A Potterhead Goes to Hogwarts - An IOA Day Trip UPDATED DAY 6 - ISLANDS OF ADVENTURE!

Discussion in 'Universal Studios Trip Reports' started by PennyLane1084, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. PennyLane1084

    PennyLane1084 DIS Veteran

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    Is it appropriate to started writing a trip report before I even leave? I guess this will be the "Pre-Trip" part of the trip. But First let me introduce myself: I'm Kristin. 27 years old from The suburbs of Chicago. :wave:

    Here I am with a storm trooper at Wizard World Chicago last August.
    [​IMG]

    I've planned a few trips to Disney in the past few years and life keeps throwing me a curve ball and they end up getting canceled for one reason or another. My most recent trip should have happened last October but unfortunately Borders, where my fiance worked for 6 years, closed it's doors. So no vacation. :sad2: Luckily he got a new job and even has vacation time!

    That means we can go on vacation! My future Father-in-law lives in Central Florida, So that's the primary purpose of the trip, to spend time with my future In-Laws.

    We had originally planned to spend a 2 days in Orlando but that went out the window when I had to have my car's transmission rebuilt, which eat up my entire tax return.
    BUT since the In-Laws only live 45 minutes from Orlando, We could still do 1 park. As much as I LOVE Disney, I've been there when I was a kid and we're planning on doing a Disneymoon next year. So, Hogwarts HERE I COME!!!
     
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  3. PennyLane1084

    PennyLane1084 DIS Veteran

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  4. EvangelineG

    EvangelineG Mouseketeer

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    You are going to have so much fun!! I am a huge potterhead too, and was so enthralled by WWoHP that I burst into tears the minute we crossed the threshold. Can't wait to hear about your trip. :)
     
  5. PennyLane1084

    PennyLane1084 DIS Veteran

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    So here are the dets...

    When: April 27 - May 5
    Where: Deland, FL at the In-Laws house, with a day trip to Orlando
    Why:confused3: To visit family and See Hogwarts:wizard:
    How: Driving 18 hours from the South Suburbs of Chicago.:drive:


    April 27...but that's....TOMORROW!!!:eek:

    I really REALLY wanted to write a PTR but every time I've ever written a preemptive PTR I think I've jinx myself. In fact I'm a little worried I'm tempted faith with what I'm writing right now:scared:

    Tomorrow afternoon when my Fiance gets home from work we're hitting the road. We're planning on stopping for the night somewhere along the way tomorrow night, but someone want to drive all the way through.

    We'll most likely be going to IOA sometime either Sunday or Monday. At some point we'll probably go to the beach. Other than that the plan is to hangout on the lanai at the In-Laws, work on my tan, and catch up on some reading. This is a very lax vacations and the In-Laws aren't really "planners." Whenever we're with them we usually don't know what we're doing until we leave the house. (I really drives me crazy sometimes.)

    Also a disclaimer to this trip report: The future Step-Mother-In-Law, referred to as "K" from here on out, is...how shall I put this nicely....interesting.

    For example: On Steve's sister's last trip to see them before Christmas, K made Oreo balls and broke off the tip of the knife and lost it in the batter. Rather than just throwing the batter out and starting again (like a normal sane person would do), she fed the knife tip laced Oreo Balls to the family. She would just warn the people eating them by saying "I broke the tip of my knife and lost it so just be careful eating those". The future Father-In-Law, who we'll refer to as "R," kept calling them "suicide balls" :rotfl2:

    So we'll see what kind of crazy hijinxs K will cause. popcorn::
     
  6. PennyLane1084

    PennyLane1084 DIS Veteran

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    Hi Evangeline!!! Thanks for reading. I know I'm going to cry the moment I see Hogwarts Castle. It's going to be so fun, I know it.
     
  7. Tink-erin-belle

    Tink-erin-belle DIS Veteran

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    I'm so happy for you, Kristin! Have a great trip! :wizard:
     
  8. pixeegrl

    pixeegrl DIS Veteran

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    Yeah! and it sounds like the trip to your future in laws may be just as entertaining!!!
     
  9. kamcgrory

    kamcgrory Mouseketeer

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    :rotfl:
    Oh my! That made me LOL!
     
  10. PennyLane1084

    PennyLane1084 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks Erin. How are you?
     
  11. PennyLane1084

    PennyLane1084 DIS Veteran

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    Yea, she's funny but sometimes not in such a good way.:rotfl2:
     
  12. PennyLane1084

    PennyLane1084 DIS Veteran

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    Oh it ALWAYS is. haha.
     
