Learning to Fly: Confessions of an Irish Dancer

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to fly. 

And when I was 7 years old, I figured out how I could do it. 

I was sitting in the audience of a local Irish dance show at a small theater across the street from the Grand Ole Opry. My neighbor just started Irish dance lessons, and I was excited to see her on a big stage.

As soon as the stage lights turned on, I was mesmerized. The dance number was titled “Dance Above the Rainbow,” and I sat at the edge of my seat, enviously watching girls my age twirl and leap in colorful capes across the stage.

I quickly caught myself bouncing out of my chair and tapping my black dress shoes on the floor, making up my own beats to what I described as, “fairy music.” The dance was the most magical thing I had ever seen, and my mouth dropped as tears filled my eyes.

These girls could fly.

I wanted to fly.

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A Very Happy Birthday: Catie Bee Style

AREN’T BIRTHDAYS JUST THE BEST.

Celebrated my 24th birthday over the weekend with my twin sister, parents, friends, and of course, delicious Mexican food.

My husband organized a birthday party for me at Uncle Julio’s in Brentwood, which was a blast! I picked a Catie Bee theme that included gold, black, and white decorations. My mom even helped me bake a Catie Bee cake, which was scrumptious and turned out WAY better than I expected.

It was a hap-bee birthday indeed!

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Disney Cruise Line: Sense Spa Review/Tips

I’m always up for some serious pampering, especially when it includes a view of the ocean. 

So even before boarding the ship, I was prepared and excited to check out Disney Magic’s spa – specially the massages.

On the first day of the cruise, Senses Spa & Salon raffled like, $200 worth of spa services (don’t quote me on that, I can’t remember the actual amount). My husband and I rushed to participate, but we were a few minutes too late. (Free tip #1: Don’t be late to the spa raffle).

A staff member gave us a great tour of the entire spa. At the end of the tour, she escorted us into a room that included a fancy villa with a whirlpool, a bed, and a verandah overlooking the ocean. It reminded me of those spa rooms you see in resort commercials where this beautiful biracial couple laugh and drink something fruity and caress each other while overlooking the ocean. The place was breathtaking.

She explained the fancy villa is where the Couple’s Choice takes place – an experience that includes whirlpool time, couples massage, tea, and fruit.

“Wow, that sounds really nice,” my husband said, mesmerized by idea of being pampered.

While delighted that my husband seemed enthusiastic about the Couples’s Choice, it was more than I wanted to spend at the spa. Still interested in other treatments, I asked about massages, and she gave us both a mini sample of various types of massages.  That’s when I fell in love with the hot stone massage – and booked it immediately.

The next morning, I returned to the spa for my hot stone massage – which was excellent. Perfect temperature, pressure, etc. Highly recommend it. Afterwards, the friendly massage therapist gave feedback to help treat my shoulder and back pains. I left practically bouncing with joy around the ship – feeling happier and more relaxed than I had in a long time.


After hearing about my massage and seeing how thrilled I was with the experience overall, my husband reflected on the tour and remained very impressed with the couple’s villa and the professional/friendly spa staff.

To my surprise, he suggested we splurge and try Couple’s Choice. Excited, we ran back to the spa and booked the villa to enjoy during one of the mornings at sea.

Couple’s Choice is a 130-minute experience, which includes:
Spa treatment rooms (the massage area and the verandah)
Couples massage (75 minutes)
Private verandah
Personal whirlpool
Open air shower
Roman bed with canopy
Tea Ceremony
Foot Cleansing Ceremony
Fruit plate (including chocolate-covered strawberries)

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The morning of our treatment, a staff member escorted us to the changing rooms where we were provided with robes and sandals. Massage therapists led us to the Couple’s villa and did an individual consultation as well as recommended/personalized different treatments – Swedish, bamboo, hot stone massage, or you can simply pick from a list of whatever sounds nice to you. Since I had such an amazing experience with my previous massage, I picked the hot stone massage – as did my husband.

Our treatment began with a foot scrub and 40 minutes in the whirlpool.  During this time, the massage therapist prepares for the massages while we relaxed. After our heavenly hot stone massages, we returned to the verandah where we ate chocolate-covered fruit, drank tea, and shared how wonderful our massage was with each other.

We absolutely loved our experience at the spa – especially Couple’s Choice.


