It’s Almost Over

And quite frankly, I’m okay with that because I’m exhausted.

Yesterday we went back to Universal, and spent a little time at each of the parks. We went to Island of Adventure first because it had, well, Harry Potter. Cameron and dad rode the two dragon rides, and mom bought me an owl with Realistic Head Swivelling Action. I still haven’t decided on his name yet. I want it to be good. He is very pretty.

We had lunch at Hard Rock Cafe. I had a surprisingly good spicy mac and cheese dish. I couldn’t help but wonder how it would go over if I put used clothing on my own walls and called it decoration.

After lunch we went back into Universal, but we just shopped around in the stores at the front.

Then the best thing if all happened.

We went home and got naps.

I am so tired.

Anyway, after our naps we went to this sort of permanent fair called Old Town. It was nice. No one rode anything though, we just kind of looked around the shops a bit and ate ice cream. I guess it could have been fun, but there was just this sort of overwhelming vibe of everyone wanting to go back to bed.

And then we did, and I slept in the most I have all week. Then I woke up. Then I went straight back to sleep. Now I’m drilling coffee in bed. Finally.

Today we are going to drive to Georgia to spend Easter with family, then drive home after egg hunting tomorrow. So this will be the last broadcast for this trip. So long and farewell!

ISLAND OF HARRY POTTER SOME OTHER STUFF AND HARRY POTTER OKAY

Disclaimer: my phone stopped showing me what i was writing halfway through so this post has not been proofread, and stops midsentence. Today was IT. The big day. Today, we went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

It was perfect. The rides were great, the scenery was immaculate, the butterbeer was delicious. Protip: get it cold instead of iced; drinking it through the cream is an essential part of the experience. Also, it was one of the most smoothly running parks I can remember going to this week.

Anyway, the good stuff. The only ride we got to do was the Forbidden Journey, because the wait was two hours. I loved it though. You walk through Hogwarts to get to it. You even see the moving portraits! It’s one of those 3D rides that tilts and twirls but never really moves, so it’s good if you’re scared of coasters, but not if you get motion sick. Ot was definitely my kind of ride. Protip 2: you can’t see anyone once you’re secured into you seat, so it’s worth it to break up the group and use the single rider’s lane on this one.

After that we ate lunch at the Three Broomsticks. Cameron and I had turkey legs. That was a bad move on my part, I’m such a slow eater. I love turkey sooo much though! Mom and dad got the shepherds pie and thoroughly enjoyed it.

After that it was getting late so we just rushed through shopping. It was crowded, but that just made it feel more like a scene from the movies for me. I got a Ravenclaw tank top (house pride!), a Potter Quidditch jersey, a Ministry of Magic mug, a sugar quill, a chocolate wand for Cameron, and a chocolate cauldron and a pumpkin juice for us to share later.

Also, when you check out of the gift shop, they ask you to sign your receipt ‘for the Ministry’ which I have been giggling about all day.

Other stuff. Uhhh…

We rode a couple of small things in Seussland, which is gorgeous and amazing to walk through. And the rides were all kiddie enough for me and mom so bonus points! Really cute section of the park.

The only other big thing we really did was the Jurassic Parl River Adventure. It was cool to see the big dinosaur animatronics and we got soaked at the end, but it was warm enough it didn’t matter. Very fun.

Last but Continue reading

Busch Gardens

Since the internet at the hotel won’t let me upload pictures, I figured I might as well blog from my phone while everything is fresh. (And so I can go straight to bed after a shower.)

Today we went to Busch Gardens. Its like an African Sea World. And it’s in Tampa, so it’s an hour drive. But more napping so yay!

This was a fun park. In learning that I like parks that have as much stuff to look at as they have rides, because I don’t like rides.

My brother and dad love rides though, and managed to ride almost every single one. I think they missed two, and that was just because we are tired. There were even a few kiddie enough for me. And there was this HUGE Elmo playground, but I wasn’t allowed on without a kid. But I really wanted to.

They have a train ride around this big open plain where giraffes and zebras and rhinos and ostriches and impalas and other things roam freely, and that was amazing. We got THIS close the a giraffe! There was also a cable car ride over the park and you could see different animals from it. It was a phenomenal experience.

Other animals that could be seen on foot were tigers, primates, cheetahs, hyenas, meerkats, lots of birds, and most impressively a hippo enclosure with an underwater view so you could see them swim.

And they had an aviary where you could buy some bird treats to get them to sit on you. I went in but didn’t feed them because I’m a little scared of birds. I took a picture with an owl though!

As at Sea World, I was amazed at how BIG everything is in real life. Like, animals are just HUGE.

We didn’t bother with any of the shows, because they mostly didn’t include animals. And what’s the point of that?

We ate in the park at the Zambia Smokehouse. The ribs were good.

As a parting anecdote, I almost rode a big girl coaster today called Cheetah Hunt because I thought it didn’t go upside down, but on the cable car I saw that it did, so I did not ride that ride.

Universal Studios

Today we went to Universal Studios.

It was fun, but the park is twice as big as it needs to be. You walk so long you expect more than it has. Don’t get me wrong, what’s there is great, but there are 5 fake buildings for every store or attraction.

We went on the MIB ride. Honestly, that’s enough spinning for me to have fun. I’m a big wimp when it comes to mocking gravity. And, I got the highest score out of the family!

