Wrapping it Up in Florida and The Journey Back to Japan

For our last full day in Florida, things were low key.  Ryan and I went out and grabbed some breakfast. We had to get our bagel fix before we can't get real bagels again for a while.  I made sure to get a bagel with lox and cream cheese.
After that we did some last shopping at nearby stores and shipped packages back home.  For dinner we met up with some of Ryan's mom's friends.  We ate at a restaurant in one of the town squares near their house.  
For an appetizer we had potato chips with all kinds of cheese.  Not even close to a healthy choice but certainly unique, so we ordered it for the table to share.
Ryan and I shared some flatbreads.  These were definitely tasty.

I can't remember if Ryan's mom or aunt ordered this, or if they shared, but it's a wrap.
Here is everyone at dinner.  Starting with Ryan's aunt and going around clockwise- Ryan, Ryan's mom, Ryan's mom's friends and then me. 
Dessert for the group was s'mores.  I didn't eat them because I don't do gelatin, but they all seemed to have good fun with these.  Messy fun, of course!  Really a neat idea.
I had my own dessert, but of course it was way too much so I shared.
The next day we were heading out to the airport in the afternoon, so we went to brunch before driving to Orlando.  We ate at FirstWatch, which always had good breakfast foods.  Everything looks the same and sadly I am so behind on things that this was a few weeks ago, so I can't remember what everything is.  I know I ordered a nice egg dish packed with veggies.

As we headed home we got a view of the golfers at the tournament they were having over the weekend.
Here is a one last view from Florida.
Then it was back to Japan!
As always, a nice veggie meal ordered.
Yum!  I love Indian food!
Quinoa and bean salad.
A cookie for later.
This was a snack later on.  So cute that they served little ice cream cups!
Here we are crossing the International Date Line.  It is hard to see on the screen, but we are just between Alaska and Russia.
One more meal before landing in Japan.  It's breakfast, more or less.
Eggs and broccoli.  It is always interesting to see what airlines serve for special meals.
Well, that brings our 3-4 week vacation in the States to a close.  It was great to go home and see family and friends.  I loved all the sightseeing we did and all the great meals with everyone, including the special meals we experienced alone.  Now we are back in Japan, settling into our normal routine and getting ready for some summer travel.  But for now, things are low key.  I am back to work and back to school.  Thanks for following along with our US grand tour!

QUESTIONS:  When was the last time you had s'mores?  What was the most interesting meal you have been served on a plane?

Universal Studios Orlando

One of the major things we were looking forward to was a day at Universal Studios in Orlando.  I won't even try and lie, I really, really wanted to go see the Harry Potter stuff.

Can't start a day at an amusement park without a nice egg and cheese sandwich on a poppy seed bagel.  
It didn't take us too long to drive there from Ryan's mom's house.
At this point I was super excited as we approached the City Walk area.  Here you can see the fun mini golf, which we ended up playing at the end of the night.
Of course I spotted the Hard Rock cafe.  That was a good thing.  Not only did I need to buy a t-shirt, but we had plans to meet up with our old next door neighbors from Japan there after we finished in the park.  They are now stationed in Florida not too far from Orlando.
More fun welcomes!
That's right.  The adventure begins.
I have lots of pictures from inside the park.  Everything is so fun to look at.

Dr. Seuss!

Passing through the lost continent on our way to Harry Potter.

Yay!!!  Here is Harry Potter!

Hogwart's Express! I happened to have taken a picture while this cute little girl was posing for a picture.  I have no idea who she is, but her parents definitely have cute pictures of her now.

Butter beer anyone?

Inside, getting ready for the main Harry Potter adventure 3D thrill ride.
Surprisingly there was not as long of a wait as we had thought or expected there to be.

By the way, the Harry Potter ride was AMAZING!  I am very glad I was wearing a scopalamine patch, otherwise it would not have been as much fun.

Here I am with Ryan's mom.  I am always one to pose for a picture in these fun little set ups.
Next, Ryan and his mom rode the carousel and they had a blast.
Then we went to the Hulk roller coaster.  Very crazy!  It was the first time I thought my glasses might fly off.
Here are some pictures inside the Spider Man ride.

After those rides it was definitely time for lunch.  Hard to find something to eat right where we were since we needed to still meet up with Ryan's mom and aunt.  At least there was veggie pizza.
Then we went on the wild river ride where we got soaking wet.  Don't let this sign fool you, haha, not paradise.

See, lots of water involved.
Then we went on the Jurassic Park ride.  I have been on this one in CA, so I was happy to go on it again.  Not nearly as drenching as the previous water ride.
Couldn't resist!  This was too cute.
Wait, is that Harry Potter land I see again?  Oh yes, we went back and because the line was short, we went on the ride again.  It was AWESOME!

Dinner was at the Hard Rock cafe with Andre and Jasmine, our old next door neighbors from Japan that moved back to the States in January.

Andre had a giant burger.
Ryan's mom and aunt had some bruschetta.
I had fish and chips.
And Jasmine had some nachos.
Here I am with Jasmine out front.  She's pregnant!  I was so happy I got to see her when she is pregnant.
To finish off a great day, the four of us played mini golf before heading back to Ryan's mom's house.
It was definitely a great day.

QUESTIONS:  Have you ever been to Universal Studios?  Are you a Harry Potter fan?  What's your favorite ride?