Here are the 10 SENSES SPA TIPS:

1. Book in advanced
If you can, book your spa treatments before boarding the ship. This definitely applies to those who have previous experience at the Senses Spa. If you are still uncertain about different treatments (like we were), then don’t miss the Senses Spa Open House the first day of your cruise so you can book your appointments ASAP.

2. Take the tour

Unless you are certain you are NOT going to have spa treatments in the budget or itinerary, take the tour of the entire facility.  You will be impressed with the services they offer, and the staff was very friendly and professional.

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Travel Diary: Disney Cruise

My husband and I enjoyed our first Disney Cruise!

(Saying “first” because we plan on going again – it was so marvelous).

If you know me, you know I hate cold weather. I can’t stand it.

So being on a Disney cruise in the middle of January was a dream come true.

The 5-night Western Caribbean cruise (Ship : Magic) was a perfect Christmas gift from my husband. I had never experienced a Disney cruise before, and we (mostly just me) were excited to escape the gray, cold winter and bask in the sun in the middle of the glistening ocean!

We traveled to Cozumel Mexico then sailed away to Castaway Cay (Disney’s private island). We also spent two fun-filled days at sea enjoying shows, musicals, trivia, bingo, movie theatre, spa, adult-only pool, and nightclubs.

We were thrilled to find plenty of activities for adults-only, (especially for Disney-lovers traveling without children!) To be quite honest, I’m convinced adults have more fun than the kids on a Disney cruise!

disneycruiseOther than a few nights of rocky waters (which resulted in a little bit of sea sickness), everything was perfect – including the weather, food, and even Disney Cruise Line (DCL) cast members.

One of our favorite aspects of the cruise was meeting DCL cast members from around the world. Each one we met was friendly, energetic, and happy to answer any questions we had about cruise activities or port excursions.

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While we loved so many experiences on our cruise, the highlights were:

– Watching fireworks at sea on Pirate Night
– Relaxing at the spa’s Couple Villa
– Snorkeling in Cozumel
– Eating (pretty much all the time)
– Irish dancing at the ship’s pub
– Seeing the shows (specifically the magic/comedy shows)
– Laying out by Quiet Cove (adult-only pool)

More specific blog posts coming soon (spa, pirate night, adult activities, etc.) But for now… here are some photos and a fun video of our wonderful cruise! Enjoy!

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“Look Mom, I’m on ‘Walt Disney World Jobs’!”

First of all, Happy (belated) New Year!

The first fews weeks of 2017 has been pretty exciting for me.

Last week, one of my Instagram posts ended up on Walt Disney World Jobs AND Walt Disney World – LinkedIn.

(Truly a dream come true).

It has inspired me to write a blog post about Disney Traditions Tips… coming soon.

But for now, I’m going to enjoy this:

“Traditions, our cast member orientation, is where your Disney journey starts!”

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Photography: Ashlyn Lillibridge

Happy Holidays from Catie Bee

Happy Holidays to YOU!

My husband Wes and I are thrilled to be celebrating Christmas and Chanukah with loved ones.

Last week, Wes found a Groupon for a holiday family/pet photoshoot.  Our cat Abu was a little scared of the whole thing, but we love our photos + our little family. What a precious gift.

For the past few days we have been visiting my husband’s family in West Virginia. Today we travel to Nashville where my siblings and parents are baking Chanukah cookies and belting Christmas jams with the karaoke machine. We look forward to opening gifts from Santa and lighting the menorah!

Wishing you a peaceful and joyous holiday! May your days be filled with yummy food, fuzzy socks, and good people.

Love,
Catie, Wes, and Abu

Dirt Figure Skating: A Memory

In third grade I spent most of my recess time alone, dizzy and sweaty from spinning on the tire swing that hung from a giant tree on the playground.

“Dirt Figure Skating” is what I called it, as I pretended to be a champion figure skater like Michelle Kwan or Sasha Cohen with my own peculiar versions of axel-jumps and carry lifts above the dirt. My teachers observed from a distance, chuckling and shaking their heads, “There goes Catie…”

I coughed as my lungs filled with the cloud of dust and dirt that enveloped me, but I continued to make up new moves and turns. My stomach against the core of the tire, I felt the delicate touch of the warm sun on my neck while humming tunes from The Little Mermaid II.

Closing my eyes and then opening them again quickly, I wished my fairy god-mother would show up on the playground and change my black Mary Janes into beautiful white skates. I had this idea she would only grant my wish when I wasn’t looking, and so I kept my eyes closed hoping I’d have something to brag about when I returned to class.

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