  13. PennyLane1084

    PennyLane1084 DIS Veteran

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    I woke up Friday and knew I couldn't lay in bed for too long. I still had A LOT to get ready for our 20 hour drive down to Florida. My fiance, Steve, works for a machine shop and works from 6 am to 9:30 am on Fridays. We decided to leave after he got out of work. What did I still have to do before we left? Finish packing, get cooler ready, make sandwiches for the road, pack the car.

    While packing our clothes, this would have been the first time I took out our shorts since last September and they were really wrinkled. I really didn't want to iron them all, it would take FOREVER. I also didn't want to just pack them like that and look like a couple of ragamuffins. Then I got an idea :idea: I would throw them in the rinse cycle to get them wet and them put them through the dryer. Did it work? YES :woohoo: Now we would nice not wrinkled cargo shorts for our trip.

    After my success with the shorts, I jumped in the shower, gathered our toiletries, and when I was getting out of the bathroom, Steve was walking in the door. Everything was going swimmingly.

    We loaded up the car, I made our sandwiches and packed up the cooler and we were on our way by 11 am.

    Soon we drove under this:
    [​IMG]

    One state down, 4 more to go.

    Before we left, my book club (which I have recently been appointment to take over) chose to read Tina Fey's book Bossypants. This was about a week before our trip and Steve had the idea to download the Audiobook and listen to that on the drive. We popped that in the CD player and it made time go by really quickly.

    Soon my tummy was rumbling like Pooh Bear and we decided to get off the highway for lunch at DQ. I had a chili cheese dog and some Cheese curds. Steve had a chicken strip basket. One the way out I got the most delicious blizzard I think I've ever had: Caramel Delight Pie! MMM mmm.

    The drive was going really well, we had not hit ANY traffic in the entire state of Indiana.::yes:::dance3::yay:

    After a few more hours we entered the state of Kentucky.
    [​IMG]

    As you can see Dashboard Homer was pretty shocked at the good time we were making.

    We stopped off again for gas somewhere in the middle of Kentucky when I realized two key things I'd forgotten. The first are some unmentionable girly products. The second, (which I discovered when looking for said unmentionables) SUN BLOCK! :eek: This would really come into play a few days later. I'm pretty crazy when it comes to packing and I really HATE to forget stuff. I make a packing list and check it about a million times while packing. I had a bottle of sunblock in my OTHER beach bag, NOT the one we packed, in the closet at home. I could see it in my mind's eye. GRRR:furious: I also hate buying more of what I already have. Steve assured me there would most certainly be sunblock at the house we could use.

    Away we went and drove into the night. I had planned on taking a picture of every state sign but I the Tennesse sign was all blurry and it was too dark once we got into Georgia. Back to Tennesse, Did you know there are Dinosaurs in Tennesse? Well there are. Look:
    [​IMG]
    DINO-SAURS.

    This is right around Mammoth Cave State Park in central Tennesse.

    I was getting pretty late, we had listened to the entire audiobook for Bossypants and I was getting tired. It was about 11pm and we'd been on the road for about 12 hours Steve decided to get off the road and tuck in for the night.

    One place I LOVE to eat on road trips is Waffle House. :love: Steve has done the drive to Florida several times growing up and he NEVER ate at a Waffle House. So when we decided to drive to Florida I said we would be doing things MY way which meant, stopping for the night and eating at Waffle House.

    So when we looked for a hotel for the night, Steve picked one that also had a Waffle House at the same exit. We stayed at a Motel 6 in Rome, Georgia. We had a 8 hours worth of driving left for the next day.

    We pulled into the hotel and turned the car off, and realized the air conditioner was still blowing air out of the top vent. Even though the air was shut off and the dial was in the off position there was still air blowing. Weird::confused: We figured it would stop soon and went into our room for the night. :confused:

    What would happen to the car? Would the fan stop blowing? Would Kristin get to eat her beloved Waffles? Find out in the installment of "A Potterhead Goes to Hogwarts"
     
  14. PennyLane1084

    PennyLane1084 DIS Veteran

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    I can't believe I'm really going. I can't wait. I already bought and printed our tickets. Now I'm off to shower tonight so we can head out bright and early. Full report to come!
     
  15. tweak89

    tweak89 Mouseketeer

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    Aaah...Waffle House. It's not someplace where I would normally go eat, but whenever I'm on a road trip and there is one nearby...we're stopping!! :hyper:

    The pecan waffles are awesome!
     
