A day of rest.
We decided to stay at the hotel today and sit by the pool. So, that is exactly what we did. Everyone is ready to go home, myself included. It has been a great week, even relaxing, at times. I would love to come back again someday. However, our next trip will be either California or Texas, but not in June! I will have to start planing for that now. First, I have a lot to do when I get home. Right before I left I was named the Varsity Girls Basketball Coach. I am very excited and terrified. I have big shoes to fill. I hope I am up for the challenge. I love the game and I love the girls, that is half the battle. We are also headed to my moms for the 4th. Big family gathering, very excited to see my cousins. I am sure I will have plenty more to write about after that. Always a good time for photo ops. Happy Saturday!
Wet and Wild and Harry Potter?... Again?...Yep!
Mickey Mouse can stuff it. Harry Potter World is the happiest place on earth. It is a true testament to how much my family loves me that they were all willing to go back there again today. I can't even explain what it feels like. I realize that I sound like a kid but for me Harry Potter was an escape in many ways. I needed somewhere I could go and just be happy. I found that in the Harry Potter books. Like when I had 2 babies born at the same time and a 20 month old baby at home. It was my escape into a magical world that may or may not exist. That is JK Rowlings true talent. I can tell you now that it really does exist. Like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, it's as real as it gets.
Enough about that. I hoped by telling you that perhaps I don't seem like such a raving lunatic. or maybe it made it worse. You can ask my mom. I see the world through rose colored glasses and at 39, I see no reason to take them off. Sure I get burned every now and again but I also believe in Karma. Wow. Tangent... So today Day 9. We started off at Wet and Wild. It too, like Aquatica, was a mad house. Kids went on maybe 2-3 slides but spent most of the time in the wave pool. I did get a lot of pictures today though. I love my camera, have I mentioned that. After we left there we headed to Islands of Adventure. First we stopped at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company for dinner, I think it was one of the est meals that we had all week. The kids, of course, having no idea who Forest Gump is. Then Matt and the kids rode the Hulk, again. I caught a glimpse of Spiderman. If I wouldn't have looked pathetic I would have had my picture taken with him, just for Carson. He would love it there. I told the kids that next time I am bringing him because no one would dance with me as we left City Walk, which is very cool, at night.
From Marvel we went to Harry Potter World and I went through the castle for a 3rd time. I could walk through a hundred times and never tire of it. I got some amazing photos of the castle and the kids were more than willing to pose for a photo op. I think they knew that I didn't want to leave. With my last Butterbeer and a heavy sigh, we left the park for the last time. I mentioned to the kids that over time things may change and Harry Potter World may not be there forever. In fact, their kids may never even know Harry Potter (I would never let that happen). Tyler informed me that he would never let that happen. He said he was going to have all the books and the movies so that his kids know who he is. very sweet. He also told Matt and I that he was going to have a roller coaster on his property (when he makes all his money with the Yankees) so he can ride it whenever he wants. He has such big dreams...Hey you never know.
Sea World Aquatica
We headed to Sea World's Aquatica Waterpark on Thursday. It was a little crazy. 90 something and about 100% humidity. Kids had a good time. I didn't take too many pictures. I figure sometimes that's okay. I sat by the pool in the shade and read a couple of books. I did get in the water a couple of times. You really had to or you might melt. After we returned home Arael and I went in search of Chinese food, at 10:30pm. We did find it but the place we found was closing and did not have any of the kind that either of us like. Luckily, since Arael and I have such a great sense of direction...cough, cough... we did make it back to the room. Matt only text once to see if we were okay, so I figure that was a good sign. Today we are headed to Wet and Wild...maybe. Depends on what the kids want to do. I think they may be all parked out. We will be flying home on Sunday.
Universal Studios and Sunshine.
