Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Finally Florida

Ok, if this post were a school assignment I would get an F- for tardiness!
PHEW! Good thing that's not the case.

Once upon a time I flew to Orlando, Florida with Madre, Dad and my brother Pete for a week of fun in the sun.

Look how beautiful the fall leaves are from the plane!

Passing time on the plane. Madre loves Sudoku. I do not love Sudoku.

We finally arrived at the Orlando airport. Classy!

AND...We made it safely to our beautiful hotel!

We got new towel art in our room everyday. It was so fun to see all of the Disney things you can make out of towels. Like origami in terrycloth.

Then we all went to Epcot to spend the rest of our daylight hours in educationally adventurous ways. This is Madre's favorite ride.
I guess it is pretty cool...if you're into that kinda thing ;)

See the rest of our Epcot adventures HERE

The next evening, after church, we took a leisurely walk along The Boardwalk.

If I marry a rich man, I will submit that we come here for our least for one night. It's pretty much paradise.

Did I mention our hotel pool is also fabulous. It's HUGE and has sand in the bottom, so it's like you're swimming in the ocean...ok, not really, but it's a fun feature. Madre and I soaked up some Florida rays here a lot during the week.

The view from our room.

The next day after breakfast, Madre and I walked around the hotel and The Boardwalk. But this time we took our time looking in all of the fun little shops and restaurants they have...You know, something the guys would speed through.

This is Iron Chef Cat Cora's restaurant on The Boardwalk - Kouzzina.
We didn't eat here, but it was fun to peek inside.

Boardwalk Candy Shop...looking back, it reminds me of a less busy version of Honeydukes...minus the magical candies, of course.

She's cute, huh? :) I really like her fact, I love her!
AND it's her birthday today!

Happy Birthday, cute Mom!

Oh yes. We did.
A cheesecake brownie from the Boardwalk Bakery.
We chose to eat it in phases, cause it was very rich.

Then we met this strange little fella swimming around in the water. I admit, I have never seen a turtle with a snout like that. Maybe he's mutated because of all of the boat fuel in the water. *GASP*

Mutant Turtle!! Why does that ring a bell? ;)

A view of our lovely hotel.

...and it's amazing lobby. 

At first glance this appears to be a picture of wood chips, which it is...but if look a little closer you'll see a tiny li'l fella that's probably the length of my lens cap...from his nose to the tip of his tail. So precious! :)

Haha! Clever, Disney.

Another origami crustacean creation...I think.

That evening we were blessed to enjoy an evening at Islands of Adventure sponsored by the company that was hosting Dad and Pete's conference.

And that, my friends, was actually my first look at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I have to say, the whole thing is 10 times more magical at night! The castle is all lit up and Hogsmeade has that spooky atmosphere that we all love. It is just simply breath-taking as far as magic goes AND if I had thought to bring my SLR and not my point & shoot I would've been able to get better pictures for you to see.

Even then, we kinda sped through, because Dad is a) not an HP fan and b) the kinda guy that likes to pack in as much as he can...can't blame him for that.
It's really not a bad technique for sight-seeing vacations, but for Harry Potter World I just wanted to soak it all in. So, luckily, he let Madre and I go by ourselves the next day. What a guy! Really, I owe every second of this amazing vacation to him. Thanks, Dad!

Oh yes. That IS the Mirror of Erised.
What I saw when I looked into it?
Me holding my SLR instead of my point & shoot :(

The Sorting Hat giving us instructions about the ride.

We ate some yummy food at The Three Broomsticks and this was dessert:
Pumpkin Juice, which to me tastes like wassel and to Madre tastes like liquid pumpkin pie, and PB&J ice cream, which Dad hated. It's strawberry ice cream with peanut butter chunks in it. It wasn't horrible, just unique.

I'm pretty sure the rest of the park was empty this night. Harry Potter World was packed, but it was fun to see all the cute business people buying butterbeer and soaking in the magic like children. The more the merrier, right?

Ah, Honeydukes. What fun.

After watching Poseidon's Fury (ride/show) and going on The Hulk roller coaster (brilliant) and The Spiderman 3D ride (also, brilliant) the lovely night came to an end. I have to say, I could really get used to free theme park food 24/7 :)

LOOK! We met your friendly neighborhood Spiderman!

The next day was our official HARRY POTTER DAY! Madre and I went while Pete and Dad went to their many meetings and conferences. Literally the only time Madre and I spent in the other parts of Island of Adventure was merely walking through as fast as our legs would carry us to Hogwarts. Sad, but true.

Dad thought we were pitiful, but we had a blast!

Here's yet another Food Network star's restaurant! Emeril Lagasse!

Behold, THE HULK! The best roller coaster I've ever been on...which isn't saying much, cause I haven't been on too many, but it IS awesome!

Marvel land - Land of spandex and super powers!

Jurassic Park! Another favorite ride!
88 foot drop just before being devoured by a T-Rex = AWESOME!

