Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Back in North Carolina after a lovely and too brief trip to Florida!

Ed's dad has been ill, and we wanted to visit him before his upcoming surgery, and the kids have wanted to visit Harry Potterland since it was built, so we did both of these things. Late October is Perfect in Florida, and also, evidently, a very good time to visit Orlando theme parks -- not hot, and not very crowded (relatively speaking!). We had a nice visit with Ed's dad and brother down in Vero Beach, as well (though I'm stunned every time we go back at how fast it continues to grow). It was a great trip!

Here we are with Ed's dad and brother.

And here we are at Universal/Islands of Adventure!
 Inside Gringotts Bank. This was my favorite ride (one of the not-very-many that didn't make me queasy) and we rode it three times. Well, Ed rode it once. Pretty much all the rides were too much for him, poor guy.

Ed and Marilyn.

The kids and Homer.

The kids rode Everything.

Ed and the American Graffiti cars. I think.

Ed and the Mystery Machine

The hotel pool. The kids really enjoyed the pool.

The Hogwarts Express. The kids and I rode it three times. Very cool!

Platform 9 3/4, of course!

 Katie. She's been dreaming of going to Harry Potterland for So many years!

It really is Beautifully done. I wish I'd gotten a picture of the castle -- it's fantastic!


Outside Honeydukes.

Katie and her Butterbeer.

They loved Seussland...

and the Jurassic Park ride! I rode it once, but the drop at the end was.... well, it dropped, and I prefer Not dropping.

And here we are in Diagon Alley. So neat. I particularly got a kick out of Knockturn Alley.

Flourish & Blotts. Pretend bookstores are too much of a tease for me.

The dragon breathes fire!

Did I mention that the kids rode All the rides?

They did All the roller coasters. I was surprised when Travis wanted to ride them, but absolutely Stunned when Katie turned out to be a roller coaster junkie! None of them were too terrifying for them (and they have some Very terrifying roller coasters at Universal!). I tried not to watch.

They teamed up on the moles and won a Minion.

King's Cross Station. Did I mention how much we liked the train?

 Inside the Magical Menagerie.

Yup. they rode it.

They rode the Dragon Challenge three times.

 Honeydukes. Katie got her Chocolate Frog, complete with Wizard Card.

And the Pumpkin Juice.

Travis is too cool to be flustered by a rampaging Tyrannosaurus.


This one was particularly awful. They rode it twice (and Katie wanted to go again).

The hotel pool. It really was a nice one.

Ed liked the cars parked in front of the motel (display cars).

Breakfast. Katie is not a morning person.

Ed and Travis, working out directions to the car rental place.

Headed home.

It was great, and we came home to find the leaves in NC looking really glorious! Florida is great, but after a few days of heavy traffic it was nice to get home to our quiet corner of North Carolina.

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