Sunday, March 27, 2011

All right, already.

Let the vacation pics commence:

View from our bedroom balcony.

Walkway to the pool outside our condo.  To think we left this and came home to four inches of snow...


David outside the Braves spring training stadium.

 I wore cute flowered sandals.

 We walked along a boardwalk at New Smyrna Beach park.  It was gorgeous.

We wrote Eliza's name in the sand.

And took a happy snap.  I think my hair looks awesome.  Almost like a faux-hawk.
The Captain's Platter.  All the fried goodness you can handle.  And then some.
Another day, another beach.  We walked the beach after going to the Cardinals game in Jupiter, but didn't swim.

David with Universal Studios in the background.  This was my first visit to Universal Studios and I absolutely loved how every ride had a little narrative to go along with it that they set up for you while you were in line.  I used to make up that kind of thing at amusement parks to keep my brother and myself entertained in line, but here they went all out--Hermione casting a charm to allow us to fly over to the Quidditch game, sneaking into the Hulk's laboratory, working on a story at the Daily Bugle.  It was really cute.

Right this way to Hogsmeade!  We browsed for wands at Ollivanders, got some candy at Honeydukes, and contemplated the purchase of Puking Pestles at Zonko's joke shop.  In the end, I bought a Griffindor travel coffee mug.  You know, so I can take my coffee with me on the way to Quidditch practice.

Inside the Three Broomsticks.  We also  popped into the Hogs Head for a brewski.  Got to be careful of eavesdroppers in that pub.

I had a butterbeer and it really was delicious.  I also bought the souvenir mug even though it was $12 and David thought that was absurd.  Cheap refills though!

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry there behind me.  You don't even want to know what's lurking in the Forbidden Forest.

Hogwarts!  Isn't it so awesome?    
Hogwarts from another angle.  In the castle ride, we flew right under that walkway on our brooms.  I didn't take pictures inside the castle because we had to put our bags in lockers in order to go on the ride.  But it was amazing--the sorting hat, the floating candles, the talking portraits, the visits from Hermione, Ron, and Harry.  On the ride itself, it really felt like we were flying, and the dementors were absolutely terrifying. 

David swore that we wouldn't get that wet on the Jurassic Park ride.

 The 3-D glasses for the Spiderman ride.  Hott.  I had to close my eyes for part of the ride, though.  Falling from sky scrapers is intense, even if you are pretty sure Spiderman will catch you with his spidy-web.

Our favorite slugger, Albert Pujols.

I wanted to get David's picture with Casey at the Bat at the Nationals spring training stadium but there was this news anchor guy there who wanted to interview David about the Nationals.  Guess he didn't realize we're Cardinals fans...

Overall, it was a very nice vacation.  I definitely felt emotional on the plane ride home.  Not quite ready to get back to reality.  Also not exciting was arriving home to snow fall!  We got about four inches yesterday. 

We have a beautiful magnolia tree in our front yard that is one of my favorite things about our little city bungalow.  It was just budding with its pink blossoms when we left for the trip.  Now they are dead, brown, and covered in snow.  They died before they even got a chance to bloom.  Now what does that remind you of?

Anyway, this vacation was fun in its own way, and we definitely enjoyed having a week all to ourselves.  We usually buy a Christmas ornament as a souvenir from every vacation, but I just didn't feel like doing it this time.  Still, I'm glad we got a week of sunshine and pool time and Harry Potter and baseball.

Also:  read another Kindle freebie book on the plane ride home.  Another mention of a tangential character named Eliza.  I really don't believe in signs, as I told David when a monarch butterfly fluttered persistently around the third base line at our last ball game of the trip.  But when a real live duck waddled over to our condo pool and actually jumped in and started swimming with all the people around and in the pool...  Well, even if I can't believe it's a sign, we both thought it was hilarious.  (But also kind of gross...  I guess that's why they chlorinate.)


  1. Looked like an amazing vacation! Love your flower sandals...very cute! Weather looked fantastic. Glad you were able to get away for a bit & just be together. Thinking of you as you head back into the harshness of reality ((hugs))

  2. I am a huge Harry Potter fan and cannot wait to go to Universal-- too fun!

    What a great vacation. It snowed here, too, and I am back in North Face and Uggs. Ugh.

  3. Wow, that's crazy about the duck and the butterfly and all of the Eliza characters.

    And you look so cute!

    And it looks fabulous. I'm glad you had a nice time.

  4. Your pictures are wonderful... we went just a few weeks ago and had such a mind numbing time. I still crave the butterbeer....

  5. Wow! What a great trip. You are David are so cute. I loved "The Captain's Platter", especially with the big squeeze bottle of what I can only assume is tartar sauce. Yum!!!! Go big or go home, eh? lol
    The Harry Potter stuff looks amazing! What did the butterbeer taste like? When I read the books, I always kind of pictured hot buttered rum when they would talk about it. Hmmm...
    I'm glad you were able to have some much deserved time "away from it all". I know Eliza comes with you everywhere in your heart and thoughts, but it does make it easier when you are away from your familiar surroundings and all of the reminders that go with it.
    Thanks for the pics!

  6. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE seeing these photos, Brooke. There you are, living and vacationing and Harry Pottering and, yes, smiling - and I see all the bittersweet complexities in the photos as well - how I wish that complexity wasn't there, but, I am happy for you that you were able to have this time to breathe in the warm sun and drink some Butter Beer.

    And I love the duck in the pool. Cheeky little duck.