And, VOILE! Here is where we spent the day drinking butterbeer, buying magical objects, touring the castle and basically LIVING/LOVING Harry Potter!

See the rest of our Wonderful World of Harry Potter visit HERE

After about 9 hours in Harry Potter World, we meandered over to Seuss Landing, but then my sister called wanting to hear everything, so we hurried back over to Harry Potter and relayed every detail :) Yes, we are obsessed.

On our way to the car, we spotted these guys:
Captain America and Cyclops!

The next day, Madre and I explored The Boardwalk Inn across the way.
The lobby is fabulous!

And the pool was pretty sweet and/or creepy, too...whichever way you wanna look at it :) It was supposed to resemble a fair from the time period of "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken." I thought it was pretty clever. P.S. That is a great movie!

 I know you've been holding your breath for this picture, haven't you?
Here is this vacation's picture of a squirrel! :)

 I wish palm trees could live in Utah. They're such a relaxing tree!

 I kept seeing this Japan-stylized plush toys everywhere and thought they were adorable.

 I love this "gazebo" thing. They even had it set up for a wedding one day.

 See that butterfly? They were massive and fluttered around everywhere.

 Ok, y'all ready for this?

Introducing the BEST time to visit Disneyworld:
Mickey's Not-So Scary Halloween Party!

 Mickey hosts this night all through the month of October where you can come all dressed-up (we were slackers) and go around trick-or-treating all over the park, bust a move in Halloween dance parties with the characters, see a spooky villain parade and firework show, etc. etc. etc.

 What a "dole" bunch of bananas. Ha...ha...

 Actually, we're the dull ones. We should've dressed up. At least I had Mickey Mouse on my shirt. Yeah! I dressed as a Disney fan!

 I love this you can see.

 We went on lots of other rides, but my favorite new "ride" was actually an audience participation show called "The Laugh Floor with Mike Wazowski."
It was hilarious! Plus, I just love Monsters Inc a lot!

 One of the best parts of coming to Mickey's Halloween Party is all the extravagant costumes that people wear. I wasn't brave enough to get pictures of all of them, but there were people there who looked exactly like the Disney employees, dressed from head-to-toe as princesses in elaborate gowns or villains with make-up and capes. It was fabulous!

 Ok, these actually ARE Disney employees. Hard to tell, I know.

 The villains' firework show at the palace.

 The next day we stopped at The Lego Store so Pete could buy some presents for the kiddles. I have to say, that is an IMPRESSIVE toy store!

 YAY for Harry Potter legos!

 After our lego adventure and breakfast at good ol' IHOP, we took a boat over to MGM/Disney Studios...whatever they're calling it these days.

 Oh yes. They had American Idol auditions while we were there. Basically anyone can go an audition throughout the day and then they have finalists come and perform and do audience voting and judging and everything.

It was pretty cool and Pete, Mom and Dad kept bugging me about auditioning, but I didn't want to for several reasons: a) it's a waste of a day at a theme park, b) I only sing pop/rock in private - it's not my forte, c) I don't really seek stardom in the singing area...mostly because no one ever comes out of there the same...sadly. That's not to say that these people even make it onto American Idol, but they have before. I'm not sure what that process is like.

Anyway, in short: It was tubular.

 The next day was our last day, so I asked Dad if we could stop by the Orlando temple cause I'd never seen it before. It is absolutely beautiful!

 After snapping some shots of the beautiful temple, we were on our way home.

 The pilot even gave us a chance to say a second goodbye to our hotel. See The Boardwalk? "Goodbye, my favorite place to vacation!"

 And no, I did not come home empty handed! :)

 Hooray for another successful, fantastically fun vacation to Orlando.
My goodness I just love that place! It must be the name...

Anything's possible with magic ;)


Leon said...

Um, The Hess? I'm guessing this took like a million years to upload the photos and caption them and comment on them, so I give you a B+ for tardiness, but a gold star (that's better than an A, right?) for the great photos! Looks like a fabulous trip! And do you have your HP7.1 ticket yet?!

The Bell

tscotriverside said...

I must say that I'm jealous. It looks like you guys had a great time. I can see why it is one of your favorite places to vacation...especially now with the new Harry Potter addition. It would take too long to comment on all of the photos so I'll just make a comment on the one that's not there...where's the picture of a seagull? so disappointed and saddened. then again, i did get some chocolate covered pretzels AND you do have a picture of what appears to be Andy Griffith...I used to love watching Matlock.

Anyway, I'm glad that you had a great time and that you posted pictures so that the rest of us could vacation vicariously through you.


my word this time is actor...seems fitting given your last photo.

Kim said...

I love your pictures and how you documented the whole trip in your amazing Lindsay-perspective! I have one question, Can your mouth open any wider than in this picture?- refer to your splash mountain picture! Ha- Ha! Have a zippidee do da day!