3 Day, aunt, Darlene, dinner, eating out, family, Hooters, hubby, Islands of Adventure, Mommy, Orlando, playing hooky, Universal Studios, work

I highly recommend playing hooky…

With my Aunt Darlene in town this week, I am trying to work as little as possible. I don’t address it too much on here because I do my best to keep it separate, but being a small business owner is hard work and STRESSFUL. It is 24 / 7 no matter what, and my brain is constantly “on”. So if the opportunity comes along to skip work for the day (despite how incredibly hard that is), I’ll take it. Hubby surprised us with tickets to Universal Studios and Island of Adventure and we headed to Orlando on Tuesday along with my mom and aunt. It was a PERFECT day and very much needed. I went as far as not taking calls OR checking work email all day long. It was so nice.

After a quick stop at Starbucks, the four of us hit the road towards Orlando. Considering it was in the heart of rush hour, we made great time. We were also anticipating rain, and even with the cloud cover we saw heading towards Tampa, we never saw a drop of rain all day.






We arrived around 10 and made our way thru City Walk. It has been WAY too long since hubby and I have been there. We used to have annual passes and went often. We really need to do that again….








My Aunt Darlene lives in California and has been to Universal Studios there. And just to make you laugh, I’ve been to Universal Studios out there too, in the 80’s when Miami Vice and Conan The Barbarian were big. If only I could find those pictures…. Anyhow, they do not have Island of Adventure out there, so Darlene was beyond excited to go. It’s even on her bucket list. She was most excited about the whole Harry Potter thing. I guess I should also mention that I have never read one single Harry Potter book nor have I seen one single Harry Potter movie. I couldn’t tell you why, I just never have. When we arrived, we headed to Islands first and made a beeline for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, along with every one else on spring break. Of course, we had to walk through Seuss Landing to get there, which is my favorite part of the park.






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Clearly, this is still the most popular part of the park. It was packed, The ride lines were really long, as were the lines for Butter Beer, and the stores were packed. When we were done here, we headed out to the rest of the park.


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After we walked through Islands of Adventure and had lunch, we headed over to Universal Studios. This is my favorite park. I love ET and Twister, and walking through all the different area of the park like Beverly Hills and New York. The weather was perfect and I was having such a great time with my hubby, mom, and aunt. I was also happy to be getting some mileage in, and even more happy that I could walk just two days after the Sarasota Half Marathon. It’s the little things in life…


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On our way out of the park, we stopped in the Universal Gift Shop and my mom bought these key chains for my sister-in-law Jenna and I. Remember how we were Boob 1 and Boob 2 for the 3 Day last year? They were perfect!




We had such a great time being big kids at Universal for the day. It’s always a great time when you get to spend that day with loved ones.




On our way home, we stopped for dinner at the original Hooters in Clearwater. Hubby and I are no strangers to Hooters and Darlene was excited to go too. We sat out on the patio and enjoyed the nice breeze, wonderful company, great food, and ice cold beer.


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Thank you so much to my hubby for the tickets and a great day. It was the perfect escape and a fun time!


What is your favorite escape? Do you have a favorite theme park?


  1. Looks like you had a fun day. I’ve yet to go to Universal but the two older kids really want to go they are getting more interested in it. But I want to take the little one to Disney first and then go there. :)
    Susi recently posted…Stop! And smell the flowers… {Wordless Wednesday}My Profile

    1. Susi, there is so much to do in Orlando – everyone will be happy!

  2. Fun! I haven’t been to universal since the Harry potter land opened. I love going to Busch Gardens Nd have yearly passes. :)

    1. Aren’t we lucky to have such fun theme parks nearby? I love the pictures you take at Busch Gardens.

  3. Your day looks like so much fun! And so awesome that you were able to walk around after the marathon! I ran Sarasota a few years ago and I felt like I got hit by a truck two days later! :)
    Liza recently posted…My California Experience: Test Driving the New 2013 Hyundai Santa FeMy Profile

    1. Sometimes it’s hard to make yourself move after that kind of run, but it’s best. So all that walking we did was really nice. :)

  4. I miss going to the Gulf to Bay Hooters, I’m not sure if I imagined it or not, but I always thought the food was way better than Tyronne. Actually now that I’m thinking it, it must have been true because they closed the Tyrone Blvd location!
    Corey recently posted…Post the Twenty Second and a Half “The Gastroenteritis of the Baskervilles”My Profile

    1. Tyrone is closed, but they opened one in Tyrone Square Mall. We went there when they were remodeling the original one. But, the original one will always be my favorite! Do you and Susi ever come up this way?

      1. Haven’t been to the Bay in over a year… The last of my friends up there have gone away, so not much draw any longer. Though I’m thinking about taking my kids out on the SS American Victory when she does her Bay cruise in May.
        Corey recently posted…Post the Twenty Second and a Half “The Gastroenteritis of the Baskervilles”My Profile

  5. I love Universal and Islands of Adventure! I haven’t been in about 2 years, but I really need to get back there soon! The Seuss area is my favorite :)

    1. There is alot of construction going on at Universal, it’s always exciting when there are new things happening. Hope you get there soon!

  6. I don’t usually get to go to theme parks, but we went to Universal (Harry Potter) before the Disney Marathon last year and it was a lot of fun!
    Abby @ BackAtSquareZero recently posted…Running MusicMy Profile

    1. It’s always a great time! :)

  7. Looks like you are all having so much fun……………
    joannerambling recently posted…Mammograms for women & men or just womenMy Profile

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