Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Jurassic Park River Adventure

Finally, I have figured out how to get some videos uploaded to the blog!  I'm so excited!  This was my test video and unbeknownst to me, it was the one where Dan got the whole entire ride!  The first day at Islands of Adventure it rained in the morning.  We decided to stow the camera bag in a locker and go ride water rides.  Only two were open, the other was down for maintenance but we are still trying to figure out which was our favorite.  

Our whole family loves Jurassic Park.  Skyeler has been watching it since she was two :)  We can practically quote the whole thing (which you'll hear on the video)!  I don't know how many times I'll say this as I'm blogging about our trip, but the themeing was magnificent.  Really, they spared no expense *giggle.*  The video is a little long but it takes you through the whole ride.  Dan's recording is a little jumpy in places.  We are not as good at recording as Skye. ;)


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Highlights: Wizarding World of Harry Potter Day Two

Our last day at Islands of Adventure was beautiful and sunny.  I was able to take a lot of pictures.  There are so many cool areas to Islands of Adventure that I had trouble picking the highlights, so I'm going post a couple highlights from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and then a separate one for day two of Islands of Adventure.  

 A family picture at the entrance to Hogsmeade

 Skyeler and Aly in front of the Hogwarts Express

 I'm sure I mentioned Butterbeer :)  We sat in the Hogs Head and had Butterbeer.  I stayed behind to write our postcards (and enjoy my Butterbeer) while Dan and the girls went to ride the Dragon's Challenge.

 In the afternoon we got to see the Durmstrang and Beauxbaton's perform.  What a treat!  Skyeler captured it on video.  Afterwards, Aly was able to be first in line to get her picture taken with them.

Skyeler under the Hufflepuff banner.  

Monday, September 12, 2011

Highlights: Universal Studios

Wednesday was our only day at Universal Studios.  It is definitely a different park than Islands of Adventure. What was I looking forward to the most ... Jaws!  Cue the music, I was ready.  It was a lovely day.  The rain held off till an hour before the park closed.  Again, these are just a couple highlights.  As I began posting, I realized that I forgot to take a picture of The Mummy ride.  The girls rode that one the most and it would have been in the highlights if I hadn't missed it.

 Skyeler, Dan, and Aly in front of the Universal logo

 The Rip Ride Rockit, one of the favorite roller coasters of the week

 Dan and the girls trying to look like Agent J & K.  Afterwards, they went to shoot some aliens.

 It looked like someone had caught Jaws before I could get on the ride.  Oh no!  Aly's fake look of horror would soon be replicated on the Amity Boat Tour (Jaws ride), only it wasn't so fake :) I don't think she realized just how big Jaws was going to be.

Cue the music ... here he comes!  Straight out of the second movie and larger than life!  Good stuff!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Highlights: Islands of Adventure Day One

The excitement in the air on Tuesday morning as we made our way toward the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was electric.  :)  It was everything we hoped for and more.  Beautiful.  Authentic.  Brilliant!  Tuesday was Aly's birthday.  She was excited to be going to Hogwarts on her 11th birthday just like Harry, Ron, and Hermione in the books.  

 Hogwarts Castle

 The wand chooses the wizard.  Aly was chosen for the wand choosing ceremony inside Olivander's.  Her wand:  Holly, 11 inches, unicorn tail hair core.  

 Butterbeer.  Oh! My!  I wanted to bring it home with me.  Think cream soda but better with more vanilla and caramel and this great foamy, sweet top.  Oh! My!  Cold or Frozen.  Um, I had...a lot :)
 Aly dressed as close as she could get to Hermione for the park.  She had a sweater vest but it was way too hot and I vetoed it.  

 Skyeler dressed as Luna.  Yes, she spent half the day in the park like this, minus the Spectrespecs.  :)  She bought Luna's wand to complete the outfit.

 Aly and her souvenirs from our first day.  Her wand, a pygmy puff, Spectrespecs, and Crookshanks.

Skyeler and her pygmy puff.

Highlights: Royal Pacific Resort & City Walk

At the moment, I don't have time to post all the pictures and stories from our trip to Universal Orlando, but I wanted to give everyone a small peak at some of our favorite moments of each day.  It was truly an amazing experience!  I'm sure that you all will hear me ramble on about it for more hours than you'd like when we get back :)

 The view from the bridge that leads to the lobby of the Royal Pacific Hotel.

 The hotel upgraded our room to a park view since it was Aly's birthday Tuesday.  This was the view from our window on the 7th  floor.

 We ate in the food court at City Walk the first night.  The Hard Rock Hotel was all lit up (and too loud to eat in).

The Universal logo lit up and spinning in front of Universal Studios.  

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Shaker Village

After checking out of the house late Wednesday morning, we were able to get reservations to eat lunch at the village.  While they were getting our table ready, the kids explored.  There was this beautiful spiral staircase in the building where we were to eat.  The craftsmanship of the Shakers is amazing.  

Calleigh, Riley, Tori, Elizabeth, Lindsey, Colin, Skyeler

Lunch was delicious.  We were all starving after sleeping in and skipping breakfast.

We had a little bit of time to explore the village before our riverboat ride.  This is the Centre Family Dwelling. It had 40 rooms and was just under 25,000 square feet.  Many families would live in this house together.  The guide said that often those that lived in the house were the ones who were the most strict.  Different rooms now house a look at all aspects of Shaker life from bedrooms to school rooms to the apothecary.

In the basement we found a map of where the Shakers had established villages in the United States.  

A picture of a Grandfather Clock.  We learned a neat little fact in Bath.  A true antique Grandfather Clock will have the number 4 as IIII instead of IV.  Those with IV are from a later time period.  The clock in the Centre Family Dwelling had IIII.  Actually, all the clocks we saw in the village had IIII.

One of the bedrooms

A dining room

It would have been nice to have had more time to explore the village.  We barely made it through this house!  But we were looking forward to taking the riverboat ride.  So we loaded up the van and drove across the road and down to the river.