Holy crap. I had ZERO intention of neglecting my blog over vacation, but there was absolutely no way for me to keep things updated in real-time. I’m honestly feeling lucky that I even survived the week. Don’t get me wrong, it was a ton of fun and we spent a significant amount of time chilling by the pool. Generally speaking, though, last week was one of the most exhausting weeks of my life. Let’s recap:
Friday morning I got up around 5:30 (after packing until about 1:00 AM) to be at work by 7:00. I had to scramble to get everything prepped for me to be gone the following week & in only a couple short hours. I had a chiropractor appointment at 9:30 (still recovering from that stupid car accident) and a lunch date with my BFF at 11:15, which I got home from around 1:00 – leaving an hour to load up the car & make sure we hadn’t forgotten anything. Eep! By 2:15, we were loaded & on our way to pick up the kid from daycare before heading to the airport for our 4:30 departure. Waiting in the airport is the worst. Mostly just when you have a kid who is all geared up for Disney – that’s a whole new level of insane, let me tell you. Also, ridiculous adorableness ensues:
So we landed at the Sanford airport around 8:00 EST, collected our baggage, & made the ridiculously long hike to the Alamo rental suite (seriously, why is it SO far away from baggage claim?). We picked out a tricked-out (not really) Chrysler Town & Country and then we were on our way. I think we arrived at the resort around 10:00, check-in took nearly 30 minutes, and then we had to drive alllllll the way across the resort to get to our villa. We didn’t cross the threshold till close to 11:00 and then my parents & I proceeded to run up the road to Walgreens to stock us up on food & beverage for the next day. It was a long effing day. I think I went to bed around 1:00 AM, again. And then turned around & got up at 7:00 Saturday to head out to Universal Studios. Whew.
Saturday I woke up feeling like crap, which, I suppose could be expected after a day like Friday & less than 8 hours of sleep. But I really felt like I had been hit by a truck. My throat was all swollen & irritated – presumably from the drastic climate change and maybe even the excessive air conditioning in our villa. I had no idea. But I got up & got ready to go to Universal Studios, anyway. Because Harry Potter will not be interrupted by a little sore throat. No way.
My Universal Studios experience definitely warrants a post all on its own, but I will say that this first day we just managed to ride a few rides & explore – we tried to stick to things that kiddo could do with us since we had an extra day that we’d be back without her (thanks, parents!). So we started out in Seussville at Islands of Adventure & rode the Caro-Seussel & one of their high-rise train rides. These were pretty standard & tame rides to suss out how interested kiddo was gonna be in going on rides in general. Answer: SUPER DUPER.
After lunch, we moved on to Hogsmeade & explored the magnificence of the Harry Potter universe. I got a Luna Lovegood interactive wand to perform spells throughout the park & my dad got Dumbledore’s wand/ the Elder Wand, which was pretty badass. We rode the Flight of the Hippogriff, which was the only rollercoaster ride we took kiddo on – she just BARELY met the 40″ height requirement, but she was so excited when we were done. I just know this kid’s gonna be an adrenaline junkie. When we were done exploring the shops & drinking our butterbeers, we decided to hop on the Hogwarts Express to go to Universal Studios & finish out the day. I honestly preferred the Universal side over the Islands of Adventure side, but I’m pretty partial to anything that feels kinda old-school, which is the whole thing with Universal Studios. I loved it.
At Universal Studios, we checked out the Shrek 4D show (cute, not exceptional) & got turned into Minions on the Despicable Me ride. Honestly? That ride is boss. Even as an adult, I had a blast on the Despicable Me ride, which was also kiddo’s favorite. When we were done she goes “I can’t believe they turned us into Minions! That’s so crazy!”
[I should sidebar here & mention that we paid an extra $65 per ticket to get the Express Passes on our Universal tickets & it was TOTALLY money well-spent. We never waited in line longer than 5 minutes on eligible rides. It really helped us make the most of our time there. The Minions ride alone never had less than a 45 minute wait the entire time we were there – we were basically able to walk right in.]
After we finished up on the Minions ride, kiddo was looking pretty wiped. My parents – who are by no means “ride” people – decided that since the weather was starting to look a little ominous (hello, Florida in April) that they’d take her & camp out in a store or a restaurant on the CityWalk while the rest of us went to ride some of the thrillier rides. We rushed back over to Hogsmeade to catch the other Harry Potter rides we had missed before: Dragon Challenge & Forbidden Journey. By the time we were done with those, the rain really let loose & we got D-RENCHED on our trek back to CityWalk. Like, we’re talking sloshy shoes & mascara dripping down my face. It was a mess. But it was a totally different kind of rain than we get in iowa. It was peaceful & warm & actually really nice. Apart from the mascara dripping. ain’t nobody need to be dealing with that. And then we proceeded to eat dinner in an air conditioned restaurant, which was remarkably uncomfortable. But it was delicious. Bubba Gump’s is always delicious.
We had a pretty intense meltdown on the part of one VERY exhausted 4-year-old over dinner, which helped us make the decision to lie low the next day rather than bounding straight into Magic Kingdom, as originally planned. I cannot imagine how much of a nightmare she might have been had we tried to do two park days in a row right off the bat.
So, Sunday became the day of relaxation & we just hung out at the resort on the lazy river & in the pool. There were many delicious beverages & splash fights & a couple more meltdowns because my kid hates for water to go above her neck… but it was just a really nice day in the sun, which concluded with some delicious Margherita pizza from the resort’s pizza parlour. Mmmm.
HOKAY, I’m thinking this post got out-of-control long already & I’ve only covered 3 days, soooo I’ll come back later with more. It got kind of dramatic, so you won’t want to miss it. Haha.
Until then ❤