Florida – one month later

Yep…an entire month has gone by since we returned from our trip.

I’ve been to Florida many times since I met Scott because some of his family lives there. And it’s always been a welcome change of scenery from the colder weather. This trip, though, was the first one where I felt sad leaving. Probably a combination of the dread of returning to the frigid weather, not wanting to let go of the relaxing feeling of a vacation and wanting to hold on to the joy of watching Dev explore a new place. (One that’s complete with amusement parks, alligators and an ocean.)

We flew direct to Sanford International Airport, which was awesome. Quick and easy flight. Quick and easy car rental. Not so quick and easy drive to Orlando (crazy Florida traffic!).

Sanford – we were looking for alligators but it was pretty chilly when we arrived.

Dev was so, so excited about Universal. The parents weren’t really on that same wavelength, especially the daddy parent. However…it turned out to be way more fun than the adults had anticipated and spending a full day trekking around the park didn’t even phase us. You can see the smile on the kiddo in the photos. It was there for most of the trip!

Dev wasn’t the only one excited about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

As much as I loved Hogwarts and the butter beer, I was LESS than thrilled with the Dragon Challenge coaster. Even with dramamine in my system, that ride kicked my butt. Of course it was the first one we went on that morning and I was sure I wasn’t going to be able to do anything else once I got off and swerved like a drunk for several minutes. Happily, the Hogwarts ride went smoothly and I handled the rest like a champ.

My view waiting in line to get into Ollivander’s – the longest line of all.
The kid is a huge Jurassic Park fan.
I think the water rides ended up being his favorite.
It was only 55 degrees, but the sunshine made getting drenched a non-event.
It seemed like every ride had its own unique glasses you had to wear.
This? So, so good. I had two. Yes, I did.

Over the weekend we did some visiting with family and friends. We got to catch up with sisters and brothers, nieces and nephews (and grandnieces and nephews) and various new in-laws. We traveled to New Smyrna Beach to meet up with a friend we’d both worked with in Chicago. She’s a huge nature enthusiast and brought along a mermaid’s purse for Dev. He was thrilled. He was also pretty geeked about chasing the seagulls on the beach. It was too chilly and windy to spend as much time on the sand as we would have liked, but he was happy as the proverbial clam while we were there.





See? He loved it.
Dev thought these birds looked like “those bald guys who have just hair on the sides of their head” – apologies to any of those guys who might be reading this.


Meet-up with Patty! Photo by Dev.

After the beach we went to Blue Spring to see the manatees. In all the years I’ve been visiting Florida, I’ve never seen one. Imagine my giddy excitement when I saw the first one. I think Dev thought I was a little crazy. He was way more impressed by the alligator that was lounging on a log in the middle of the manatee party.

There’s an alligator lurking amongst those manatees. Beware!







 The last day we headed back to Universal to try the other side of the park. The one with The Simpsons recreation, including Duff Beer for Dad!


 There was plenty of other fun to be had, including riding The Mummy three times and dining on a deck with plenty of sun and and a nice breeze in “San Francisco.”

This one would have made me hurl. I’m pretty sure of that.



There’s that smile again. I’m so happy that he was so happy!