Archive for Travel – USA

USA Trip : Day 28 – Last day at the parks

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This morning we were up and out the door by 7.20am and patiently waited in line for the gates of Universal Studios to open at 7.45am. It was sprinkling a little but wasn’t too bad. And it was a LOT cooler, only 14C.

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Luckily when we made our way to Hogsmede today, Escape from Gringotts was open and we were able to ride. Athena hadn’t fitted in the test set but I knew that many people had still been able to ride – which was the case for Athena.

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The bank is amazing.

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And I thought the ride was really cool. So glad I got to ride it.

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Then it was time for some more spell casting.

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and pretending to be Hagrid.

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We then caught the train back to Hogwarts.

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So happy to get to enjoy it with less crowds.

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Christy went to ride Dragon Challenge.

IMG_9114.jpgWe We still hadn’t had breakfast so opted to have breakfast in the 3 Broomsticks.

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It’s the same menu as the other day but I was happy to have potatoes again. And a pancake.

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It was still only 14C and Athena was very cold (the rest of us were warmer because we were walking) so Athena and I went back around to the Super Hero area so they could get a jumper.

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Meanwhile Kevin did the dinosaur encounter, which was really cute, while Christy went to ride Jurassic Park.

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Time for another traditional photo.

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Since Christy was already wet from Jurassic Park, she decided to do ALL the wet rides and ended up soaked.

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As we left the park we stopped to do some more shopping and Christy finally decided to buy herself a Hufflepuff robe (from Harry Potter).

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We then went to the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch. The first time we ever went to one was on our last trip here in 2012.

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Kevin was feeling the effects of just a few sips of his Long Island Iced Tea.

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Thee’s burger came in a little guitar plate (they had already bought one to take home)…

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as did Christy’s mac n cheese…

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Since they didn’t have the same salad I’ve always gotten before (sadly) I opted to have nachos instead. Thankfully they were delicious.

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Kevin had potato skins.

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We then went back to the room for a bit. Unfortunately it was too cold for a last swim so I just played on my laptop.

Then about 4pm we headed back to the parks for the last time.

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Thee bought these light up cat ears and let Christy borrow them.

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We went back into Universal Studios and all did the Mummy ride together. So fun, but my back hurt in the same part again :-(.

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We decided to have dinner at Finnegan’s Bar and Grill – which we’d enjoyed on our last trip.

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We were able to get a table right away which was good, but our meal did take some time to arrive.

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The kids and I all had the potato and leek soup.

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The live music was good, though a little loud (for us anyway).

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After dinner it was time for some last spell casting in Hogsmede.

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Before catching the train back to Hogswart. Christy, with her robe on, looked quite the part.

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Both the Harry Potter areas are absolutely stunning at night and it was a lovely way to end our trip (even if the kids did end up arguing for a bit 🙁 ).

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Kevin and Christy rode the castle ride, while Athena and I enjoyed some people watching.

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We actually finished right when the park closed at 10am so walked back through a very empty park – which was great.

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We were all tired, but very happy, with our last day of theme parks. But also sad that the holiday was over and were heading home in the morning.

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USA Trip : Day 27 – Another fibro flare and afternoon at Universal

Unfortunately I was still in a lot of pain when I woke up this morning and definitely not up to going to the parks. Athena also wasn’t feeling the greatest so we decided to stay home and rest up with the hope we could join Kevin and Christy later.

It was rather busy at the parks and (having missed early entry) poor Kevin ended up waiting in line for an hour (even with Express Pass) for one of the rides. They must also have visited Diagon Alley as Kevin took this photo.

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By 1pm I felt well enough (though still not that terrific) to try meeting up at the parks. I caught the boat and Athena rode their scooter (after getting off the boat to go back and pick up the wands) and we met near the Universal globe.

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Everyone was pretty hungry so went to have lunch at the Chocolate Emporium in City Walk.

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It looks so cool but there was a 20min wait and we were too hungry to stick around (though in hindsight we should have).

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Instead we headed into Islands of Adventure. Some of my research info was incorrect and we ended up walking ALL the way around to the other side of the park to find somewhere that had decent vegetarian food.

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We ended up at Thunder Falls Terrace.

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where we ended up with unhealthy but quite yummy food.

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The view from our table out on the terrace, where it was nice and quiet…

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and then just before we left…

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Of course we had to take this photo :-).

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Christy headed off on her own for a bit and we went to ride Kong, which I was very excited about it since it’s a new ride.

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So lucky we had express pass for this one as the wait was over an hour stand-by.

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Such a cool ride. I really love how it is done. Very innovative.

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Love the little details like this lamp in the Jurassic Park area.

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We then headed into the Harry Potter area.

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and onto the train station so we could catch the train to London.

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We LOVED the train. Again so clever and innovative.

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We disembarked at Platform 9 3/4 in London ie. Universal Studios.

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And were lucky enough to notice people waiting for a show to begin.

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It was really good and we were super glad we’d been able to see it. Not sure what it’s called – but it was about the flying fish market.

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Kevin pointed out this bird. I thought he was trying to trick me when he said it was real. But then I saw it move :-).

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Once again as the day turned to night we were able to enjoy all the lights.

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Athena and I then went on the Mummy ride. Kevin had already ridden last night and wasn’t worried about going again.

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I’d forgotten how good this ride is and I really enjoyed it except for one part when the drop really hurt my back.

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We then met up with Christy and had dinner at the Monsters Cafe (where they had also eaten last night).

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I got a side dish of potatoes as the only other vegetarian option was cheese pizza.

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We had been planning to stay for the Macy’s parade but I’d had enough by now, as had Kevin and Athena. I also still needed to do a load of laundry. Christy stayed behind to do some more rides and the rest of us walked back to the hotel (quicker than waiting for the boat). She also saw some of the floats and took some photos.

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She also managed to walk into a wall….at platform 9 3/4 no less :-).

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Kevin was kind enough to help do the laundry and do to the last pick up once it was complete. I worked on doing some more blog posts, which is getting harder now towards the end of the trip. (Note : I’m writing this a whole week after the event when we’re back at home).

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