I also went on the Woody Woodpecker ride, and took a picture on the American Tale playground, because I am a child.

The last thing we did was the ET ride. I like the actual ride part, but the presentation…could use some work. The fake animals in the forest bit have not aged well, and the animatronic alien dolls are TERRIFYING. The scenery looks good. But that one alien that looks like a doll head coming out of a turnip wearing a gummy worm wig is not something I would show to a child. It’s going to give me nightmares, and I’m 22 years old. But if you took out the aliens and it was just a flying bike ridetour of the galaxy I would ride that over and over.

And, THERE IS A HAT STORE SHAPED LIKE A GIANT BOWLER HAT. All stores should do that. I want to live in a cartoon.

For lunch we went to Margaritaville, which my dad is obsessed with. He loves Jimmy Buffett. I wasn’t particularly impressed. It was incredibly loud (which is fine if that’s your scene but it’s definitely not mine), and I ordered an avocado turkey burger for some odd reason and it wasn’t very tasty. Plus I’m always terrified of ordering in such expensive restaurants.

But yeah. Hat shaped hat shops. The world would be a better place.

Sea World

Today we went to Sea World. I loved it.

It’s the best kind of zoo I’ve ever been to. Even though it’s only a few animals, you can get so close to them it’s worth it. I never realized how BIG manatees can get.

We went to the Sea Lion show and the Shamu show, but not the dolphins. I liked the Sea Lion show, it was really cute. And they worked in a few “intentional goofs” for the grown up crowd, which I thought was smart. And a walrus came out at the end. I didn’t realize how big they were, either. Happy Feet just got a lot scarier.

The Shamu show was okay. It was very…musical. The jumps and things were wonderful, but most of the tricks were sort of off to the side and out of the direct view of most of the crowd and that was a little weird.

Also, THERE WERE HUGE TURTLES. I love turtles. Most of the pictures I took were of turtles. And there were some big ones.

Another thing about the animal displays was that they were lively. I don’t know if our zoo back home is just crappy, but everything there always just lies around. Even the manatees were in constant motion at Sea World and it left an impression on me. I guess they just all seemed happy.

So, Sea World gets an A+.

Florida Finally

After 5 hours yesterday and 5 hours today we finally made it to our hotel. Last night we stayed with my grandma and made her cookies.

Now I’m just enjoying being in a room and not within 3 feet of 3 other people.

The reading in bed is one of my favorite parts of vacation though. My bed at home isn’t very comfy for reading. Also it is full of homework. Last time we went away for a week I finished Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and The Hunger Games. I probably won’t read that much this time though. We ought to have a busy week. Also because I only brought 3 books.

We are supposed to have free WiFi, but I can’t get it to connect yet. Tomorrow we plan to go to SeaWorld, so it will be more entertaining than this post was.

A Last Day of Firsts

Today was the first day of my last year of college. Unless something just goes horrifically wrong. Which it might, with my record. But I got most of my schedule awkwardness sorted out, and I think I can get away with not buying some of my textbooks. Anyway, I thought I ought to record this (semi)auspicious day.

English is my first class every day. (And when I say every day, I mean every other day. I have Tuesdays and Thursdays free for homework, and hopefully another job.) My first impression of the teacher was some Access people in the hallway talking about how scary and pissed he got if you interrupted one of his classes. So that’s great. I haven’t settled on an opinion of him yet. He could go either delightfully witty or obnoxiously witty. Only time will tell. The good news is that most of our source material is old enough to be public domain so I’m pretty sure I can get through without buying Norton Anthology. Freaking again. Because it’s the same ones that I had for my first world lit sequence 2 or 3 years ago and sold because I thought I was done with lower level. Anyway I already own the Melville and Kafka on the list, so that’s fantastic. The only challenge will be figuring out which sections are in the anthology, and that can be solved with (a) some patient friends, or (b) a well-stocked library.

I’m in Latin with 3 girls from 100 level. We never really spoke that much last year but I was so excited to see ANYONE that I got all giggly about it anyway, and we speculated about the new teacher in the hallway for 30 minutes before class. The new teacher, by the way, seems nice and very nerdy, but he brought a new textbook with him, and I was kind of looking forward to ony buying one Latin book ever. Also his syllabus is much less organized than the ones I’m used to. But maybe that will get better once I learn how to read it. I even made a new friend! Well, I exchanged names with the girl sitting across from me in the hallway. But it’s a start!

No Greek until Friday, but that will be exactly the same as it was last year, except without Stinson. Just Greek texts and some rather silly younger boys. And Tatiana.

I actually want to try to get one more class in, a high level Greek reading independent study, because I need it to graduate and have much less to do this semester than next, but I’m not sure how much of Tatiana’s patience is left with me. Everything since July has become massively complicated one way or another.

After Latin was work – the usual menial tasks plus an officemate I wasn’t expecting to see because they told me she graduated for some reason. So, nice surprise. And soon more work, and in a few weeks a new job hopefully! I’m going to try for sub at the church dayschool. I’m told that there are no qualifications necessary, and I can call about half the teachers as references to boot. Not that getting on the list means I’ll ever be called, but the prospect of a paycheck is good enough.

How was your first day? And if you didn’t have one, how was your Wednesday?