Monday, February 20, 2012

Vacation Days . . .

My son has been accumulating vacation days ever since he started working at Best Buy, but he rarely uses them.  So when one of his managers started pushing Ryan to take some, I suggested that he fly to Tampa after the Clearwater show.  I would pick him up at the airport and then we could run up to Orlando for a few days before driving home.  Actually, we first had this conversation in April or May last year – but Ryan has no interest in 95 degrees and humidity.  February is more his speed.

He had never flown solo before, so he was a little apprehensive.  But the flight went fine, other than a “rock and roll” landing (it was really windy) – Ryan was convinced that he wouldn’t bother flying again.  I told him to revisit that thought after spending 16 hours in the truck heading home (yeah, he thinks flying is much better now).

Of course, we packed for the warm sunny days that Florida has experienced all winter.  Imagine our glee when we awoke Sunday morning and it was thirty degrees outside!  But nothing stops us – we threw on every layer we had in our suitcases and headed for Disney’s Hollywood Studios (our favorite of the Disney parks).  We learned quickly that nothing beats cold February days at theme parks – the longest line we experienced all day was five minutes!

DSCN1834 DSCN1836

Didn’t take many pictures – we were moving too fast and having too much fun.  But when you can park the truck less than 100 yards from the entrance, it’s an easy trek out for a cold drink and Ryan got to sit down and catch up on his texting.

DSCN1837 DSCN1839

Later in the day, we took the bus/monorail over to the Magic Kingdom.  We knew that wouldn’t be our favorite destination since we had no little ones with us, but we walked around for a while.  Ryan found a globe that apparently rotates if you work it just right (he didn’t).  But on the way out of the Magic Kingdom, we discovered the highlight of our trip . . .

DSCN1843 DSCN1845

Ice cream cookie sandwiches from the Main Street Bakery!  Imagine two cookies as big as your hand, with two scoops of vanilla ice cream smashed in-between.  Ryan made it easily through his, then enjoyed taunting me as I struggled to finish mine (yes, I did – but it wasn’t easy).

DSCN1849 DSCN1851

Ryan hadn’t spent a night in a hotel in years, and when we got back he suddenly remembered how much he enjoyed bouncing on the beds when he was little.  Still does . . .

DSCN1854 DSCN1857

Monday and Tuesday, we went to Universal.  More thrill rides there – and more danger for me.  I get motion sickness very easily, so I have learned to avoid eating and drinking while I’m at the parks.  That way, I can keep up.  Ryan has to be careful as well – but he can’t resist Dippin’ Dots!


I know nothing about Harry Potter – haven’t read the books, haven’t seen the movies.  But Universal outdid itself with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  I explored the “town” while Ryan rode Dragon Challenge for the second time.  And then we tackled the castle.  My opinion – Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is the best ride I have ever experienced at an amusement park.  Stunning architecture, fascinating walk through the building, and the ride is unbelievable.  Imagine what I might have thought if I had understood what was going on!  We walked out of the building when the ride ended and immediately went back for a second trip.

We had planned to spend a day at Epcot before heading home, but Ryan started flirting with a cold on Monday morning, and by Tuesday afternoon he was pretty miserable – couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think, couldn’t taste his food.  So I suggested that we head for home a day early.  I knew he felt bad, but I had no idea how bad until a couple of days after we got home – sneezing constantly in a small truck cab means that Dad gets to share the experience later.  And the experience is rotten . . .

But we had a ball . . .


  1. What a special time with your son. Priceless!

  2. Looks like you two had a blast , so speacial when your son will still spend time with you , say's your a Great Dad.

  3. I am so jealous. Love DisneyWorld - all the parks in it - and haven't been in years and dying to go to Harry Potter world at Universal. We're trying to save and go in several years; even our 6 year old loves Harry Potter :) Now that you've seen how incredible the ride experience was, are you going to watch the movies? btw, love the pic of Ryan jumping on the bed - great smile :) Glad you all had fun and you're both feeling better!

  4. Things seem to change as we age and my love for roller coasters I thought was history until someone told me to take Dramamine before hitting the rides. I took one before heading out for the day and rode all day long with no problems. So if you haven't tried it yet you'll be thanking me. Some things in life we should never have to give up!

    Creatively, Cindy Cade