Thank you so much for the cares and concerns for the sickies. We woke up Christmas morning to My sister having an allergic reaction to her antibiotic but luckily we're kind of pros at that so after medicating herself with Benadryl, (you've seen that scene in Hitch right?) she was good to go for our Orlando adventure the next day.
Christmas Eve / ChristmasMom and I were the only ones to brave the crazy rain for Christmas eve service and if we didn't both have obligations I don't think we would have even tried. I had to sing and she was in charge of all the goodies, but I'm glad we went. We got to see the gorgeous tree lit up at night and a cute little manger scene drama.
Christmas morning was sleeping in, which should have been pure bliss except like I said earlier I woke up to my sister's face swelling so I tended to her and helped her find the Benadryl. She's much better now and off work until New Year's Eve so she'll get a couple days to rest when she's back home.
My brother was released early from work and brought us all home Starbucks drinks, so that was a nice way to perk up in the middle of the day.
I received the ONE thing I wanted, one thing I absolutely needed (I tossed my old robe this morning) and one thing that came in super handy at Universal this weekend.
My sister gave me a lot of stuff to get my bar area started, and we picked up several liquor things we needed so she could share some recipes with me.
I absolutely love putting the gifts together for everybody, and apparently Boomer wants to help open gifts. Here are a few shots of family members with gifts and he's in almost all of them.
Shopping!!!We make a plan to shop the day after Christmas, every year. Usually it's for the Christmas stuff that is on sale like my pink tree I shared on Wednesday but now it's just a day of shopping for the girls. Last year we went to the Orlando International Premium Outlets at the end of International drive because those are our favorite. I mean they have a HUGE Victoria's Secret outlet that has a little bit of everything! So last year we left before the sun was up and got there just as they were opening. Premium parking, not very crowded until we left a few hours later and it was a great experience.
This year because we were spending the night in Orlando we decided to head over there about noon and hit up Lazy Moon over by UCF before we started our shopping. Wrong. Lazy moon likes to give the college kids off the day after Christmas. Last year we made the mistake of not calling ahead of time and driving all the way over there to find out they were closed. With the day after Christmas being a Friday I thought they might open, but when no one answered our calls we weren't going to chance it. We couldn't find anything on their Facebook or web page to tell us they were open or closed so my sister still hasn't tried their awesome pizza!
We head straight to the outlets to eat lunch and get there just before one o'clock and it's a mad house at the main entrance so I go around all of the traffic to the side we usually like to park on and can normally find a parking spot. Well, fast forward 45 minutes later and we still haven't found a parking spot. We even tried to do valet but they weren't letting anybody do valet it was insanity. They really need a parking garage at this outlet mall because people park EVERYWHERE. I should have taken pictures. Half way up on curbs with their back end sticking out, making a two lane parking row only a one way. Just not my kind of place when it's that bad. We will never again try to go in the middle of the day during Holiday season.
We headed a few miles away to Mall at Millennia where we found a parking spot in the first 5 minutes, so that felt like we were on the right track. I'll share all of my buys in a post next week, because I have way too many for this post!!
We had dinner at Carrabba's before heading to the hotel for the night. After mom and I had gotten in our PJs my sister realized she forgot to buy any jean capris for the next day so we headed back out and decided to try to hit up the outlets again. Well, it still looked like a mad house but we were able to find parking (it's about 8:30 pm now) and we shopped for a good two hours with an ice cream stop at the food court in between.
Harry Potter World AdventureSaturday we got up nice and early so we could get into Harry Potter world quickly. We tried out valet parking for the first time so we didn't have to walk from the parking lot into the park and that was super awesome! I'll share more about that in my Universal tips post I'm working on. We went straight to Universal Studios Harry Potter Escape from Gringotts roller coaster because I heard the wait times just get worse the longer you wait. As it was when we got in line at 8:30 we still had 1:30 - 2 hour wait time. It was worth it to say we tried it but I'm a one ride kind of girl so that was it for me.
I did try the butterbeer, but it was too sweet I couldn't finish it. Seeing all of the cool things from the movies (we watched right before we went) was very cool. They did a great job making it very authentic to the books/movies.
About half way through the day I was wishing we had brought a back pack to carry around all of our stuff. I figured we would just purchase one in the gift shop, but the ones I liked were all between $40 and $60, OMG. I wasn't spending that much on a backpack. Then we happened upon one of the many stores in Universal and I found Sons of Anarchy stuff!!!
While they had a Property of Jax shirt I liked, I wasn't sold on it and much like a Team Edward shirt would never wear it. I was sold on the cheaper backpack that I will use for my other obsession things like book buttons so I snatched that up along with some magnets. Other than those things, I bought some post cards from The Owl Post in Hogsmeade and tried some Dark Chocolate Peppermint frogs. I almost bought a Gryffindor night shirt because I love me a night shirt but I decided I didn't really need it.
We ended up staying for the Universal version of Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, which is one of the things I really wanted to do and I have some great tips coming for that as well, but here are a few of my favorite shots and a super cute one that's very me from Seuss Landing!!
How did you spend your weekend this Holiday?
I hope you had a fabulous Christmas and are looking forward to the New Year!! I'm off to hang out with a good friend that's in from out of town this evening, just as soon as I get my corn dip made and some design work done!
I think this is one of the longest posts I've ever written for this blog and congrats if you made it all the way through!!
Linking up for weekending with B Loved Boston and Champagne and Suburbs.