Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Universal Adventure!

We were able to get a GREAT deal thanks to the Air Force Vacation club and booked a week in Orlando for a whopping $300 - yes, that was from Sunday - Sunday... We didn't use the entire week at the condo/apartment, but it was sure fun for the days we did spend there and for the price, we just couldn't beat it.  We stayed at the Summer Bay Resort ( villas.  I must say that they had a LOT of nice amenities there.  Some of which you will see on this, some we'll just tell you about ;)
This is what greeted us when we went into our kitchen in our nice unit:
 Living room/Dining room/kitchen combo - tiny but good for what we needed.  To the right is the kids bed and bath and the left, master bed/bath.
 Master bed/bath combo (with Liz visiting!)
 Kids bed
 Kids bath
 After we settled in, the kids and I set off to explore the area - found a play ground to play
(note Angela's hair is sticking STRAIGHT up with the static from the slide - ha!)
 Obligatory "pose" by the flowers :o)

Day 1 - Monday in the Park!!  Universal Islands of Adventure - here we come!!
We had been told to go straight to Harry Potter as it would be the most crowded (they were NOT kidding!).. we went there and rode the Harry Potter ride - it's mostly 3D stuff and screens with a little bit of actual motion in the car... Angela even rode on it with us and seemed OK with it.. didn't DIS-like it, but has stated over and over NO roller coasters for her...OK.  'nuff said.  Butch rode the dragon challenge roller coaster (feet are hanging) while the girls and I got some much anticipated butter beer - frozen cream soda basically with a cream on top - very cute!
This is the Hippogriph ride - you pass by Hagreds house and can hear Fang barking...

 The view of the castle and a little of the track that for the ride - its a fairly calm easy roller coaster.. and Angela LOVED IT!  She rode that thing over and over and over again!

 Chilling with the butter beer my story got ahead of me!  I guess we rode the Hippogriph first.  ;o)
 After Potter World we made our way through the rest of the park.  Jurassic park had the LARGE water flume ride that we opted out of since everyone was coming off it dripping wet... no, thanks!  We wandered into the Marvel comics area - fun stuff!

 Liz and Angela could not resist the Bilge Rats ride...
 and it was a SOAKER!!
 Angela and I amused ourselves with a tea cup style ride for "storm" from the comics it was fun. 
 All the while Liz and Butch were riding the Hulk!!
 From there it was off to Seuss land...

 they really should have had the maintenance crew dressed as characters :o)

 Look Hogwarts in the background!!

 Poseidon's adventure was a fun walk through special effects show.  Very entertaining!
 And full circle to Hogwarts and BACK on the Hippogriph ride once with me, then two or three more times on her own :o)  Ah, the energy of youth!

 A trip to the candy store
 (puking pastilles - it was scrolling down from her mouth to the bucket - ewh!)
 And making our way out of the park!

 Liz at the condo with her frog... it didn't get far, she ate it's head off first - poor frog!
Liz and I had Henna Tattoos done and Angela opted for two feathers in her hair...
Day 2 - Tuesday - bumming at the resort club house for the day!
Butch and Angela in the paddle boat!
THIS is where Liz and I chose to hang out instead - reading books!

WAY out there!
Cranes on the lawn
Cute little perch in the lake.  I tossed a few pieces of fish food in to them them to leap out for the picture!  They were fast little things!
Butch let Angela get the power boat for a 1/2 hour around the lake...
getting instructions...
backing out slowly and calmly...

and she's OFF!

On the way back to the condo, we stopped in the little water park in the complex - it was really cute - Angela was all over it... running around shutting off water, turning on water...

Butch even tried to get in the act....

And paid for his involvement by being soaked by Angela turning the water on him - ha!

Day 3: Universal Studios and the FIRST ride. 
That REALLY is Elizabeth and Butch on the ride ... back car, 2nd from last

They loved it!

Off to the Mummy Ride!  SCARY stuff!

She was really picking his nose.. just glad Butch was holding a hand, not picking a butt ;o)  ha!

Yeah, Liz is DONE with me taking pictures - ha!

JAWS!  I was the ONLY one who wanted a picture with the shark.  I need to find the one from when we were about 10 and went to Universal in California!
... Another fun filled day over and on our way OUT of the park ...

I look worse for wear, but felt pretty good..

Pretty sunset!

Day 4.  I had to ask my girlfriend Lesselle where the place we used work back in the 80's was... this is it - 1987 - bustling family hotel with a restaurant - Days Inn at the time... yeah, those were the days! 

..and today is the day MOM rides the roller coasters.   Most of the time they give me a headache from the movement and the jerking, but I must say the new ones now are SMOOTH and don't jerk you and are... really, really, REALLY FUN!!!


another view of Hogwarts!

I tell you, they are set up for HORRIBLE lines, but where they don't have any - they suck!  It took us the anticipated 5 minute walk to walk from the opening to the ride.. there was NO ONE in line.. they didn't even have anyone telling you what ROW to go in because, really - it didn't matter - they were all OPEN!!  yes, it was that light of a load on this ride.  Scary!

The candles were illuminated, but you can't see that due to the flash - very cute effect... even with the flash, I can't really see the way they're held up without zooming in!

After all the roller coasters it was time to get some lunch - the squirrel in the area had the same idea and just sacked out within almost reaching distance from us.. cute!!

From here forward there are no more pictures in the park because simply put - we did the water rides... and did them over and over and over... until we were soaked.  We had put dry clothing into a locker at the beginning of day just for this reason.  So... we rode them all - log rides, bilge rats, everything over and over until we were SOAKED then we rode the hulk (Liz and I) ONE more time before slogging to the entrance of the park and changing in the bathroom for a nice dry ride back to the condo. 

The weather forecast was for rain all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday - so we bailed out for a much needed and welcome visit with Sally... we drove up there on Friday - out of the rain and into the sunshine.  We had a great time visiting with grandma for the rest of the weekend - sure wish she could have joined us for some of the fun in Orlando - next time we'll plan further in advance so we can all make it down there!!

This treat should say the end... but Thing 2 works too :o)