I’ve been really lazy about writing this post, mostly because I took so many pictures and really didn’t want to sit down and upload them all. But! Here they are!
We flew down around noon on Sunday and didn’t land and get to the hotel until 6:30 pm. We changed and washed up and walked over to the water taxi that took us to the parks/CityWalk (which is pretty much Universal’s version of DT Disney). We scarfed down pizza (and I got a giant beer because, hey, I was on vacation) and wandered around a little bit, before crashing into bed.
Even though we could easily walk to the parks, there was a shuttle early in the morning that got us to the parks right as they opened, and picked us up about an hour before closing, so we made every effort to make it for that. Our primary goal was Harry Potter World at Islands of Adventure, so we did that first. We were some of the first people in the park and managed to grab Butterbeers without having to even wait in line.
We then booked it to the ride in Hogwarts Castle, since the wait was shockingly short. We chugged down the super sugary drinks and pretty much sprinted through the (extremely extensive) queue. The entire thing had so many signs warning against riding if you’re sensitive to motion sickness but we laughed at them and hopped on the benches.
Chugging Butterbeer before any ride is a bad idea. And apparently, those warning signs were NOT joking. I spent the second half of the ride (after I basically started crying when the dragon popped out) willing myself not to puke. Motion simulators are not our thing.
Regardless, as soon as we got off that ride we ended up wandering over to the Dragon Training ride, which, we found out at the end of the line, was a rollercoaster. Oops. After riding those, we had to take a breather and take a lap around the park to recuperate.
It was pretty cloudy and then rainy Monday, so after lunch (at the Three Broomsticks) we walked back to the hotel and took a nap and changed before we tried to find somewhere to have dinner. Bridget chose, of all places, Margaritaville, and we had some tacos and a watermelon margarita before we walked back to the hotel and dried off.
Tuesday was a complete 180 from Monday. The sun was out and even though the morning was a little chilly, you could just tell it was going to be a beautiful day. We spent the morning at Universal Studios. I was actually pleasantly surprised by how much I liked all the different city sections they had. There was a Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and a Springfield (as in, the Simpsons) and reminded me of MGM, my favorite park in the entire world. (Can you tell I’m a HUGE lover of Disney?)
Bridget, still a little shaken from Mondays nausea, sat out while I rode the Rip Ride Rockit. I’m a little bit of a thrill seeker at amusement parks. I dream of going to Cedar Point.
For the rest of the morning, we pretty much just wandered around the park, stopping to explore every little thing and take pictures. In Springfield, I managed to get my hands on a Duff Beer at Moe’s Tavern and we sat in the sun while I sipped. It was glorious.
We also found what might have been the best part of our trip, the Animal Actors show. YES. Dogs doing tricks. We were in heaven. After exhausting everything we wanted to there that day, we called a cab and went to Downtown Disney for dinner. We love Disney, and although we looked into it, we decided not to do a day at their parks. Who can choose just one? But the afternoon at DT Disney was exactly what we needed. We got a cab back to Universal and wandered back to Harry Potter World until closing time. There might have been a little tiff between Bridget and I at the end of the day involving us storming back to the hotel separately, but we’ll chalk it up to a long day. And sunburn.
So much sunburn. The cool morning and breeze tricked us into thinking sunscreen wasn’t a necessity. Bad idea. And if we thought we were fried after a 75-degree Tuesday, we were in for a shock on Wednesday when it was 81. Fried. My skin is currently peeling off. Gross, and painful.
Despite my pestering to sleep in and take a half day at the pool, Wednesday brought us back to Islands of Adventure. We hopped right on the Incredible Hulk coaster, and rode the rest of the rides we missed on Monday. We had lunch and then went back to the Studios, to make sure there was nothing we missed. By the time it was an hour before the shuttle arrived we were done. While we waited I got a giant mojito and we watched the sun set.
It was a glorious vacation. I’m so happy Bridget was around and we could have that trip together. On our way back, we ran into Andrew and our friend Peter at the Atlanta airport. Andrew wasn’t on our flight to Buffalo, but Peter was, and he drove us back (in the snow) to Rochester.
I think that’s most of the highlights from the trip. And I’ll try to get as many pictures in here as I possibly can. It was my first and only “Spring Break” trip, and even though it wasn’t like a lot of college trips, it was perfect for me, and I am so happy I got to go.