Had another great day today and there was sunshine all day. Now having said that our days do not start until noon or later but we are on vacation, right? Right. We hit Universal today thinking that it might not be too crowded because the day did start with rain and it really wasn't too bad. The kids went on some crazy roller coaster that went straight up and then straight down. Matt lost his sunglasses. Apparently he thought they would stay on his face. Not. Matt and the boys hit almost every other ride while Arael and I went to the stores and tried to stay cool. We watched the parade and went to the horror make-up show. Despite my aversion to horror movies it was pretty good. I should have taken Justin.
We then had dinner at Mel's diner. Arael thought that it was a pretty cool place. A diner from the 50's, who would have thought that it would appeal to a teenager. Oh my, I do have a teenager don't I. After dinner we made our way to the Men In Black ride. It was pretty cool. Matt, Zach and I are the only ones to have seen it. The other 3 will probably watch it now. All in all Universal Islands of Adventure is way better and I am not just saying that because harry Potter is there. We bought the last of our Universal stuff, as we won't be going back. A Butter Beer sounds pretty good right now...hmmm. We picked up Cinnabuns before we left and will have them for breakfast. Tomorrow we are off to Sea World Aquatica. A water park. Now that it has stopped raining we are going to go to a water park. We have one more park to hit after that and that is Wet and Wild. I think Saturday we may just stay and sit by the pool. Until tomorrow.
Sea World and The Golden Coral
It was raining again when we got up but we went to Sea World anyway. The sun did eventually come out and I hope the main part of the Hurricane is behind us. We rode all 3 of the rides at Sea World and Matt got nauseous on the Manta and I am far too old for any other them. I got a pep talk from Tyler before every coaster. We saw the Shamu show before we left and them headed to the Golden Coral for dinner. Matt says that it is Ponderosa on steroids. The kids loved it. Tyler now wants his own chocolate fountain. We are stuffed and in for an early night. Until Tomorrow.
Rain...Hurricane...Harry Potter and more.
Well, we got up to a down pour. If I had not had reservations at the Three Broom Sticks, I believe we would have stayed here at the hotel. So we got up and made our way to Universal Islands of Adventure. We bought ponchos as we entered the park and arrived right on time for our 9:30 breakfast. Now the bad news is that it was raining. However, Matt said "if we are given lemons..." you know the saying.So, after breakfast we went back to the Castle. I snuck past with my camera and all my stuff with Matt and the kids. No one bothered to stop me. I took my time and took about a hundred pictures. Look, I may not come back here again. If took me forever and Matt and the kids rode the ride and waited for me in the rain to finish. That right there is love. Not one of them complained about how long I took. I suspect Matt threatened them but still... After the castle the boys went on the Dragon Challenge (again) while Matt waited and Arael and I went to Honeydukes (again) This time I bought a cauldron cake, a pumpkin pasty and a chocolate wand. But before I left I had to get a Butter Beer and the mug it came in. It was delicious. It is definitely a magical place and I am glad I finally got there.
From there we ventured over to Jurassic Park. The kids rode with Matt and then again with me. Best part about the rain was no lines. The boys then went to ride Spiderman and Arael and I went to find a locker because I bought too much HP stuff to carry around anymore. Then Arael had an airbrushed shirt made with her name on it. Poor kid searches in vain for her name to appear somewhere. I knew it when I named her and I did it anyway. Some day she will like being unique. After we did that we went to the Nascar Sports Grill. The only picture I took in there was of Hideki Matsui , signed Yankee World Series jersey. Pretty cool. The boys caught up with us after riding the Hulk and had lunch. Arael and I paid and then went to get our tattoos. Hers is a flower and mine is a...guess... Yep 4 leafed clover. It will last about a week.
We then decided since it was pouring again ( the sun had come out briefly) we were going to go back to the hotel and swim. We were already wet and it was hot out. It rains like crazy and is still 90 degrees with humidity. Ruins my hair. Anyway. Made dinner in and went to bed. I think Day 6 we will try Sea World. Until then.
It is kinda hard to plan anything when we are eating breakfast at the Waffle House at noon. Just saying. Arael has been a little grumpy in the morning she told Matt, "this is what you get for waking me before 1030." Matt said,"So anything before noon is no good." Arael "Pretty much."
