So, yes all I do is go on vacations and blog about them, you got me.
On Easter Sunday, while most people were practicing being pious by eating chocolate eggs & getting white wine drunk at brunch, I was en route to Orlando, FL to celebrate a different kind of ressurection…MY CHILDHOOOOOOOOOOD! (meant to be said in an Oprah voice)
Yup, Team Yaco was taking on Disney World & Universal Studios for an early celebration of my beloved sister Ashley’s 30th birthday, and not to mention SPRING FREAKIN BREAK!
My sister is basically a Mouseketeer and Mickey Mouse is her spirit animal. She has always had a love for all of Walt Disney’s creations & the classic fairy tales that he based so many of his characters off of. Having worked for the costume department within Disney World for two years after college, this is her happiest place on Earth (aside from all the times she’s with me, ha!) It was so wonderful to see her in her element & hear the “inside-scoop” regarding each attraction as we ventured around the parks.
I felt like a kid again, I felt like Gooey (family nickname) age 7, I felt like the little sister that I am & realized I hadn’t felt like that in a while.
If you’re lucky enough to have a sibling, and even more lucky to have a sister, you know that your birth order dictates how you interact with each other as you grow up…Who gets to sit where at the dinner table? Whose curfew is later? Who rides shotgun with Mom? It’s a childhood of mini compromises constantly being made based on the option of “she’s older” or “she’s the baby”. As the older one, my sister was granted the larger bedroom and “dibs” on what we were watching with the babysitter on Saturday nights. As the baby, I was granted the “second-time around” ease of my parents’ discipline…drinking at family functions well before I was of age, not having to call when I got to my friend’s house, & swearing (I actually still get away with this one, years later. I’m sure my mother will deny all this when she reads it, love you Mom!).
Once adults, if you’re really really lucky, you suddenly become best friends with your siblings & the titles of older/younger get thrown away. You find yourselves sharing the compromises much more fluidly. Those compromises become of support & are no longer based on your birth order, but rather a constantly shifting “take & recieve” model of shoulders/ears/love/advice by whomever needs it at that given moment.
But on this trip, I felt little again. I wanted to hear what my sister had to say about everything, I wanted to ride the rides next to her, I wanted to copy what she wanted to do next, I wanted to eat Dole Whips with her. As my terrified self slipped my arm into the crook of hers right before the Tower of Terror ride began, it felt nice to be reminded that while yes my sister is my best friend, she is also my older sister who I will always look up to, admire, copy, & seek for comfort.
The trip began with my mother & father picking my sister and I up at the Orlando Airport dressed in their Easter bonnets…there were also Easter baskets filled with goodies in our hotel room…I’m so blessed to have THOSE parents, yep, the ones straight out of a Christopher Guest film.
Our first day was dedicated to the Magic Kingdom park, my sister’s personal favorite. We rode a number of rides including Splash Mountain, The Pirates of the Caribbean, & The Haunted Mansion, to name a few. We watched parades, ate Dole Whips, got a little sweaty in the Florida sun, saw the Carousel of Progress, drank alot of ice coffee, and watched my father pose as Gaston…
Day two was a split between Disney’s Studios in the morning & back to Magic Kingdom in the evening. At Studios, we rode the Tower of Terror, got extremely nauseous on the Star Wars ride, almost puked in the 3D goggle disposal bin, shopped, ate pretzels, and stumbled upon Cinderella’s carriage AND glass slipper!
Back at Magic Kingdom we rode It’s a Small World (my personal favorite), may or may not have gone on The Haunted Mansion ride again, saw lots of fireworks, and ate Mickey Mouse Ice Cream Sandwiches!
The following day, while our parents drove back to Fort Myers to finish up the remainder of their vacation, my sister & I ventured over to Universal Studios, which happens to be home to THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY FREAKIN POTTER! Pictures don’t do this place justice, it was absolutely wonderful & damn near perfect. A friend of my sister’s works in the park and was able to be our tour guide and give us the VIP…or shall I say VIW treatment? (aha, Very Important Witch, aha! get it?).
We rode the Hogwarts Express from Diagon Alley to Hogsmeade, had our wands “sized” at Ollivander’s, drank Butterbeer, visited Hogwarts, saw the fire-breathing dragon at Gringott’s, explored Knockturn Alley, visited The Leaky Caldron. It was spectacular, if you’re a big nerd & Harry Potter fan like myself, I highly suggest you find yourself in Orlando at some point in your life to experience this.
Butterbeer outside Hogwarts…tasted exactly how I wanted it to…only it wasn’t alcoholic, boo.
Note: I have no idea who this kid is, he’s just straight chillin’ in Diagon Alley…being #awesome.
It was sad to say goodbye on our last day, our trip was short but sweet as ever. My sister & I flew to New York City together, and then she continued on to Syracuse. As I watched her walk away in JFK, I got that huge lump in my throat that I really only get when I say goodbye to my family members.
I hate that I don’t live closer to my family, but maybe if I did I would take our time together for granted? Maybe I wouldn’t get that “goodbye lump” in my throat, maybe I wouldn’t cry everytime I get back to my apartment when I come home from precious time with them? Until our lives can be closer together again, I will just have to live for more moments like these, filled with mice, wizards, fairies, & hopefully dreams coming true.