  16. piraterunner

    piraterunner Mouseketeer

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    Looking forward to hearing more!:)
     
  17. Darkfirewolfe

    Darkfirewolfe Poly Fan and Disney Addict

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    Horray for geeky trip reports! I'm in popcorn::
     
  18. PennyLane1084

    PennyLane1084 DIS Veteran

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    Yes Waffle House is pretty awesome! :thumbsup2 Never had the pecan waffles. I just usually get the plain waffles. Why mess with perfection? Thanks for reading along.
     
  19. PennyLane1084

    PennyLane1084 DIS Veteran

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    More to come I assure you! Thanks for reading along. :welcome:
     
  20. PennyLane1084

    PennyLane1084 DIS Veteran

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    Yay for readers! :welcome: Yay for geeky stuff in general!:cool1:
     
  21. PennyLane1084

    PennyLane1084 DIS Veteran

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    Day 2, Saturday, April 28th

    We woke up after tossing and turning on the terrible Motel 6 beds all night. We turned on the TV to find a really bad Brenden Fraser film where Elizabeth Hurley plays the devil. Watching this movie was actually motivation the get out of the room and away from the TV quick. After putting more ice in the cooler, we went to the car only to discover what I had feared would happen. The car battery was dead. :scared: Steve ran inside and asked the clerk at the front desk if he could give us a jump. He said it would be a moment while he got someone to cover the front desk. The tiny front desk area had a tiny "breakfast" area jammed with other travelers. I drank some sub par coffee from the sub par breakfast counter while we waited anxiously:coffee:. After about 5 minutes or so the gentlemen was free and went out to his car to find the jumper cables, only to returned empty handed. Apparently, he had recently jumped his father-in-laws car and left his jumper cables there. Steve ran inside and asked if anyone could help some poor stranded travelers. I nice man had a thing called a "Jump Box" and was able to jump us without having another car around. We were all set and off we went.

    There was definitely something wrong with the knob that controls the speed and on/off for the air conditioning because it would still blow some air in the off position and blow air full blast once it was in the "on" position. We feared the battery might die again if we turned off the car so soon, so we did not stop at the Waffle House and decided to continue on. After an hour we had to stop for gas and I grabbed some McDonalds connected to the gas station.

    Now one thing you have to understand about my Fiance's family is that EVERYTIME one of them has drove through the state of Georgia, they have gotten a speeding ticket. Steve was determined not to get one this time. Also the last we drove through Georgia we were stuck in traffic going through Atlanta not realizing we were driving through on the Atlanta Braves Opening Day.

    This time we cruised through Atlanta without issue.:cool1: In about 4 to 5 hours we drove past this sign:
    [​IMG]

    Steve even got into the right lane so that I can get a better picture. Isn't he peach? And we'd gotten through Georgia unscathed. No Speeding Tickets!!:cheer2:

    About 4:00 we exited the highway, drove through the Ocala National Forest and Entered the city of Deland and drove on to the In-Laws Drive way. Roland came out to greet us as well as a couple of the animals. Their dog Angel, a white Bicon Frise, jumped right in the car with us and their Tomcat, Mr. Blue sauntered by and quickly darted under the shade of Steve's Pontiac.

    We explained the problem with the air to Roland he said Steve's uncle would be able to take a look at it. Steve's Uncle Ron, also lives directly next door to his Dad. It was a nice balmy 86 degrees at this point and I was still in jeans from the drive down. We quickly unpacked and I was in short and flip-flops lickety split.

    Roland and his brother Ron took a look under the hood of the car and after taking out and putting back every fuse in the car, they final figured out which one controlled the air conditioning. :rotfl: They took out the fuse and Ron said he would have someone at his used car dealership take a look at the it Monday.

    That night his Dad and Karen (I just realized I started using their full names. Meh:rolleyes:) made burgers, hot dogs and brats on the grill. Steve's Uncle Ron and Aunt Jan came by. We had a lovely dinner catching up and watching some the Bulls.

    It was decided we would take a ride on the St. John's River on their Pontoon Boat the next day. Then on Monday, Roland suggested we head up to St. Augustine. This was sort of funny because I had mentioned to Steve on the ride down that St. Augustine was one place in Florida I would love to see. Soon night fell and Steve and I we beat from the day of traveling.

    Up Next...
    The St. John's River and Karen Shenanigans.
     

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