We’re back home after a week in Orlando, Florida, and I’m so glad I decided to take an extra week off work. I knew it would be a packed week away with the theme parks and whatnot, but I wasn’t prepared for how tired I’d be when I finally got home. I feel like I could sleep for a week, which may not sound like the hallmark of a relaxing vacation, but the whole family had a great time.

As expected, Internet access was hard to find. Well, reasonably-priced Internet access was hard to find. Expensive-as-hell access was available if I’d been willing to turn my phone’s data back on, but at something silly like $10 per megabyte, I wasn’t interested. I freaking hate the roaming rates. There’s no excuse for data to be that expensive and so I do without. I’d rather go without access for a week than encourage any company to price-gouge for no good reason other than price-gouging. I managed to snag free wifi twice, but it was only enough to check a couple of emails and poke my head into assorted social media before disappearing again.

We flew to Orlando on the Saturday, but we were so wrecked from the early wake-up to get to the airport that after we landed we had lunch and crashed for a couple of hours. Then we spent a bit of time at the resort’s pool, before crashing again for the night, somewhere around 8:00pm.

After that first day, we spent four out of five days at Universal Studios, and one day at an affiliated water park. The one and only time I went to Disney World was when I was about five years old, and aside from a trip to Canada’s Wonderland a few years ago my only experience with big amusement parks is La Ronde, which is our local Six Flags. La Ronde was in pretty bad shape for a few years, and even now it doesn’t compare to the scale of a massive park like Universal. Even at the ripe old age of 35, I found myself impressed by much of what I saw down there.

Ride after ride, park after park, the production value just blew me away. True, Universal Studios has the benefit of charging admission all year round, where La Ronde can only stay open for the summer (alas, snow!), so they have a LOT more money to play around with, and they’re a much bigger park so they can fit more paying customers on any given day, but the scale of things at US is amazing. From Harry Potter to Jurassic Park to everything else, the details are very impressive, and the scope is astounding. In a lot of ways, if you’re familiar with the franchise, it’s just like being there. This may seem obvious to anyone who’s been there before, and often, but I didn’t really know what to expect from a “Theme Park” as opposed to our local “Amusement Park” and I was every bit as amazed as my sons. It’s nice to be made to feel like a kid again.

And so, summer continues. Vacation also continues for another week, and I’m going to try to get caught up on the writing and reading I was too exhausted to to while in Orlando (seriously, I felt like I walked a marathon’s worth of steps most days). And, because my birthday is coming up, I get to start planning for yet another big BBQ-party at my place. No complaints, though, this is a good kind of tired to be.


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