Get Away, Get Up, and Get Away

5 Nov

J & I have been on a lot of great vacations – just the two of us eating and drinking on the beach, a family trip to Vegas, trips with friends, etc.  But last week, we somehow combined a lot of awesome stuff into one trip, and had one of the best vacations we’ve ever been on.

My best friend’s older brother planned a wedding in Marco Island, FL, and we were invited.  We planned on going from Saturday to Wednesday, along with my two best friends and other family members.  Then we thought – why go back to work for two days?  Let’s go to Orlando!  We’ve been dying to go to Harry Potter at Universal Islands of Adventure, so we planned on making the 3-1/2 hour drive to Orlando on Wednesday.  Then we discovered that plane tickets were only $29 – even better!  And then, in a lovely twist of fate, I learned that OAR was playing in Fort Lauderdale on the day we arrived, and thought – Road Trip!  And so we had planned the perfect vacation.

Here’s how it all shook out:

Friday night/Saturday morning – J went to a concert in Boston with his sister and didn’t get home until 2:30 (making him awake for 24 hours).  I also didn’t sleep much, and we had to be up at 3:30 for the flight.  J loves to sleep on planes.  He looks forward to it.  He only moved twice – to switch seats on our layover, and to eat some cookies (actually, I’m not sure he was awake at that point, but he ate the cookies and woke up again briefly when I tried to take them from him).  The stewardess even asked if he was still alive!

Saturday – checked into condo on Marco Island, food shopped, etc.  We met the wedding crew for a quick happy hour drink, and then set off for the 2 hour ride to Pompano Beach.  It was the longest, most boring ride ever – nothing to look at, flat, straight, boring road.  No alligators, despite the name Alligator Alley.  And I had to drive because the car reservation was in my name (the guy at Dollar put the fear of God into me about anyone else driving, I was convinced we’d end up on Cops if J even drove around the corner).

We checked into our gross hotel, and had a quick dinner at a beer pub (Brother Tuckers – biggest quesadilla ever).   Then we headed off to the concert.  It was at the Pompano Beach Ampitheater, which was a great venue.  It was General Admission, we got a great seat, the beers were cheap.  OAR rocked, as always.  I was especially happy that they played “Irish Rose” as an encore.  Check it out if you can, it’s a beautiful song.  (I took some videos, but you can hear me singing in all of them, so I’ll spare you that torture).

Sunday – drove back to Marco after breakfast, hung at pool, got ready for the wedding, which was beautiful.  My best friend wasn’t able to make the trip to Florida, because she’s busy keeping a couple of babies where they belong for the next few months.  She wrote a speech that she asked me to give at the wedding, which I was happy to do.  She’s a great speech writer, there were lots of tears, and the bride & groom loved it.  There was lots of drinking of dancing (not sure why the bartender thought she should make the drinks bigger as the night went on?).  I got sick at night, with my tee-shirt on inside out & backwards.  J made a sandwich & took a picture of me.  What a good husband.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday – eat, beach, eat, pool, happy hour, dinner out.  J got all you can eat ribs one night, not his finest moment.  Went to Naples for a nicer dinner Tuesday.  Beautiful weather, rough water, a little windy.  Still, what’s not to like about eating & drinking on the beach and by the pool?

Wednesday afternoon – flew to Orlando.  Cool dinner at a tapas place (Cafe Tu Tu Tango), where we waited a while to order so they gave us a free glass of sangria (to go with the bottle we already ordered!)  And, cheesecake on a stick!

Thursday – We were at Universal Islands of Adventure at 9:30am.  I practically ran to Harry Potter.  It was just so cool – Hogsmeade was beautiful, the butterbeer was delicious, Moaning Myrtle even wailed at you in the loo (that’s British for bathroom!)  The Forbidden Journey ride was the coolest ride I’ve ever been on (we went twice!)  We had lunch at the Three Broomsticks (Pasties!) and then we did the rest of the park.  We went on pretty much every ride, including all the water rides, so we were like drowned rats.  We had nachos & margaritas for dinner, and passed out at the hotel before heading to Universal Studios for Halloween Horror Nights (sucked, way too crowded with drunk teenagers.  1.5 hour wait for haunted houses).

Friday – Universal Studios all day.  All the rides, roller coasters twice (I’m not a total baby!)  I had to have one more butterbeer, so we went back to Islands of Adventure to see the Harry Potter part all lit up.


Saturday – home to an October Nor’Easter.  Yay?

Overall, it was an awesome trip.  J & I needed a vacation together, and this was the perfect way to get in some quality time.  I missed my best friend a lot, but was glad I got to share Marco Island with J, and hope that soon we’ll be there with her family.  Of course, now that we’re back to the grind, it feels like we never went away, but it was well worth it!

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