Florida Part One!

A picture of our hotel- Loews Portofino Bay

Well I finally got an adventure I had been hoping for ever since I was a little kid – I got to go on my first airplane ride and my first family vacation to Florida.  For the past 3 years my dad has been unemployed so there really hasn’t been a lot we’ve been able to do vacation wise but luckily we happened to win a trip from a restaurant here that gave us 4 days and 3 nights at Universal Studios.  Beyond excited, we packed our bags and boarded the plane bright and early Sunday morning to finally arrive at the hotel around 2:30 in the afternoon. By the time we got settled in our room it was around 3:30 and we decided we’d find somewhere to eat in the hotel area. Downside of really nice hotels: all the food is crazy expensive.  We managed to find an Italian bakery like place that served salads, pizza, and sandwiches and grabbed a bite to eat.  One reason to love America: how readily available cherry coke is.  The restaurant was a little bit on the pricy side but the pizza I had was the best I had ever tasted! All of my family loved their meals and quickly made the decision to head over to Universal Studios for the day as we had enough passes for three days and knew we’d be leaving Wednesday around 5:00 in the morning.

The only theme park I’ve ever really experienced is Canada’s Wonderland and I now know that it is nothing like what a theme park should be like.  Universal Studios is AMAZING.  We walked around and did a few rides that were there (The Simpsons Ride and Shrek 4D were easily my favourites) and checked out some souvenir places to get an idea of what we may like to get later on.  We received a book from a family friend that acted as a guide for us for which rides to ride – I’m not a huge roller coaster fan there were still tons of options for me that had amazing reviews.  When the park was closing we took the water taxi back to the hotel to take advantage of the pools that they had.  We opted to go for the non lifeguarded pool to ensure there would be less people around.  We quickly cooled off and called it a night as we knew we had a busy day ahead of us.

Now this hotel really knew how to treat it’s customers!  For our first full day at the parks we opted to go to the Island of Adventure  where as hotel guest we received – wait for it – AN HOUR EARLY ENTRANCE TO THE WIZARDLY WORLD OF HARRY POTTER.  This portion of the park gets INSANE once nine o’clock hits and I’m really glad I got to do the things I wanted to do there.  The first day we had access to Harry Potter we lined up for Butterbeer (which rumour has it can be close to an hour wait in the busiest portion of the day)

My very first frozen Butterbeer - YUM!

and went into the gift shops to pick up some souvenirs for people back home (beer mug, tumblers of each house and pins – CHECK!).  The second day that we had early access we headed into Olivander’s (they only take about thirty people at a time) and did a tour of Hogwarts.  As big of a fan of HP as I am my favourite portion of the trip goes to Seuss landing. It was like watching my childhood come alive!  The buildings were all shaped as if you were in the books, the numerous characters running around made me light up  like a kid again.  While the Grinch covered my face in our picture together the Cat in the Hat gave me a kiss on the hand and would of made an excellent prom date for me in high school.  My mom and me rode all the rides in Seuss landing and my favourite is probably the Cat in the Hat – it made the story come to life!  My family also bought “Thing 1” and “Thing 2” shirts for my brother and I and then my parents had “father/mother of all things” shirts.  We felt like a bunch of tourists but we had a lot of fun.

Now this is only a bit of my trip, I’m going to be posting more later on with more pictures  overall it’s safe to say that I had a BLAST and would love to go back sometime.

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