Saturday, October 29, 2011

My Floridian Va-kate-tion

In January of 2008, my friend Katie and I took a vacation to New York City. You can read about our adventures here.

A few months later, I moved to Kenya, turned 26 and made a list of 30 Things which included #4 Go on another vacation with Katie.

As my 29th birthday approached, we crossed that item off the list with a trip to Orlando, Florida.

We left really, really early on the morning of my birthday (Monday, the 24th).
When we landed in Florida and checked in to our hotel, we headed out to dinner at Macaroni Grill. (We hadn't eaten in about twelve hours...a chain restaurant would have to do.)

As we were waiting for our check, the lights went out. Not just flickered-on-and-off and then came back on...actually shut off. And not just that one restaurant...the entire block...and both sides of the street.

Katie said it created a little birthday ambiance.The next morning we were at Universal Studios when they opened.
Oh, have I mentioned that we went to Florida to see the Harry Potter Land at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure? Well, that's what drew us to Florida.

I knew that there were very few people in my life that would allow me to walk through this park at my desired pace...and Katie is, most definitely, one of them.

As we walked under the Welcome to Hogsmeade sign,
we saw it: The Hogwarts Express.


We wandered from shop to shop...




As soon as we saw The Three Broomsticks, we knew that's where we'd have lunch.
Kicked off the morning with a little Butterbeer.


And stood in line (in the queue) to be fit for a wand at Ollivander's Wand Shop.

The window displays were so detailed:
Quidditch supplies and World Cup paraphernalia.

Gilderoy Lockhart books and (moving) photographs.
And then we entered Ollivander's...
So many wands to choose from!
Including those of each main character.
We had to test them out, of course.
I chose Sirius' wand, since he's my favorite.
Katie fell in love with the Gryffindor robes

The Monster Book of Monsters
Stopped for photos with the school choir

Finally, we made it to Hogwarts.
Before taking the tour (and riding the ride), we decided to grab some lunch back in The Three Broomsticks.


The Hog's Head (next door)

After lunch (fish and chips and roasted chicken), we made our way back to Hogwarts.


Hall of (talking) portraits
Dumbledore's office
DumbledoreDragon skeleton
Harry, Ron and Hermione greeting the guests
The Fat Lady
Notice Board & Daily Prophet
Marauder's Map
We walked back from the castle, decided to take a break from the park to see the 7th movie (again)...

A few hours later, we did one more park walk-through.
Sirius' wanted poster
We spent the following day at Epcot enjoying the Food and Wine Festival: taster-sized servings of food from around the world--Ireland's Fisherman's Pie was the best! And finished the evening with a FREE BoyzIIMen concert. (Such a delight!)

Our trip was short, but really fun.
I love traveling with Katie.
We've already begun conversations about our 20-year Friendiversary Trip (which is only about three years away!)

5 comments :

thehootingmind said...

awesome trip...more years of friendship :)

CCTVkarachi said...

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myrtle said...

OH my! that was really an amazing trip.
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myrtle said...

Great! what a wonderful trip indeed.=D
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Aegis Excelsior said...

WOW....is this real?....seems like another Harry Potter script!of course minus the magical part...Lol...beautiful...