We are heading up to Orlando bright and early tomorrow morning. For Christmas 2011, Natalie and I surprised Mom, Carley, and Mags with annual passes to Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure. Nat and I came up with the crazy idea in October. We were walking with the girls. Carley & Maggie were a few paces ahead. Nat said, "Wouldn't it be awesome if we could surprise the girls with a trip to Universal Studios so they could see Harry Potter World?" To which I replied, "What if we really did it?! How much would it cost?! OMG! We'd be the best sisters evah! I know exactly how we would present it! They'd be SHOCKED! To Hogwarts!!"
And then Carley looked back at us and I tried to act nonchalant, but I think I really looked more like this:
So, then we began to develop this brilliant scheme. It would not be cheap, but we would make it work. I found a coupon code that gave us three months free. We made acceptance letters on parchment with the Hogwarts seal. Natalie used her spidery handwritting to sign it by McGonagall and write their names in green. Then, I wrapped them in beautiful boxes: one for Carley & one for Maggie. We put the conformation of purchase in a box for Mom. Then I booked a Disney hotel for 3 weeks after Christmas and made an invitation from Cinderella's castle on sparkly blue paper (it's all about the presentation, people. Also, in case you hadn't noticed we are really cheesy around here).
The anticipation was unbearable. We opened all of our presents on Christmas morning as usual. When we were all done, Nat pulled out the video camera and I handed each person their respective gifts. I gave up on acting chill:
At first, Carley and Maggie thought that their present was just an invitation like Harry's. Which would have been kind of lame. But, then Mom opened the conformation and they started to realize that this was for real. Carley started to cry, Maggie's jaw dropped and her eye's glazed, Mom said we were too extravagant and wonderful, Natalie laughed, and I continued to have seizures of uncontrolled ecstasy. And then they read the fine print: These were not a single day pass to the park, but were in fact annual park hopping 15 month passes. We are amazing sisters--right? Then I handed them their invitation to stay in Disney. Things just got real. This was really happening...in 3 weeks. And then hugs happened and jumping up and down happened and it was awesome.
So, tomorrow is the 15 month mark and we are using our passes for the final time (we will have used them a total of 16 days. I'd say we got our money's worth) and I am so freakin' excited! We are heading up at 6 am on Saturday and will head home on Sunday evening. Poor Nat is driving all of the 6 long hours. I tried to drive one time to give her a break, but started falling asleep at the wheel after only 12 minutes (literally). I pulled into a rest stop and accidentally drove to the back where all of the semi trucks park and was surrounding by them and had to drive in their shadows and that horrible movie I regretably saw years ago about the serial killer trucker came to mind and I started flipping out....so, I won't be driving this time. I'll be bringing my neck pillow and sleeping both ways.
I'm looking forward to a fun and relaxing weekend with the family. Pictures will follow.