★•.•´¯`•.•★Campground Reviews★•.•´¯`•.•★

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Monday, January 31, 2011

~~~A day trip to meet new friends ~~~

We got up early this morning in anticipation of going to Lakeland and meeting new Rv & Blogging friends.... It was about an hour drive from our park in Largo but we didn't mind... We are always good for an adventure and this was going to be a special one meeting new friends. When we arrived there quite a few people were already gathered in the parking lot. Shortly after we all headed into

Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill.

Our hosts who organized the whole event was Donna (aka Froggi) & Stu McNichol

GREAT job Donna... We all took our seats and introduced ourselves. After we started chatting with our neighbors about our adventures and where we were all parked now and where we are heading to this summer. My only regret of the whole thing was I didn't get a chance to talk with everyone but I am sure we'll be all getting together again... Perhaps a happy hour at a centrally located area (campground)

The service & food was excellent... Ralph & I both had a Buffalo Chicken Sandwich
which was very good but wished we had gotten BBQ after we saw some of the other dishes. ☺ They looked really yummy...
Here is a list of all those who attended our luncheon and if you click on their names it will take you to their blogs... Go visit them and you'll meet some really great people.
(he was working)
Helen and Paul
Sharon and Charley
Paula and Tom
Patty and Russell
Nancy and Jim Leivas
James Galbavy
On the way home we stopped at Camping World to pick up a filter and see what they may have new. We ran into our very good friends there and ended up back at their MH for a visit... plus we wanted to see their new coach... It was an excellent day! I can't wait to get together with my new friends again.

Have Fun, Travel Safe & Stay Healthy!!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

~~~The Wizarding World of Harry Potter ~~~

My family & I have year passes to Universal... So we go there often and ride our favorite rides, eat at our favorite restaurants, or just sit and people watch. The pass includes both Universal Studios and Universal Islands of Adventure. Islands of Adventure is also a visual feast with each "island" themed and designed to immerse you into the attractions' storylines. I wanted to showcase each area in the parks for you to see and since I have so many friends who love Harry Potter I am starting with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is part of the Universal Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando, Florida. It is one of seven themed areas within the park. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter features items and scenes from the Harry Potter movies... The area's most popular attraction is Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey which exists within a re-creation of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It takes you on a journey through Harry Potter's wizarding world. Other attractions include Dragon Challenge, a pair of dueling roller coasters, and Flight of the Hippogriff, a family roller coaster. The area also features a re-creation of Hogsmeade which includes many gift shops and restaurants from the series of Harry Potter books including Dervish and Banges, Honeydukes, Ollivanders, Zonko's Joke Shop, The Three Broomsticks and The Hog's Head.

A re-creation of the Hogwarts Express lies at the entry to Hogsmeade. The re-creation features "billowing steam and an iconic whistle". In the Potter series the Hogwarts Express is the train used to transport students from London to Hogwarts. The Owl Post is a working post office (where postcards and letters will be delivered with an authentic Hogsmeade postmark) that also sells stationery, writing implements, stamps, and owl-related gifts.

Frank my son-in-law & Owl Post Office

The Three Broomsticks, based on the inn and pub from the Potter series, offers a variety of food and beverage items from the Harry Potter movie including butterbeer, pumpkin juice, strawberry-peanut butter ice cream, chocolate cauldron cakes in addition to standard dining options. Similarly, The Hog's Head is based on the pub from the Potter series owned by Aberforth Dumbledore. Honeydukes is a sweet shop, based on Honeydukes Sweetshop in the Potter series. The shop sells many items from the Harry Potter universe including Chocolate Frogs, Acid Pops, exploding bonbons, Cauldron Cakes, treacle fudge, Fizzing Whizzbees and Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans.

Inside Ollivanders wand shop.Various Harry Potter merchandise items can be purchased from three different gift shops in Hogsmeade. Dervish and Banges is a store selling magical items, as well as Quidditch supplies, Hogwarts clothing, and other merchandise. The store is based on Dervish and Banges in the Potter series. Zonko's is a toy and joke store, based on Zonko's Joke Shop in the Potter series. The third shop is Filch's Emporium of Confiscated Goods. It is a general gift shop (named for Hogwarts caretaker Argus Filch) offering Hogwarts souvenirs (such as clothing and stationery), replicas of props from the Potter films, and other toys and souvenirs.

