Andrew and I spent the last week with my family in Daytona Beach, Florida. My parents own a timeshare there, so it’s a familiar spot for my family, but this was the first time that Andrew would be joining us. Everyone but my eldest brother came, so it was really nice having almost the entire family together again.
The weather was beautiful all week long. There was a bit of rain the day we got there and the day that we left, but I couldn’t have planned it better.
I love the beach. We were pretty lazy most of the week (which is why this blog post is a bit late). In the mornings, we would put on our sun tan lotion and hit the beach. Andrew got really sun burnt the first day, so he wore a shirt the rest of the week. I felt bad because he burns so easily! He is just too white. I brought my book with me most mornings, but I liked to swim in the ocean and just relax in the sun. I did end up reading three books over the course of the week, though!
We also took a lot of walks during the day and at night. Walking on the beach is so much better than just walking in a park here, for sure!
While me and my family are content to lazy around, Andrew was a bit bored, so we planned a day to visit Universal’s Islands of Adventure. I had visited four years ago with my best friend Becky and we loved the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
We hit a lot of traffic on the way into Orlando, so we didn’t get there as early as we would have liked. It took almost two hours to get there, where normally it only takes a little over an hour. We went to the Harry Potter section of the park first, since we figured that would get busier as the day went on.
We headed towards Dragon Challenge first, since there was practically no line, and were surprised when two attendants told us we weren’t allowed to carry anything in our pockets. I wasn’t even allowed to keep my phone in my pocket. I was a bit annoyed, but we got a locker anyways and then started our way through the line. There was another security check point where they actually had metal detectors and wands to check that people weren’t bringing anything. It was so strict that it almost took a lot of the fun out of it. I also couldn’t have my phone so I couldn’t take any pictures. But the ride was still very fun!
We headed to Hogwarts Castle next to ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. I think this was my favorite ride because the line takes you through Hogwarts. It made me feel like a student walking through the corridors and seeing the moving paintings on the wall. The Sorting Hat was also there to greet us, unfortunately he didn’t sort me, haha. The ride itself was a 4D ride, and normally I am fine riding roller coasters, but this one made me a little queasy. But other than that it was really fun!
We rode Flight of the Hippogriff next, which was like a mine train roller coaster, but it was very jerky and the seats were very small and uncomfortable – and Andrew and I are both just average-sized. So we visited Honeyduke’s, but it was all really crowded by this point that there were lines to enter all of the other shops, so that’s the only one we visited.
I bought a couple of soft pretzels (one of my favorite things about theme parks!) and we shared some Dippin’ Dots later, which I haven’t had in a long time. We visited the other sections of the park, but I think Andrew was a bit bored because there really weren’t a lot of big roller coasters. One of them was shut down because they were adding some new features to it, and another they had just built but it wasn’t open until later in the summer.
We considered upgrading our pass to visit Universal Resort, which has the Diagon Alley section of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Neither of us have been there since they added that to the park, but I think that it’s dumb that you have to visit both parks (and pay for both parks) to experience all of the Wizarding World. We ended up deciding against it because we were both hot and tired and didn’t want to pay the extra money (considering my current unemployment, haha).
Later on in the week, we went go-karting and played mini golf. But other than that, we just hung out by the beach and the pool. I was really bummed to leave Saturday morning, but Andrew and I got up early to watch the sunrise and that made it worth it. So I’ll just leave you with this.