On Sunday, we headed out of Orlando to partake in a Florida EcoSafari. I'd always wanted to try zip-lining, and figured my birthday would be a great time to try something scary. They were booked up on my actual birthday, but Sunday seemed like a great day to try. Mike was nervous and thinking I had lost my mind wanting to do this. Until we got there, when things between us switched drastically. After climbing the first set of stairs to the first platform, Mike declared his love of heights. I, however, felt like I was going to throw up. I'm not usually scared of heights, but this was a whole new animal.
I was getting queasier and queasier.
Totally terrified. The zips themselves weren't so bad. It was the climbing the rickety looking (but I'm sure totally safe) stairs and standing on the swaying platforms that got to me.
The worst of all, though, was the horrifying "skybridges." You may notice from my death grip below, I was not liking those AT ALL. I don't like that they moved when you walked on them. I didn't like that the next person started walking on it before you were done, which made the whole thing bounce like a trampoline.
I also didn't like that pretty much every time I zipped I got turned backwards, somehow, so in this lovely video you'll see what I was doing to try to right myself (which is the completely wrong way to do it). And if you look really carefully, you'll notice where the rope knot hits me in the face when I land. Not on video is where I ran into a tree. Well, my arm anyway.
I survived it. And I didn't throw up until after I was safely in their lobby bathroom. It's my new deal: You scare me, I puke in your bathroom. It wasn't a horrible experience, because at least I can say I did it. I didn't do it gracefully, but I finished, without crying. Mike had a fantastic time, at least, and that counts as a lot for me.
After I spent the rest of the day recuperating, we met up with Avitable for dinner at the Hard Rock, where he took my meeting a blogger virginity. I've never had the opportunity to meet up with a blogger before (because for some reason, people don't vacation here often. I just can't see why not.)
Then on Monday, it was time for the reason we went to Orlando: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. There's not a lot I can say beyond that it was fantastic. If you're a fan of Harry Potter, you must go experience this. We arrived well before opening time, and the lines weren't ridiculous. It was a beautiful, sunny, warm day.
The food at the Three Broomsticks was so good, we ate there for lunch and dinner. I will say, I found Butterbeer to be horrible. I guess if you like cream soda it's good, but I couldn't choke it down. I didn't like the pumpkin juice, either. I did enjoy the beer they have specially brewed for them, though.
The attention to detail was amazing. It legitimately felt like you were walking through Hogwarts. It helped that we were early enough to avoid super long lines, and could walk through the building at our own pace. The paintings talked to you (of course) but it really looked like oil paintings were speaking.
I was particularly taken with the charm of the buildings in the Hogsmeade portion. It was bustling just like a city, too, so the only decent shots I have are just of the rooflines.
I think the Ollivander's part was not worth waiting in line for an hour for a 5 minute performance where a kid you don't know gets chosen for a wand, but we did purchase a few wands at the end. One was for Mike's sister in law, the other was for "me," but it's the wand Mike thought looked the coolest (Sirius Black's). Now I just need to figure out what the hell to do with it. I assume it will stay in it's box in a closet.
After we had thoroughly toured the area, we did the rest of Islands of Adventure, then went to the regular Universal Studios part (per the recommendation of Avitable) and had a great time with all that as well. We went back to the Harry Potter part when the sun went down, and it was just as pretty at night. Our camera didn't have a great night mode, so the pictures don't capture it very well.
And that was it! The next day we flew home. None of our flights were canceled, so I'll consider that a win.