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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Universal Studios

It was a week ago this morning that K and I flew to Orlando for my sister's wedding. This was my first family wedding I attended!

It was a beautiful wedding. Alex had put her entire heart into organizing the perfect wedding: from a gorgeous wedding dress to location, minister, food menu and vows. About 30 people attented this wedding and everyone flew or drove down from other places to attend.

I even enjoyed Universal Studios, although I'm not a fan of amusement parks. After the wedding ceremony and reception Matt had us all go on a scavenger hunt around the park. Iris and I were teamed up with two other women we had never met before. One of the other women, Linda, had as much fun as Iris and I had looking for the hidden secrets. The hunt was a good way to get familiarized with the park.

We arrived in Orlando Thursday afternoon, rested at the hotel and enjoyed a free meal at the next-door TGI Friday's for Veteran's Day. TGI Friday's went all-out as well and offered their free meals to all Veterans for FOUR DAYS! That means that K and I enjoyed two breakfasts and two dinners there, always getting great service. TGI Friday's meals are much more diverse than Applebee's.

The park itself was crowded. We went on a few rides but spent most of our time walking around and looking at stuff. We rode the Spiderman ride. We tried out the Harry Potter ride (which broke down on us while we were in it!). The Hulk rollercoaster gave me nausea and a headache. We floated through Jurassic Park a few times, always managing to avoid a major soaking.

Saturday we opted to visit the park again and ride some more. The Harry Potter ride broke down on Saturday as well for 20 minutes. We tried Butterbeer and sported frothy white mustaches, although I'm not crazy about the Butterscotch concoction.

Weather was ideal although it got cool after sunset. This, however, was not an easy feat because one of my family members demanded we spend the entire time in Orlando as a family. Since this was as much my vacation as it was K's, I sided with K and refused to play along. Oh well. Most of the other family members supported my decision. K and I ended up having a great time all last weekend. We made Orlando a mini-vacation we both promised to repeat again in another city next year, like Portland or Seattle.

We stayed at the Double Tree Hotel located a block away from the Universal Studio's main entrance on Major Drive. One can't see the entrance as it's covered with foliage but we learned that it's a mere half-mile away. Cabs charge $5 a ride to get there from the hotel. The hotel was rather basic. There is no free continental breakfast. The rooms have refrigerators and coffee makers and decent cable TV, but in-room WiFi costs $9.95 a day. Free WiFi is only in the lobby area. I saw a cockroach hiding behind the hotel room's desk the second night I was there.

We will most likely never go back to Universal Studios. It was a one-time event we enjoyed, though.

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