecting with mothers through social media channels and teaching others in her profession to do the same.  In addition to her work here, she has written for a number of other breastfeeding support blogs including The Leaky Boob and Best for Babes and served on the Communications Team for GOLD Conference . When she’s not furiously composing tweets (follow her at @iamambermccann) or updating her Facebook page, she’s probably snuggling with one of her three children or watching terrible reality TV. 

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5 Weeks until ILCA 2012! {How do I get there and where do I stay?}

Written by Amber McCann, IBCLC

Now that we’ve all registered for the 2012 ILCA Conference and are ready to PARTY, it is time to figure out how we’re going to actually get ourselves and suitcases there and make arrangements for where we’re going to stay.

Kuster & Wildhaber Photography via Flick

One of the things that most excites me about the conference is sharing moments with IBCLCs from all over the globe.  I imagine everyone gathering together and “traveling by map”, just like in last summer’s movie about the Muppets.  In reality, we will come by car, by truck, by airplane, by train and even by pumpkin-turned-into-regal-coach, just like the Disney princesses who will be our neighbors for the week!

For those arriving by plane, you will touch down at the Orlando International Airport.  From there, you will need to arrange transportation to our conference hotel, the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes.  As the hotel does not provide shuttle transportation, here are some options:

  • Car Rental companies can be found in Terminal A and Terminal B on the Ground Transportation level of the airport.  Avis is offering ILCA members a special rate by calling 1-800-331-1600 and using our Worldwide Discount Number (WDN) B159234.  You can also make a reservation on their website.  Please remember, if you are renting a car, there is a daily parking fee at the hotel ($18/day for self-serve, $24/day for valet).
  • Taxis can be found on both the A and B sides of the Main Terminal on the Ground Transportation level and will charge approximately $50 (one way) to get you to the hotel.  Taxis can carry up to 9 passengers for the same rate so keep your eyes peeled for others sporting ILCA lapel pins and ask if you can share a ride!
  • Shuttle Companies provide transportation from the same A and B sides of the Main Terminal as the taxis.  These services offer both one-way and round-trip pricing per person.  Click here for a coupon for Mears Shuttle Service from vipautoshipping.com ($26 round-trip) but RESERVATION IS REQUIRED!

Used with permission by JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes

I will freely admit that I’m kind of in love with staying in hotels.  I’m perfectly happy in my own home, where sleep typically involves sharing my space with the pointy elbow of my 8 year old or with its lack of covers, stolen by a sleepy husband.  But…I love to walk into the open {clean} space of a new hotel room and spread my arms out wide while tossing myself onto the bed {that I don’t have to share}.  I like walking the halls, riding the elevators, exploring all the spaces.  When I first saw photos of the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes,  I about fell over with glee.

Used with permission by JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes

Hopefully, you’ve already made your reservation and, if not, there is still time (the deadline is June 26).  You can do so by calling 1-800-266-9432 (be sure to tell them that you are participating in the 2012 ILCA Conference) or by using their online reservation system.  This will entitle you to a special US$165 single/double room discounted rate, which is valid July 22 through August 1, 2012.

The discounted room rate includes:

  • High-speed and Wi-Fi Internet access (50% discount for ILCA conference attendees)
  • Work desk with lamp
  • 32″ flat-screen HD LCD Television
  • Weekday newspaper delivery
  • Complimentary in-room coffee and tea
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Hairdryer
  • In-room laptop compatible safe
  • ILCA Attendees will receive a 15% discount at the Ritz Carlton Spa on any services booked. (I’ll be sharing more info about the spa in an upcoming post!)

As I’m coming to the conference by myself, I was interested in sharing a room with another IBCLC.  Fortunately, I was able to connect with another ILCA volunteer and I’m looking forward to getting to know her.  I work in private practice and she with WIC so I’m sure we’ll spend our time exploring a bit about how the other supports breastfeeding mothers.  If you are interested in finding someone with whom to share a room, check out the Conference Related Items in the ILCA Forums.

And, finally, if there is one thing I have heard that I MUST NOT MISS, it is the “Lazy River” at the hotel.  I will be sharing more details in an upcoming post but apparently it is THE PLACE TO BE! Check out this video for just a little taste…I’m relaxed already!

Join me again for next week’s conference post when we’ll be talking about all the great activities you can choose and fun to do outside of the conference!

Amber McCann, IBCLC is a  board certified lactation consultant in private practice with Nourish Breastfeeding Support, just outside if Washington, DC and the co-editor of this blog.  She is particularly interested in connecting with mothers through social media channels and teaching others in her profession to do the same.  In addition to her work here, she has written for a number of other breastfeeding support blogs including The Leaky Boob and Best for Babes and served on the Communications Team for GOLD Conference . When she’s not furiously composing tweets (follow her at @iamambermccann) or updating her Facebook page, she’s probably snuggling with one of her three children or watching terrible reality TV. 

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