Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spring Break '12: Day 2

Day 2: Sea World / Blue Man Group

We actually set our alarm this morning. We got up at 7:30 and were sitting in IHOP by shortly after 8. We had a nice big breakfast and headed to Sea World. Traffic around here is awful... like the Beltway at rush hour. I understand the preference to stay on Disney property when visiting the area (at least if you're visiting Disney).

We arrived and parked with no problem. We slathered on sunscreen and went into the park. We saw shows, walked around, and saw various marine life. And we rode a roller coaster. More on that later.

We watched baby dolphins frolic in the dolphin nursery. We got a kick out of the sea lions (they are very vocal when they see people with fish for them... it's hilarious). We walked through a shark tank where the sharks were swimming all around us while we stood on a moving walkway. We saw a dolphin and whale show. We saw a sea lion and otter show. We saw lots of various fish and marine life. All very cool.

We went toward the log flume after the sea lion show because we were so hot. But there was a 50 minute wait to ride it. So we said, how about we ride the Kracken? (It's a fairly long roller coaster with several loops and barrel rolls.) J-Mav said no, but we said, "come on... it'll be fun!" And then after thinking about it for a minute, he just turned and started walking toward the entrance to the coaster. Hubby and I looked at each other in amazement and followed.

No loose items are allowed on the coaster, so we got a locker and stowed everything. We got in line (only 10 minutes). J-Mav was getting nervous as we waited, but he didn't cry and he didn't balk. We sat down and got buckled in. J-Mav was holding on white-knuckled. But after the first long hill and loop, we heard him yell, "this is awesome!" Woo hoo! We were so proud of him! It was a great roller coaster.

The last thing we planned to do at Sea World that day was see the Shamu One World show. Then we were heading back to the villa to shower and get ready for the Blue Man Group Show. We got into Shamu Stadium and sat down. And it started raining. And then it started raining harder. And it got really windy... to the point that we were soaked (sitting nowhere near the splash zone) and cold. They started and stopped the show twice (because there was lightning within three miles). We left after the second delay because they said they'd cancel it if the weather didn't move out in the next 5-10 minutes, and it didn't look like it was going to. Plus, we were on a time crunch.

We sloshed out to the car. We were soaked! We actually turned the heat on in the car. The GPS took us back to the villa on a back road, which was awesome. We used that road over and over again during the time we were there to avoid the interstate that was always slow with traffic.

After we all took hot showers, we headed back out to get something to eat and go to Universal Studios for The Blue Man Group. We didn't really know what The Blue Man Group was, but it always sounds interesting. We went to Olive Garden for dinner and we had the slowest waiter on the face of the planet. Then we had the traffic getting to Universal. And we had to park in a parking garage that we could tell was a hike from where we needed to be. I was really stressing out about making it because we didn't have our tickets... they were at will call, and we were to be there at least 15 minutes prior to show time to get them. I finally jumped out of the car and told Hubby and J-Mav to meet me at the box office so I could get the tickets.

I had no idea where I was going, so I just followed the crowd. I half walked, half ran (in flip flops). I kept asking where the Blue Man Group theatre was. I had to run around a big body of water. I finally got there about ten minutes before the show was to start. I got the tickets with no issue, and Hubby and J-Mav joined me about five minutes later. We were actually in our seats with time to spare (and the show started a few minutes late).

What a fabulous show! It was a mixture of music, comedy, crowd interaction, and science. We had good seats and we loved every minute of it. We were about to get pictures with the Blue Men after the show, and we strolled (much more leisurely) back out to our car talking about our favorite parts of the show.

We had promised J-Mav ice cream, so we found a Dairy Queen with the help of the GPS and had Blizzards. Then it was back to the villa and into bed to get ready for our next day of fun. :)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Spring Break '12: Day 1

Day 1: Getaway Day

Today was getaway day, not only for us, but for Keeper Boy and Gma G, who are en route to an awesome Spring Break in Europe! We sent Keeper Boy to school and kept J-Mav home. Keeper Boy was able to get 3/4 of his school day in (and he had two tests). J-Mav would've been in school for less than two hours. Didn't see the point.

I picked Keeper Boy up from school a little after Noon. Hubby, J-Mav, and I left for the airport shortly thereafter. We had no traffic getting downtown, got through security with no issues and no real wait, and were at our gate in plenty of time. Keeper Boy texted when the car arrived to pick them up. That was the first of two potentially stressful items. And it was great to know that the car had arrived (15 minutes early!) and got them to the airport.

Traveling without checked luggage is great. Print the boarding passes ahead of time, and you're good to go! Our flight to Atlanta was uneventful. We changed planes and had another uneventful flight to Orlando.

We found the rental car counter, let J-Mav pick our car (a grey Chevy Impala) and off we went. We found our resort with no problem and I went to check in, hoping that our reservation (made via a Groupon) was there. It was! No problem. I politely declined the push to go to a timeshare presentation and off we went to find our villa.

The villa was beautiful. A small living/kitchen area, a bedroom, a huge bathroom, and a small lanai. We dropped our stuff and went to get something to eat. We opted for Chili's as it was getting late and it was across the street. :)

Looking into the bedroom (to the right) from the kitchen/living area. The lanai is through the door on the far side.

Looking into the bedroom (to the left) from the kitchen/living area. The bathroom is through the door on the far side.

Looking into the kitchen from the bedroom. You can just see the foot of the sofa bed on the left... it folded out and left a small path between it and the table to get to the door. There was a flat screen TV mounted on the wall above the table (you can just see the bottom of it).

Looking into the bathroom from the bedroom. Closet, double sinks, sunken tub, shower (to the left of the towel rack on the far wall), and a separate room with the toilet (door to the right of the towel rack).

Looking into the living area (J-Mav's room) from the bedroom. You can see the edge of the "front door" on the far wall.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Happy Spring!

While it's really been spring for about a month around here (my crocuses came and went weeks ago), the tulips at the entrance to my office building really came into their own earlier this week.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Yeah... I would bet he's gonna lose that toe nail. :-(

Over the weekend we were at a tournament with J-Mav's hockey team. Keeper Boy was in line for food on Saturday night (we catered in and had a party in one of the hotel meeting rooms), when one of J-Mav's teammates dropped his [very heavy, standard hotel] plate of food on Keeper Boy's very naked big toe. And no, I don't know why Keeper Boy wasn't wearing any shoes. He was in A LOT of pain on Saturday night, Sunday, and Monday. However, Tuesday it started feeling better... to the point where he did P.E. at school and participated in hockey practice that night. But while it may be FEELING better by the day, it's still LOOKING worse by the day...

Thursday, March 15, 2012


One day last week, I decided to stack almost every silver bracelet I own on the same day. I had on a pink skirt and a white top. It worked, though it was pretty heavy...

Left to Right (or from elbow side to wrist side):
Silver ball bracelet, Stella and Dot
Turquoise bracelet, gift from Gma G
Silver ball bracelet with heart dangle, gift from Hubby
Grey "pearl" bracelet, Stella and Dot
Black and silver bracelet with K dangle, gift from Gma G

Seen... and Heard...

I actually took this photo on my phone almost two weeks ago, and just remembered that I took it. The crocuses (croci?) have come and gone...

Today it is March 15 and it is 80+ degrees outside. On the way to school this morning J-Mav said to me, "Mom, this is the springyest winter we've ever had." I think he just might be right.