Thursday, January 21, 2016

Florida

Last week, my husband and I went on our first vacation together with his family in Florida. We flew down on Thursday and flew back Monday. 

Thursday
I was worried about getting through security with his insulin. I thought my bag would be flagged and checked for sure (I mean its a needle, it could have been a tranquilizer or something right?) Patrick's prescription is expired and his medical bracelet for his diabetes broke. No one cared though which was good. After landing in Tampa, we headed to the mall to get Pat some sneakers. He paces so much, he had holes in the bottoms of his. Lucky for me, they were having a buy one get one half off sale so I got some shoes too! 

Distracting myself on the plane by taking selfies. It was sooooo turbulent and I was feeling queasy. 
Skechers Go Walk are hands down the sneakers I've ever owned. This pair now makes 5 for me. They are so comfy and lightweight. They slip on, no laces. You can wear them without socks. You can throw them in a washer.


The rest of the night we relaxed and had dinner at his Aunt's house where we stayed.

Friday
We got up early to be at Universal Studios when they opened. Aunt Sue had bought everyone in the group a fanny pack and a poncho. I refused the fanny pack. The only things I needed were my phone, money and Pat's insulin. I stuck my credit card in my phone case, my phone in my pocket and I was good to go. Pat's mom, Cindy kept his insulin in her fanny pack. 
The poncho I did take because it was raining quite a bit. The good part of the rain was that there were no crowds! The longest we ever had to wait was 15 minutes. We spent more time walking through the empty line barriers than actually waiting in line! And luckily the lines were all covered and most of the rides are inside so we could stay dry.


This was the worst of the rain! The rain stopped around lunchtime which was great cause I was FREEZING! I realized my fingernails were turning purple while I was eating and my thumb was completely numb! I didn't want to spend $50 on an ugly ET sweatshirt I'd only wear once so I'm glad the sun came out to warm me up!

My favorite parts were the Harry Potter sections of the parks
Kings Cross Station in Universal Studios. You take the Hogwarts Express to the other park, Island of Adventure where they have Hogsmeade. The train was so cool. they have a screen to show scenes of what is happening outside as the train moves. You can also see the shadows and hear characters from the book through the frosted glass on the door of the area that you sit.

In Hogsmeade, we checked out the candy store and rode the two rides that were open, Dragon Challenge and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. The latter was a little intense for me. I prefer a real roller coaster but I still enjoyed it. Patrick's little cousin. Luke (8 years old) was scared from it.

We left Hogsmeade and checked out the rest of the Island of Adventure.
Luke rock climbing

Before heading back to the main Universal Studios park, we went through Hogsmeade again. I did spend the $50 here to get a sweatshirt. I got a children's XL. It fit just fine and was $20 cheaper than the adults! I was glad to have it the rest of the trip!
We had a HUGE feast at the Three Broomsticks. We had lots of chicken left and they wouldn't give us a box for it (quality control) so I emptied a plastic shopping bag and we took it home in that. Haha


The Hogwarts Express had a different experience on the screens and doors on the way back. The car fits 8 and there was 7 in our group so another woman joined us. One of our group jokingly welcomed her to the family. Then another asked if she wanted any chicken. She had no clue what was going on but we could not stop laughing.

The Knight Bus, Grimwal Place with Kreature peaking out
It took a little while to figure out how to get into Diagon Alley

Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts was my favorite ride of the day!


 The Dragon that sits on top of Gringotts shoots out a fireball every ten minutes or so.



Ice Cream at Florean Fortescue's. They had a lot of interesting flavors. I got the mint soft serve with chocolate chips but I tasted NO mint at all! In fact it had a slight banana taste to it.


 Weasley's Wizard Wheezes was my favorite shop. There were so many cool things! I bought an Extendable Ear, Fainting Fancies, Puking Pastilles, Fever Fudge and Nosebleed Nougat. I am waiting to open them until I go to my parents so I can share it with them.

On the ride home we got some bad news that Aunt Betty (Patrick's great aunt and the reason for the trip) had fallen and was in ICU :(

Saturday
We had a chill day Saturday after our busy Friday. I tried to sleep in but it is hard for me to sleep in beds other than my own. Patrick had no problem sleeping and didn't get up until almost noon. 

 I had to document this because it is hands down the WORST bed head I have ever had! Florida did crazy things to my hair. NJ is humid too so I didn't think it would make a difference but my hair was always frizzy, my curl wouldn't hold and my hair always felt dirty. I washed it every day, sometimes I'd shampoo twice but I still felt so much build up around the roots, maybe it was the water?

After lunch we took a walk on the beach were they were having a kite festival.






Dinner was at Patrick's Aunt Jan and Uncle Jerry's house. After dinner we went back to Aunt Sue's where I got everyone addicted to the game Psych! Outwit your friends. Its a free app by Ellen DeGeneres.

Sunday
Even though Aunt Betty was in the hospital, she still wanted us to have the party without her. We had lunch at the Treasure Island Yatch Club and took a large family picture. Even though Aunt Betty wasn't there, we still sang to her a recorded it.

 After the party, we went to go see her in the hospital. She was still in ICU but the nurses let the only two visitor rule slide because of her birthday. She looked horrible but was in good spirits and was healing. I only stayed a minute or two. I get queasy with hospital stuff and I thought it was more important for her family to visit with her.


Sunday afternoon we walked around Johns Pass where Cindy spent about $70 on special spices. They had this crazy hot one and the sales lady had Patrick try it. He had no reaction other than "It has a bite to it, I like it" She was stunned. She has never seen anyone with out a reaction to that level of heat.

Monday
We flew home Monday but before the flight, we had a girls only lunch at the cutest little place. Security on the way back was interesting. Cindy's carry on got flagged (the bagged spices). Another girl was getting her bag checked so Cindy had to wait. The girl had two bags. She was kinda freaking out about the location of her second bag. The TSA agent pointed it out to her and said they do one at a time and that one will be next. She was upset saying someone would take it but the agent insisted it would remain right there in her sight. The first bag had a lap top in it that she was supposed to take out and put through the scanner on its own. The second bag contained a large bottle of wine, a full size bottle of honey, a squirt bottle half full of what she claimed to be shampoo and last but not least...a knife with a 4 inch blade!!! She was so upset and kept asking when they changed the rules! Three TSA agents ended up pulling her aside. Crazy right?! How did she think she'd get away with that?!


The flight home was calm and had an amazing sunset! Walking out of the airport into the snowy weather was a shock to the system, especially when all you have is a sweatshirt!

All in all, the trip was great and it was great to get away from everything for a few days! I am now working on planning a trip for Patrick and I for our 5th wedding anniversary. As much as I like being around our families, I'd love to have a vacation just the two of us!





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