Once we dropped Elena off in Georgia to spend a week with her grandparents we hopped on a plane to Orlando! Here we are in our flight. The guys behind us gets 100 points for a flawless photobomb.
The flight was pretty fast. I think it was maybe an hour. Anyway, our hotel was awesome. We tried to go in the off season so as to save $$. It was a good idea. Staying on site gave us the ability to enjoy so many amenities and ZERO driving! I enjoyed the luxury of taking the shuttle to the parks. I shudder to think of how much all that gasoline would have been.
So... this is our room.
It was so nice!
We arrived at about 4pm and decided to take it easy and hit the parks the next morning. We had 3 day passes that we didn't want to waste on 1/2 a day. Once we settled in we decided to oogle at the gorgeous pool, grab dinner at the bowling alley on site and then peruse through City Walk for dessert at the NBA restaurant.
Oh my YUM! Those Southwest Egg rolls were IT!!!!!!
Jonathan was definitely in his element at this restaurant. We watched the 1st game of the playoffs and then ordered a delicious dessert.
Two words for ya.
Oh golly. It was sweet and crunchy goodness.
Finally on our 1st eveninb we took a selfie in front of the Universal ball.
The next day was rainy. We started early because we had reservations to eat at the Three Broomsticks.
Upon arriving in Hogsmede I was just so pleased and didn't even care about the rain!
After breakfast we decided to start some souvenier shopping. One perk of our resort was that everything we bought could be sent to the front desk and be picked up instead of being carried around the parks.
We also visited the Marvel area in Islands of Adventure and met some cool people!!
After shopping, browsing and a couple of rides we went to lunch.
In true Jonathan form he ordered Guacamole as an appetizer. It was delightful. He also had a burger. I ordered a turkey burger with mango slaw. OH BABY!!!!!
We went over to Universal Studios for a little while before heading back to the resort for some rest. I was pretty excited to see William Shatners star! We also got to see the character parade!
While Jonathan napped I tried to tan a bit.
That night we had to watch our show! The Flash just seemed better from a bed with room service! :)
I thought it was a nice touch for them to have the advertisement from the movie.
The Knight Bus!
Phone booth! I wanted to actually dial and listen to the Ministry of Magic thing, but it was so full that there was just no way to get in.
THE ENTRANCE TO DIAGON ALLEY!
Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes!
We had breakfast at The Leaky Cauldron. It was really cool!
This definitely brings out the nerd in me, but being able to be in restaurant I have seen in the Harry Potter movies was such a thrilling experience for me. I think it took me about 20 minutes to actually start eating my food because I just kept looking around with my mouth hanging open. At one point the server came over to me and said "You need to put your phone down and eat." I couldn't stop taking pictures of everything! Once I start eating it was really yummy. LOL.
After breakfast we walked around Diagon Alley a little bit and enjoyed seeing where you can convert regular money into Wizard currency. There was an animatronic goblin that would walk you through the entire process. The view of the actual bank at the end of the street was so cool. The thing that bothered me was that people were sitting on the front steps so I had to avoid getting them in the shot, but seeing that dragon breathe fire every few minutes was so cool. You could hear him rumbling for a little while before the fire would come out.
This right here is BY FAR my favorite part of Diagon Alley. I loved Knockturn Alley.
I had plans for specific things that I wanted to buy when I went to World of Harry Potter, but once I experienced Knockturn Alley and walked into Borgen & Burkes most of my plans went straight out the window. I wound up picking out items that I had not expected and I absolutely love them!
Here are the souvenirs I did pick up!
Shopping for these babies was AWESOME!
Anyway I think my favorite part of the trip was riding the Hogwarts Express both ways to Hogsmede and Diagon Alley. Each trip was different and I love the pictures I got to take before boarding. There is also this cool moment!
Right?! Any Harry Potter fan would feel like this was a MAJOR moment!
This right here is my favorite photo of the trip.
When we took the trip into Diagon Alley we decided on browsing a bit before going on the ride at Gringotts. The line was a bit longer that any of the ones we'd experienced earlier in the week but it was fine. :) As for the ride; we rated it a 3.5 out of 5. It was fun, but the Forbidden Journey at Hogwarts is better. It just felt short. Almost like it ends abruptly.
Here are some shots of the bank.
The Lestranges vault!
It was really fun. After a lot of Harry Potter awesomeness we climbed back on the Hogwarts Express. We headed over to Universal and rode the Simpsons ride. It was very fun! We were urged by a friend to go. Glad we did! It was fun!
When we arrived at the hotel I went to the pool for a bit and Jonathan sat under an umbrella and watched Jim Gaffigan on his phone. It was very relaxing!
After the pool we went on a date to a cool place in City Walk called CowFish!
Jonathan had this!
Shrimp tempura, kani inside coated with tempura flakes, topped with yellowtail, salmon, spicy mayo, masago, tobiko and scallions. Served with ponzu dipping sauce
I had this!
DION'S OMG! ROLL
Tempura coconut shrimp, kani, English cucumber inside, coated in tempura flakes. Topped with fresh mango, avocado, spicy honey marmalade and coconut flakes
After we ate we headed out for a walk and then watched The Avengers!
What an awesome movie!
On our last day we checked out of the hotel and picked up Starbucks before our driver picked us up.
While we sat and waited this was our view of the pool.
Once we got to the airport we checked in with out standby passes and waited for two open seats for the flight. We got bumped 3 times due to issues in Minnesota with flights that were being rerouted to our destination in Atlanta.
We waited and waited. We were not amused.
We did finally make a flight to Atlanta to pick up Elena and fly home.
Once we did pick up Elena we were so happy!
She had a lot to tell us about her week!!
While we were boarding we'd noticed a guy that we recognized. It was a bit confusing that we could know someone getting on a flight to West Virginia. Jonathan asked the flight attendant at check in "Is that who I think it is?" She said yes. I was confused. Who was it?
It was NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson! He was going to see his sis graduate with her PhD in Charleston. So cool.
Jonathan HAD to get a picture! What a cool moment for him!
After this we drove the 1 hour and a half home.
It was the BEST vacation!