Ollivanders is a re-creation of Ollivanders wand shop, the store where Harry purchases his wand in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. (As Ollivanders is in Diagon Alley, not Hogsmeade, the attraction is portrayed as a branch of the main shop.) Unlike other shops in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you are only allowed ingroups of 20 to experience the premise from the Potter series, that "the wand chooses the wizard". Similar to the first film, the wand keeper and a selected guest test a variety of wands until the right one is found. After experiencing the attraction, souvenir wands can be purchased

Dragon Challenge
Dragon Challenge is a dueling roller coaster which features two distinct tracks built to overlap and intertwine with each other. The ride was formerly in operation since the park's 1999 opening under the name Dueling Dragons. The attraction was renamed in homage to the first task of the Triwizard Tournament, depicted in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The two sides of the coaster have been renamed "Hungarian Horntail" and "Chinese Fireball", after two of the dragon breeds which appear in the book. It is the only dueling inverted roller coaster in the world. The ride features many Harry Potter relics, including the Goblet of Fire and the Triwizard Cup.

Flight of the Hippogriff
Flight of the Hippogriff is a steel roller coaster designed for families. The ride opened in 2000 as the Flying Unicorn. Similar to the Dragon Challenge, this ride was re-themed prior to the opening of the Wizarding World. The roller coaster's back-story is that Hogwarts' Care of Magical Creatures professor Hagrid is teaching young wizards to fly on a Hippogriff (as Harry does in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) by using a wicker replica of the creature. A re-creation of Hagrid's Hut is passed on the way for a lesson from Hagrid himself on how to properly approach a hippogriff.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is a new attraction inside the replica of Hogwarts Castle, simulating a tour of the castle and its surrounding grounds. Visitors initially walk through the castle, interacting with various characters and props from the Potter series,before boarding a "magical bench". Throughout the ride, you are are taken around the outside of the castle, encountering the Whomping Willow, a horde of dementors, and a Quidditch match

These photos were taken over several visits and I hope you enjoyed the tour~

Have Fun, Travel Safe & Stay Healthy!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

☺☺☺ It was a Wonderful Party ☺☺☺

Friday night my daughter Denise hosted a wonderful 62nd birthday party for me... It was a small party with family and a few friends which was fine with me. They had originally wanted to go out to eat but I said I just wanted something quiet & casual.

Denise & Grandson Wyatt

She cooked a lovely dinner:

Appetizers ~Baked Brie with apicot jam on top, assorted cheeses & fruits & bruchetta

Baked Ziti
Itialian Salad
Yummy bread
and of course a birthday cake

I got some really great gifts. My honey got me the Kindle3 (after all my looking at them ☺) and the first book I downloaded was Julia Childs "My Life in Paris". After the movie I just had to read it since I never realized she was such an interesting & fun women with a great sence of humor. I also want to read the book by writer Julie Powell "524 recipes in 365 days". Also my daughter bought me another charm for the Pandora bracelet she had given me at Christmas. It is a beautiful cameo Aquarius sign dangle charm... and a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Also the cutest little Miss Froggi for out front of Tassie from my brother & SIL. Then several bottles of Captain Morgan Rum from friends (what are they saying???).

Thank goodness there wasn't 62 candles....LOL

Lots of wine Bevy, My honey Ralph & SIL Kathy

After dinner the girls & kids all went int the family room to play Wii's Just Dance2 and what fun we had... It is a very good workout!!! The guys all sat around the table trying to solve all the worlds problems... they adventually joined us but not to dance just to watch & maybe laugh. After dancing we decided a few games of bowling would be fun too~~~ before we knew it it was 12:30... YIKES we have to get up early because we are heading over to Orlando to Universal. We are going into Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and dinner Saturday night at Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville~~~YUMMO!

My twin Grandsons Dominick & Wyatt

Denise & my friend Sheila dancing with Wii's Just Dance

Have Fun, Travel Safe & Stay Healthy!!!


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