Thursday, March 7, 2019

Thanksgiving Orlando Trip 2017

Not my most original blog post title, I know. I've been wanting to write about this trip for months and now I can finally can! I was going to do a bunch of mini posts about it but since time and simplicity are now of the essence, I'm just doing one big post about it with my favorite pictures from the trip.

We spent the week of Thanksgiving in one of our favorite vacation spots--Orlando--in 2017. It was our second time going to Universal Studios and SeaWorld, and it was even more fun than the first time.

We went to 2 Infinity, a huge indoor trampoline park/obstacle course that John had found on YouTube, where the boys had a blast.

Our room at the resort we stayed at had a pretty lake view. At night we could watch the fireworks from Disney over the trees in the distance. (And yes, it made me feel nostalgic for Disneyworld!)

We spent a couple of very fun days at Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure.

Owl Post! Had to get a picture.

 This continues to be as close as I get to England! Thank you Harry Potter.

I was in the UFO in front of them (obviously). 

I rode the Rip Ride Rocket and was terrified. But these daredevil boys loved it! 

We went to "SpongeBob Storepants" and they got to meet SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward. This was seriously so funny and a true highlight of the trip!

We got to see a mini version of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

We watched the amazing holiday lights show on Hogwarts Castle that they only do during the holiday season. It was really good!

Do you see the Christmas tree?

A view of the castle by day

Re-creation of a shot in the same place that we did the last time we were there (which I'm too busy to go and find right now so you'll just have to believe me or search my blog for the posts about our last Universal trip if you're a super-fan. LOL!).

A totally decadent smores ice cream sundae dessert from The Chocolate Emporium. 

The start of a fresh new day at Universal (you can tell by their nicely gelled hair. Well, Sam's anyway!).


This photo didn't quite turn out the way I envisioned, but oh well.

We ate a very delicious Thanksgiving dinner at Three Broomsticks, a popular Harry Potter restaurant.

I love the interior of Three Broomsticks.

 The Kong ride is so cool. They were building it the last time we were there. 

More climbing on another rock wall.

This is the huge SUV we Peter drove around all week. I prefer my more compact Highlander!

We went to Universal's cool new waterpark, Volcano Bay. It was really fun, and it has the most amazing water coaster that you can ride with your family (of four). 

John went down this terrifying (to me) drop-bottom waterslide that started near the top of the volcano and went all the way down through it and then through a clear tube that people could look into from the outside. Fearless!


One day we ate lunch at the world's largest McDonald's, where they serve pasta and pizza. It was good!  

Another day we went to Downtown Disney and ate dinner at the dinosaur restaurant there that I'm forgetting the name of that we'd been wanting to eat at for years.

We spent a fun day at SeaWorld! 

We went to a cool dolphin show. 

It was cold in here! The penguins were really cute.
John after a roller coaster ride that I chickened out going on with him.

Another fun show. It's amazing what these animals can be trained to do. They're so smart! (And I believe they're treated well, by the way.)

 The Mako is the taller rollercoaster in Orlando. John went on it a few times, but Sam was too short. Next time, Sam! 

 While John was riding the Mako, Sam got his face painted.

Dinner with a view! We ate at this awesome restaurant with a giant wall that looked into an aquarium. 

Folks, this angel is real...

I love this picture!

I absolutely love the way SeaWorld decorates their trees during the holidays.

And of course there's the famous Sea of Trees!   

We spent a day at another new waterpark that we hadn't been to before and literally all I have to show for it is these three pictures. It was Aquatica, and it was fun, but the weather was cooler that day and the park was uncrowded, which was nice for the boys. I didn't go in the water at all--it was too chilly for me!

Our cabana where I read and rested.

This cute little squirrel and I hung out for awhile. He was using me for the french fries, but that's okay. 

On our way to the airport to fly home, we stopped at the Orlando Temple. It was Sunday so it was a good Sabbath-day thing to do. The temple and its grounds were so pretty and peaceful.

On the flight home, Sam had a little piece of Universal with him--the stuffed Patrick that he got at SpongeBob Storepants!

It was a great vacation, and one that I'm eager to repeat next month!