Castaway Cay

We barely made it to Castaway Cay because it was so windy. In fact, the captain had to rearrange the entire itinerary. We made it there a day late, but we still made it!

Thankfully, the wind died down so it was comfortable. It was still kind-of chilly though.

The island had some Christmas decorations, but not too many. I was actually mildly disappointed at the lack of decor.

Although the tram was sure in the Christmas spirit!


Must be Santa ...

One morning, as I was walking around deck 4 watching the boat dock, I ran into Santa in the lobby. Unfortunately I looked homeless, and I hadn't showered yet, but hey - it's Santa!!!

I also ran into a different looking Santa in Nassau, Bahamas.

I just notice something funny about these 2 photos. Photo with Santa in the lobby - I'm unshowered. Photo with plastic dark Santa, I'm showered. Yet, I look pretty much the same, and I seem to be wearing almost the same clothing. Gross ...


Jodi Benson!

Jonathan, his parents and I just got off a wonderful (and cold!) 4-night Disney cruise.

Check out who else was cruising with us ... Jodi Benson, the voice of The Little Mermaid.

We bumped into her in the lobby, then again in the lunch buffet line (where we got our photo with her. She mentioned she was doing a show and autograph signing the next day (for a private group, but hey, she invited us!) so we went to that too.

She was so sweet and nice. And her voice was amazing! She same songs from a bunch of broadway shows and 90's Disney movies. We really got lucky that this private group was on the same cruise as us! I felt quasi-guilty crashing their private concert, but heck, Jodi 'personally' invited us! (ha ha ha!)


More Harry Potter Land!

More random photos from HP land!


Jonathan's new toy

My Black Friday deal was a ladder from Lowes (see my 365 photo-a-day album on facebook).

Jonathan's black Friday deal was a flip cam. I guess he uses them at work alot, so he was familiar with how awesome they are.

He's been playing around by taking short videos at the Osborn lights (at Disney), and he walked around HP land at Universal all day.

I caught him in action a couple times. Hee hee. Here he is standing outside of the 3 Broomsticks restaurant. See the actual 3 broomsticks above his head? There's also a "wanted - Serius Black" poster to his right.


More Harry Potter Land!

Harry Potter Land is a cross between Hogsmead and Hogwarts. Some HP purists say things like, "there's no Olivanders wand shop in Hogsmead!!!", but I didn't care. I don't really pay attending to many minor details when I'm reading.

It was really fun just to wander around and look in all the shop windows.

Here you can see an overview of the 'land'. HoneyDukes is the sweet shop (chocolate frogs, etc ...) and one of the outdoor Butterbeer carts.

And, it's snowing in Florida!!!! (nah, it's all fake)



Hog's Head - home of the Butterbeer! (and other alcoholic drinks, but who cares about those)

One of the attractions at Harry Potter land is the food! They serve butterbeer, pumpkin juice, chocolate frogs and more! The main attraction is the butterbeer. It tasted like a sweeter cream soda, and we LOVED IT!

We had 4 through out the day. It comes in 'frozen', which is a slushie consistency and 'regular'. Frozen was by far the best!

Pumpkin juice was NASTY!!! Normally if I order something, and it's gross, I'll choke it down just b/c I paid for it. This crap I couldn't even choke down. It was downright disgusting.

Butterbeer #1 (frozen). There is some delightful foam on the top that makes a fantastic mustache!

Butterbeer #2 (regular)

Butterbeer #3 (frozen again!)

Butterbeer #4 (one more for the road in the souvenir mug!)


Harry Potter land

Jonathan had a free ticket to Universal Studios that expires at the end of this 2010. We calculated the perfect day to go would be 12/5/10. The Christmas decorations would be up, and it's the perfect time in-between Thanksgiving and Christmas so the parks would be dead.

Were our calculations correct?

Heck yes they were!

Did you hear news stories about people waiting for hours and hours and hours to ride the new ride? (That's not an exaggeration - when "Harry Potter land" first opened this summer you had to wait multiple hours just to GET IN to the land, much less do anything.

We walked right on the ride. No waiting, no nothing ... walked right on.

The ride is inside the giant Hogwarts castle. The queue line is fully decorated like the inside of the castle, so I honestly wanted to wait a little tiny bit so I could look at all the details.

Later on in the day we walked thru the queue line again. This time the line was a whopping 15 minutes (ha!). When we got to the front we said, "we don't want to ride please", and went thru the chicken exit.

The ride is pretty cool, but it's 1/2 looking at stuff and 1/2 virtual reality. My inner ear can't handle that virtual stuff. Even Jonathan was a little queazy afterwards.

The ride was kind-of scary. A dragon and a bunch of dementors are in your face (I mean, inches away!).

More on HP land (better known as "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter") later!