May 7, 2017

Sister Sister Trip: Part 1 of 5, DC and Easter Sunday

Welcome to part one of my five-part trip series! 

My sister graduated from college last year and to celebrate, I wanted to take her to Harry Potter World, a place we have wanted to go since it opened.  Our wedding got in the way of taking the trip last year, so we planned it for this year on her first-ever spring break as a teacher!

It was somehow cheaper for Abbie to fly from Ohio to DC and then to Florida with me than it was for her to fly straight to Florida, so she got to come spend some time in DC with us!

We picked her up late Thursday night.  It was her first time flying alone, but she did great! I typed up the world's longest "travel guide" that helped her get from Ohio to DC all by herself! Since it was so late at night, we just talked for a bit then went to sleep.

The next day, I had to work.  Bill took the day off to hang with my sister and then I was able to get off a bit early.  It was Easter weekend, so Bill headed up to Rochester to see his family, which meant that Abbie and I were on our own! That evening, we took a walk to Sweetgreen and Jubilee ice cream in our neighborhood and once the sun set, we headed down to the monuments to see them at night.  We tried to watch Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire once we got home, but I fell asleep.
Walking through my neighborhood

On Saturday, we woke up and headed to the museums -- we tried to go to  the Holocaust Museum but all of the tickets had been handed out already, so instead we went to the American History Museum to see our favorite things.  We then headed to the Natural History Museum, but the line was around the block!  As a last shot, we headed towards the Botanical Gardens. On the way there, we walked through the Tax Day protest. She got a kick out of that!  We toured the gardens and then walked home.

Our traditional sister pic!
I still had to pack but was so sleepy so I took a little rest and then had to pack really fast.  We were at risk of missing our train to the airport! We hopped in an Uber and dashed out of it when we arrived at Union Station. On our way to the ticket kiosks, I saw a couple standing there with a photographer hiding in the background and I realized the guy was about to propose! Even though it delayed us more, I just had to stick around to watch!  He finally got on one knee and she said yes. The crowd clapped and cheered and then we legitimately ran to the kiosks.  We got our tickets, hightailed it to the train and got on in the nick of time! We made it to the airport, got some dinner and froyo and then chilled at the gate until it was time to head to Florida! 

Our flight was mostly uneventful.  Our flight attendant thought he was a real jokester - it was almost too much to handle! We decided to fly into Tampa, rather than Orlando, because it was cheaper and also because that meant we could spend a couple of nights with my dad's cousin's family.  It was pretty late when we landed, but we picked up the car and headed to their house.  It felt so fun to be in Florida!  The palm trees, the ocean scent in the air, and all the fun street names kept building up our excitement.  When we got to their house, we chatted for awhile before heading to bed to rest up for our first big day!

First sister flight!
The next day was Easter Sunday and I awoke to an Easter basket by my bed!  Our cousin Gail made them for all us "kids!"  We did a quick Easter egg hunt around the house and then headed towards Orlando.  Before the park, however, we had one more stop.

Bill's grandparents live near Orlando.  I had never met them in person, but I've spoken to them many times on the phone and they have given us some generous gifts in the past, so I thought it would be nice to get to meet them.  It was a little nervewracking since I had never met them in person, but it went great!  We had a (very) early Easter "dinner" at 11am and spent time getting to know each other.  His grandma is from Ireland and my sister is an Irish dancer and a hibernophile (fun fact: this means someone found of Ireland) so they got along very well.  His grandpa showed me all of his paintings and wood carvings. The dinner his grandpa prepared was delicious and plentiful -- we were stuffed!! At the end of our visit, they gave us both a really generous gift so we would have more spending money in the parks.  They are too nice!  It was such a surprise and really helped out His grandma also insisted that I take a "souvenir" from their house, aka one of their belongings, so I ended up taking a beautiful Waterford crystal decanter.  We eventually said goodbye to them, and headed to our hotel.

New grandparents!
Our hotel was called the "Castle Hotel, Autograph Collection" and the only reason I chose it is because it was one of the few hotels in the area that weren't on the bed bug registry (I am a freak about bed bugs).  Well, we rolled up and turns out it is designed to look like an actual castle!  I couldn't believe it.  We were dying laughing.  It was a castle complete with turrets!  The decor inside was castle-esque too.  We checked into our room where I gave Abbie my Easter basket that I made for her, since it was her first Easter away from home and then we headed to Universal to get to Harry Potter World!
Home sweet castle

Next up:  we head to Diagon Alley!

1 comment:

  1. What a fun trip! I love that there were Easter baskets for everyone. That's really sweet!! Bill's grandparents are adorable!! SO cute! Love the Castle Hotel - how fun is that?!


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