That’s right, I arrived home yesterday from the land of sunshine and richly costumed theme park employees, and am currently blogging from a slightly more dismal, dank office in Pittsburgh. *sigh*
But let me regale you with my tales from Florida! Warning- there are LOTS of photos in this post!
My best buddy (also a fellow equestrian, who used to join me in terrorizing the hunt country on our Haflinger steeds) and I did Orlando on a budget- which means we took the train down to Florida instead of flying. If you’re curious, it’s 13 hrs by train from NC to FL.
On our way!
We got there, then napped (sleeping is somewhat difficult on the train) and decided to save all our energy for the next day- Disney! Now, I haven’t been to Disney since I was little, and really didn’t remember a thing about it, so I was pretty surprised by the level of detail that went into the atmosphere, and many of the special effects were pretty jaw dropping. For instance, I always thought fireworks set to music were nice, but the music would be atmospheric rather than aligned with the visual pyrotechnic display- Disney’s firework show was brilliant- I don’t think I have ever seen timing done so well!
The next day we went to Universal- the highlight of my trip because I am oh-so-into Harry Potter. Obviously. We arrived as they were getting ready to open the gates, and of course headed straight to Potter land before all the other obsessed Muggles got there and spoiled the fun.
Let me just say, if Disney world was jaw dropping, the effects inside the Castle ride were heart stopping. I still have no idea how they acheived some of the 3D effects they did. It was very well done, so much so that we went for a second trip later in the afternoon.
Monday we caught some rays (can you believe it was 80 degrees there? paradise!) and then went indoor skydiving! This was possible with a giant wind tunnel, and an instructor will stand on the net and help you get in the correct position so you actually float in the air! The wind is obviously incredibly strong, so you have to wear ear plugs, helmet, and a badass looking flight suit. And, if you walked 2 miles in the blazing sun to get there and you can’t get your rings off because your fingers are like sausages, you also get to wear a glove a la Michael Jackson.
Anyways, the whole floating thing is actually a lot harder than it looks. In order to stay up, you have to relax your spine, drop your waist, bend your legs to a specific degree and hold your arms in a certain way in front of your face (or like me, go for the Thriller pose, embracing the Michael Jackson theme). It sounds easy until you add all the wind and the fact that there is nothing that compares to trying to float in space, so your body has zero idea what is right or wrong! I started to get the hang of it my second time around (we got 2 turns each, 1 minute each turn), but I have a new found respect for the people who do acrobatics doing the real thing! Wow!
We toasted our new found skills with a glass of wine at Maggiano’s that resulted in a free meal plus dessert (winning!) and hopped the train back to Raleighwood. I got to spend one night with my guy, quickly see Foster, and here I am again in Pittsburgh the next morning! Phew! Lots of traveling, but I am so glad I got to go on such an adventure-packed vacation! Mischief managed!