So we went to breakfast and then to the grocery store. I am going to make dinner tonight. We are going to have some family bonding time. If the kids make it out alive it will be a miracle. For some reason they are finding a lot of things to complain about. I think next time Matt and I will come alone. That is if I can find some poor sole to take them.
I think I figured out why we lose Zach all the time. He wanders. If he sees something that he wants a closer look at he just goes. Kinda like "squirrel!" and he's gone. I think twice yesterday he was missing for about 15 seconds. That is how long it takes for your heart to completely stop. It's all good, the absent minded professor may have to get a leash or something...
Kids want to swim so Matt and I ate gonna flip a coin and see who gets to sit in the rain with them.
First time at Harry Potter World
Well, I finally got there. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. My only complaint was that I couldn't take my camera into the castle. However, you know me this is a Harry Potter photo opportunity and we will be going back Monday so... we shall see.
I have to tell you that I felt like a kid who was given there wildest thing that their imagination could come up with. It's pretty sad when you are waiting in line and your kids say "we are almost the the castle mom." They know how crazy I am about the whole thing. The one ride I did go on was pretty amazing. I did take some pictures with my phone but not the same. Even though we were only there for 6 hours we got a lot done, even had lunch at the Three Broomsticks. Tyler got picked out of 20 people to have the wand choosing experience, which I MISSED!! I let Matt take him in. They only choose 1 person, what are the chances. Now Tyler has a Tyler Scott wand. Pretty cool. Tyler is pretty happy about the whole thing.
We are back at the hotel and the kids wasted no time getting to the pool. Until tomorrow.
The Plane, the Pool, checking into the hotel and Wonder Works.
Okay, so the plane left at 7am and we were on it but barely. We left our hotel on the shuttle at 6am. I had already printed our boarding passes, so all we had to do was check in our bags curbside and get through security. Of course they had to run my bags through more than once along with Justin and Zachary bags. Turns out too much candy in your bag obstructs the view of everything else.
So we arrived at our gate at 635 but we all had to pee and we had not eaten anything yet. They close the gate at 645 we were cutting it close. I went to the snack bar that was right next to our gate, after I went pee, and got a few pastries for the kids. I think 3 people got check out before this woman had my order ready, 3 bottles of water and 6 pastries. She was slower than death. We were the last 6 people to board that plane and right before we did they called for the final boarding. We flew Jet Blue and it was wonderful. Plenty of room even for Matt and his long legs. We had a direct flight to Orlando and landed at 930. There is no other way to fly. It took another hour and a half to get our luggage and van. The kids all want a mini-van now. Matt said that there was no mini-van in their future.
We arrived at the hotel around 1130and our room was not ready. We had lunch at the poolside cafe and the kids swam until our room was ready. Arael's gift had not yet arrived and we waited patiently. Once it did it was kind of anticlimactic. There was too much talk and hype about it and she's 13, maybe she was expecting a car, I don't know. After they all devoured the fruit baskets we headed to Wonder Works in Orlando rush hour traffic in our mini-van. 5 miles in traffic of "are we almost there." Really.
Wonder Works is a pretty cool place I tried to get the kids to go earlier since we had paid for the day. Once we got there they had a ball. The magic comedy show was great with all you can eat pizza and salad and all you can drink soda, beer and wine. After the show we went inside the museum?, I guess you could call it that.
They all laid on a bed of nails and all the boys pitched to Derek Jeter, they walked him 4 times. Arael and Justin experienced Hurricane Katrina and they all played the life sized piano. The twins did mind ball and Justin beat him, Zach was over thinking it. They were at a stale mate for a long time almost identical brain waves then Justin let it go. Arael and Zach went and Arael beat him in about 15 seconds. She has almost flat line brain waves... must be because she is a teenager. Poor Zach did not stand a chance.
All in all we had a great day 2 and are about to start the 3rd. We may head to Harry Potter World, I am not sure I can handle the excitement. Well this is assuming I can get my teenager out of bed. Wow, a teenagee
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Thank you for understanding.