September 30, 2011

Vacation: Orlando, Florida -- July 5th --11th, 2011

     ---Originally posted on 7/14/11 to Teenage Times--- 
   Hey hey.
 To start off, I just want to apologize for being a day later. Now we can start.


   Day One: Road Trip
         We drove “straight through” for an unknown amount of hours, 10+, I think. We arrived at our “villa” (really? A villa is either a little house in France or a massive Las Vegas hotel room, okay?) late at night. My parents, brother, dog, and cat were all there. Hooray.
    Day Two: Shopping
        First, we went to this KILLER Japanese store; most everything was 89 cents! Score! I got several things, including four pairs of $2.49 jelly flats. I’ve been looking for good jellies for a solid three years, man.
     Next, we went to Big Top by AKT. We had a Groupon(just like with freaking anything else we did…actually, it’s a good thing, they never would’ve been discovered otherwise), so it was on the cheap. Anyway, Big Top is a shirt-making company. They even make special designs for the customer; my brother had a purple elephant made for his girlfriend(don’t even ask). I really wanted to incorporate the adorable whale graphic and a cassette, but how? This is what happened:

  Get it? It’s not clever if you make me explain it.
       Anyway, the service and staff were incredible. You’re going to Orlando? Swing by Big Top by AKT, for sure.
     After this, we dropped off the males at the movies and went shopping. H&M, BABY! Finally. You know how much I’ve been dying to go here! I tried on around 15 things, and although only about five worked, it was still a pretty cool experience shopping there. Eventually, we got to Orlando Premium Outlets. Not the fancy International one, but the other. I scored at Levi’s, and got a Venomous Villains MAC lipglass at another place. My mom got it for me. She’s pretty cool sometimes. I’ll definitely do a review on it, at some point.
    Day Three: Comedy Club
       On the third day, due to our vacation deal, a hunk of our morning was taken. After this and a horrific pool sunburn, we went to Sak’s Comedy Lab in Downtown(GROUPON ALERT!). There were “Dueling Comedians”. When I first heard “all ages humor”, I got bummed. My humor isn’t really for all ages. However, the teams both did an excellent job, and I really enjoyed the experience. After this, we had a bit of time, and saw Bad Teacher. I wish Horrible Bosses had already been out instead! Darn.
   Day Four: Universal Studios
      Remember how excited I was for the Boys Like Girls concert? Well, my mom and I thought the concert was at Islands of Adventure, which is why we decided to go here today and there tomorrow(Saturday, the day of the concert). Well, we were wrong. Lame! No concert for us. Anyway, the park was awesome, the Simpsons ride was terrific, I got a load of pressed pennies(I collect those, you know).

    Day Five: Universal’s Islands of Adventure
      Since we had been just last year, we skipped to Harry Potter, in the park’s rear. OMFGITSHOGSMEADEIWILLDIE moment, then we went to Zonko’s, HoneyDukes, and stood in awe at the line for Dervish & Banges, the Owl Post, and especially Ollivander’s. Next, the Hippogriff ride! YEAH. The line was insane! It was a good young person ride. After this, the Dragon Challenge! The wait? Five freaking minutes. That’s 25 less than the Hippogriff ride. Anyway, this loopy coaster blew my mind, and made my brother obsess of hardcore coasters for the rest of the day.
    After seeing the 60 minute wait for the castle, we decided to come back to Harry later, and explored the rest of the park. Like the Spiderman, Hulk, and Dr. Seuss parts. We saw a Lost Continent show before returning later. By now, we were hungry. And you’ll never guess where we at dinner… The Three Broomsticks! Dude! It was awesome! I got Cornish Pasties because that was the only thing that sounded unusual; it was delicious. I drank, of course, butterbeer. It was so rich. I actually have a recipe for it; I might post it eventually. Anyway, we then waited in line of Ollivander’s. We finally got it to the adorable little show, then went to Dervish & Banges through it. I got a wand! YES! Checked out the Owl Post, then on to the castle.
    A 75 minute wait. Dude. Not even cool. The line never ended! After a good 75 minutes, we were there! The ride? Um? Let’s just say it was the FREAKING BEST RIDE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD EVER. It was pretty epic, to say the least.
    We swung by HoneyDukes (it was already closing time, but the place was still packed), where I bought some Every Flavor Beans. Special tip: Don’t buy the teeny $11 box, go to the lever, grab a bag, and fill it high with the exact same beans…just pay half the price. Grabbed a Pumpkin Juice, too. Before leaving, we swung by a Butterbeer stand and grabbed one in one of those special mugs. After that, it was way past closing time, and we headed out.

    Digging that crappy hotel bedding? Oh, there’s a Gryffindor keychain, too.

 I have 8,000 photos, but here’s some used butterbeer & a windowdisplay cat

  Day Six: Snorkel, Snorkel!
      We arose around 6 a.m. (my mother and myself), and after a two-hour drive, we found the rinky-dink, backwoods town that the surprisingly legit and professional American Pro Diving Center was in. I was incredibly nervous; I’m not a strong swimmer, at all. Add that to the list of things I suck at(remember my multiple baking rants?). Anyway, after check-in they suited us in our wetsuits, fins, and snorkels + had us watch a proper behavior video, we left to Pete’s Pier. There, we loaded onto a boat and, in around 5 minutes, found an enormous mother manatee. Since I said mother, you know there must be a BABY!! There was. We found this adorable one-month-old male swimming around, and played with us the entire time. It was glorious. I had a lifejacket under my arm…like I said, I’m not a strong swimmer, so they accommodated me with said lifejacket. The epic adventure ended sometime later. It was totally, absolutely, amazing. We never would’ve found it without Groupon!
    This is my favorite. If you decide to do this, bring an underwater camera!
    Day Seven: Departure
       Aw, shoot. It’s closing time, as Semisonic would say. We left ridiculously early, but came back early–able to catch up on all our missed TV shows. (True Blood, anyone?)
     …And that’s our Orlando vacation! It was totally rad. Our next vacation will be on Fall Break to the gorgeous Smokies. As for this one? It was totally irreplaceable.
 Check back on Saturday for some vacation/packing tips.

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