Now that I’ve put a bandaid on my photo issue, it’s time to play catch up.
To try and go back and get COMPLETELY caught up would be almost impossible, but there are a FEW things I feel compelled to share, even after the fact.
So, let’s start with “Hannah’s Big Adventure.”
We decided a number of years ago that when each of the grandkids gets to be 13, we should take them on a grand adventure to anywhere in the world their interests (and parental consent) would be appropriate for them.
Hannah almost immediately jumped on The Galapagos when she saw our photos of all the wonderful iguanas. She had (and still has) a fascination with reptiles, and this was like her perfect trip.
And when she found out we were flying into Orlando to start the trip, she mentioned to her Da (Mr. Tattered) that Universal Studios has a Harry Potter section (her other love!) So of course he got right to figuring out how to make THAT happen, and before long we had added a few extra days to our trip!
At the time it seemed like it was so far away, then we blinked and it was time to leave!
Mama, Daddy and Sissy were sad to see us leave (okay, Mama and Daddy were!)
We arrived at the hotel and Hannah found the gift shop complete with a Hogwart’s robe and wands. Which one to choose was hard, but she finally found the perfect one!
These doodads aren’t cheap, but we figure she doesn’t have much little girl left in her, and if she wants to “make-believe” we’re going for it!
First thing in the morning we were off to the park.
Hannah and I hit the “Dragon Challenge” ride (Da passed!) and then we convinced him to go on “Forbidden Journey” with us. He wasn’t a fan.
A quick ride on the Hogwart’s Express took us to Daigon Alley and the second part of Harry Potter world. Since Da had discovered pretty quickly he’s not a “bumpy ride” guy, he headed back to the hotel.
Hannah and I were on our own to take wizarding lessons,
sample “butter beer”
and “butter beer ice cream”
and bumpy ride ourselves silly until dinner time. Da discovered a “Yardhouse” fairly close to the hotel, which meant some nice vegetarian selections, so we went there for dinner. Yay!
The next day we were up and it again. We got in a few Dragon rides and another Forbidden Journey before it was time to meet Da and our guide for a “behind the scenes” VIP tour that included all the major rides in the park and not standing in line ANYWHERE! Hannah was pretty impressed with THAT! We went on all the roller coasters she was a little wary of, only to discover she LOVES roller coasters! Yay! I have a roller coaster buddy! Even Da went on one of them. We were shocked!
We had lunch at an English Pub in Daigon Alley where we sampled the delights of pumpkin juice. I originally ordered pear juice, but I sampled Hannah’s pumpkin juice and immediately wished I had ordered it. The “wizard” overheard us and suggested I trade mine in. I said, “that doesn’t feel right, I already drank out of it. Can you DO that?” He insisted, saying “What kind of a wizard would I be if I can’t change pear juice into pumpkin juice?” I thought that was a pretty good line! It was like liquid pumpkin pie! Lunch was pretty good for park fare. With full tummies we rejoined our small tour group and continued through the park. Ultimately, Da went back to the hotel for a quick nap while Hannah and I continued running ourselves ragged. I help up pretty well for an old gal!
Then it was back to the Yardhouse for dinner again, returning to the hotel to crash!
Once again Hannah and I were up early to head back to the park for a few more hours of rollercoastering before checking out and heading to Ft. Lauderdale. With all the back and forth we were VERY glad we stayed on the park grounds!
On the way out of town we had one of the best little treats of our young trip as we introduced Hannah to the joys of Waffle House. We hadn’t been there in many, many years and it was just as we remembered…PEEcan waffles – to die for! With a side of hash browns, scattered and smothered!
That evening we met my Uncle Marlin and Aunt MaryLou for dinner at Ole! – our favorite Mexican restaurant in the area. It had been a long, long time since I had seen him, so it was nice to catch up over a good meal. They recently moved from the desert in So. California (and we NEVER got down to see them there!) to Florida. He thought it was pretty funny when I told him we’d probably see him more often in Florida than in SoCal! But it’s true!
We stayed in Ft. Lauderdale that night, then in morning went back to Waffle House (Hannah tried grits this time! Not a fan, so she was glad she’d ordered a waffle, too!) Then it was off to Miami to catch our flight for Ecuador!
We’d ALREADY had a crazy fun vacation, and we weren’t even to the main attraction yet!
Stay tuned for Part 2 – The Galapagos!