What a whirlwind of a weekend! Friday, after putting in a hard day’s work from the Black Tap coffee house in downtown Charleston, Liz and I made the six hour drive down to sunny Orlando. Unfortunately, the sun didn’t play its reputed role. In fact, I witnessed a lot of folks bundled up in gloves, scarves, and winter coats to bare the mid 50’s weather.
We spent our nights with the Beck family, who graciously opened their house to us. Both mornings we were treated to a full spread yogurt and oatmeal bar Andrea prepared. However, other than sleeping and breakfast, we didn’t spend any time hanging around the house. There were just too many things to see and do!
Early Saturday morning we headed to “The Happiest Place On Earth” (someone should have told the crying kids.) It was Liz’s first time to Disney and my first in over 15 years, so having our own personal Disney sherpa, Evan Beck, was a godsend. Evan knew every ride and restaurant, allowing us to see more of the park than I could have imagined. A few of my park favorites include Splash Mountain, the Carousel of Progress, and Space Mountain. However, I think the most memorable experience was the Once Upon A Time show. The program involved unbelievably powerful projectors shining onto the iconic Cinderella’s Castle, making it appear to change texture and shape, all while beloved Disney characters climbed and flew their way about the castle.
With Sunday morning came rain. That didn’t stop Liz, Lauren, Evan and I from taking advantage of the free tickets Lauren got us for Universal Studios. The rain, along with low temperatures, kept lines short. I doubt we waited more than 20 minutes for even the most popular rides. Most of the crowd that did show up arrived in their wizarding cloaks, looking to explore Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade (for the muggles out there, these are Harry Potter locations.) While the Harry Potter world was enjoyable, my favorite rides were the ‘3D coasters’. They were unlike any other amusement park ride I’ve experienced – a mash up roller coaster, 3D movie experience that places riders into the middle of hit movies like Transformers and King Kong.
As if that weren’t enough for one weekend, after Universal, Liz and I made the drive down to Siesta Key Sunday night. It was certainly one of the most jam-packed weekends I’ve experienced in a while. Although I enjoyed every moment of it, I’m looking forward to relaxing and sipping margaritas beachside for the next two weeks. Thanks again to the Becks for all of their hospitality!