Winter Break {day one}

Winter break; it might just be my favorite time to vacation!  The kid's break is only four days. But  it always seems to roll around right when cabin fever is at it's peak!   We scratched  snow skiing over winter break due to illness, I'm sure you heard we've been sick {smile}. This ski trip had been planned and planned...right down to the tiny details; New suits ordered, a pile of gloves bought, long-johns, goggles....  but with little to no planning, at the last minute we decided to head south! 

 I found an incredible 48 hour special on Expedia. ($400 a night suites at the Nickelodeon Resort for $99 per night!) It's amazing the deals you can find when you are ready to travel in less than 48 hours! So we packed very light, unfortunately mom didn't check the weather and we were off!
 Universal Studios was a great theme park! When visiting Orlando, we always visit Disney. It's fast paced, scheduled to the minute and we never see anything other than Disney. This was a treat to try something new at a slower - fly by the seat of your pants - pace. Universal is definitely a park for older kids. Seuss Landing was everything you would expect to find in a Dr. Seuss book! Bennett, Jeff and I agreed... Dr. Seuss  might have had an addiction problem, smile! 
We ate lunch under the Circus tent. The restaurant was  amazingly decorated. BUT, the food..... oh the food. We purchased the meal plan. Disney had obviously spoiled us. If you are even considering visiting Universal and purchasing this plan... call me. All the restaurants on the plan were too awful for words (even though I may share a few).
Harry Potter World was INCREDIBLE! Just amazing. I admit,  I have never read the books, nor have my children. We haven't even seen an entire Harry Potter movie. I'm sure if we had, the experience would have been even better. It was obvious people really get into to the whole Harry Potter thing. Countless adults were dressed in costumes. Visitors, not employees.
The entire park was close to empty... or so we thought. We found the crowd here! The stores were so unique and the singing quartets were amazing.
Like every theme park sheep head, we had to follow the the highly advertised "Wizardly World" ride. We had no clue what it was, we just knew everyone wanted to do it and  it couldn't be a roller coaster...being inside a castle and all. 

It wasn't a roller boaster, but a very realistic simulator type ride. Full of motion sickness and scary things jumping out from everywhere... Mary Claire was riding with her daddy and all I could think of was, "Please have your little eyes closed."

While buying our ticket back at Nickelodeon, the man at guest services said, "Make sure you try the Butter beer." Now, I despise the taste  of beer, but I love-love the taste of butter! Sounded very interesting. I thought I would definitely try it, sneek it in a discreet cup, but not the kids.  I pictured the park selling this beer in a dark English like pubs.
But, it wasn't like that at all. They were non-acholic ice slushies. DELICIOUS non-acholic slushies with a butter foam on top! You stir them up. We all had one... and wanted two!
 Bennet said, "Mom please go on the Internet and find this recipe!" The butter beer was so good, it eased the pain of ALL the other food tasting like foam. Not butter foam.
It rained... a little... 

Last year at Disney, it rained... a lot! However, I had planned and planned for that trip. We had umbrellas, ponchos, a towel and even extra ponchos. This trip was kind of a 'fly by the seat of your pants' trip. I hadn't even thought it might be hot...and it just might rain.

But, my girls did.

My sweet little girls were so prepared. Inside their matching  {Aunt Rhonda} back packs... they brought, not me...they had packed umbrellas and ponchos for everyone... from home... I almost cried, I was so proud!

Another meal we attempted to eat. Yeah, it may look good in the picture... 
Mary Claire did love her Spongebob cup.             Notice their matching teeth! 
 OH, and did I tell you, I am seriously unbeatable at "Wack-a-Mole."{Seriously} Ask my family.

God gives everyone a talent, a skill. 
My husband can play any music, without sheet music
My son can swim like a fish
My daughter's spirit is giving is unbelievable
My little daughter can cartwheel through an entire theme park without tiring
My sister is a genius at everything Earth friendly 
My sister-in-law is an unbelievable southern cook
My friend Amy is always on time. ALWAYS!
My brother-in-law  (who better not say he could beat me) is a tennis CHAMP
None of the above... Instead, I was blessed with Wack-a-Mole skill. 
And, I'm quite cocky too. Before playing, I told Mary Claire to pick out her favorite stuffed animal and "Mommy will win it."
 And, I did.
The lines... well there weren't any! Except the Harry Potter section, the park was almost empty.  We experienced the same thing last year at Disney. It's another reason I love winter break. We kept trying to imagine the lines full and the temperature well above 100. My kids got a little whiney and it was chilly and empty... I couldn't imagine.

 Another little tidbit about Universal. Almost all of the rides are scary... By the end of the day, my children, two in particular,  had lost complete and total trust in their parents with statements like;  "It's not scary,  it's Spiderman."  or "It's not scary!!  It's just a clown ride, look at all the tiny kids riding." 

OH heck, yes it was! They all were. 

I think my kids experienced half of the park with their eyes closed. By the end of the day, dragging two of  them on a ride (while reminding them the price of their ticket),  was like more like marching them to their death. Other than Anna Katherine, they were afraid before we entered. 
We promised no more rides... imagine that... an empty theme park and two kids who refused to ride anymore rides. Which left me to experience these thrills with Ann Katherine. {I was stumbling with motion sickness by the end}
 We cured a little cabin fever! Our first day was a great day!

bevy said...

My oldest just came back from Universal and said the same thing!

So glad you and your family were able to finally enjoy some time together...

Dawn P. Yoseff said...

And WHY didn't you buy me that turkey leg T shirt?????

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