I am SO thankful I applied all of my stress techniques in preparation for my trip! Thanks to my “SUPER DUPER STRESS” techniques, (last blog), I did manage to get to bed early with ALL things accomplished. I had all errands run, all lessons taught, all last minute tasks accomplished, and laundry and packing completed! AH! What a wonderful sense of peace, and a lovely night’s rest. And when the 4:30 alarm went off, I was ready to get up and going!
I launched myself out of my comfy bed, answered facebook messages, showered, put my makeup on in the car (my husband WAS driving ~ no worries) and arrived at the school RIGHT on time to load the bus. I must admit that I was filled with joy as I was introduced to the parents of students I have so enjoyed teaching for the past two years. And I squealed with excitement as I greeted each student with a hug. The exhilaration was palpable, and so obvious from the smiles radiating from the kids faces. The parents… most carrying coffee, also looked excited (well most of them! lol)
Most people looking at the prospect of an 8 hour bus ride with 24 ~ 5th graders, and 3 days chaperoning them at 2 theme parks, may very well run in the opposite direction as fast as they can ~ NOT ME! I Love the “Calvin and Hobbes’ quote “That's the difference between me and the rest of the world! Happiness isn't good enough for me! I demand euphoria!”~ Bill Watterson
Yes I am a CRAZY and CHILDLIKE enough myself to totally look forward to spending time with my wonderful 5th graders. The fact that we are headed to Orlando for a stop at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventures, only sweetens the pot! Oh yes, I am an avid Roller Coaster Rider, and have already done the research as to which rides are at the top of my list.
Although the coach bus had a bathroom, we did have a ‘rest stop’ break for the adults (grin) and of course I found some pictures I could not resist catching!
Maybe I should have been on a leash???
We are now BACK on the bus, headed for the first stop, Taco Bell in Live Oak, Florida for lunch! Wonder if we will see the Taco Bell Chihuahua???? More later!
Lunch… it was Taco Bell, and I am not a huge fan of anything but the cinnamon crisps, so I was a happy camper! The rest of the bus ride was spent napping, and I awakened to see Sponge Bob Square Pants greeting us at the entrance of our hotel. CUTE and the kids loved it.
The hotel was great for the kids. Great pools, and character meals, and of course the Nickelodeon “SLIME” pool, and show. The kids of COURSE were in heaven. I was enjoying the ‘architectural aspects! I know that sounds crazy, but that is the ‘right brained’ side of me coming out again! I loved the lights in the lobby… so fun!
Deep breath, I will tell you that I am now on my plane flight home ~ the trip is behind me~ it was a whirlwind with NO time to write, so from this point on, I am going on pure memory and recall, and after the many roller coasters and death defying rides that I rode, my memory may not be so great. Although I am not claiming it ever was!
The first evening we spent around the pool, lounging, swimming, eating pizza, and watching the infamous “SLIME” pool bucket. I must admit to being one of maybe 2 of the many adults that was totally into riding the huge water slides. Can we say CRAZY FUN! The kids loved it that their teacher was riding the waves with them! What does this mean? I loved spending time with the kids and I LOVED just being a kid myself. I think this trip allowed me to see how essential it is that we NEVER lose that childlike quality that is truly still in all of us. Some might just need to dig a little deeper to find it, mine just happens to be out there for all to see, and I am so thrilled to live my life in that fashion!
Quick change of topics here, but I find it necessary to give you the following warning! I thought it was QUITE necessary to have a slight tan, since my legs look like a “neon beacon in the night” SO I purchased a spray on ‘tan’. FYI, this lotion, which shall not be named, is being returned for the following reasons: 1) after following all instructions carefully, I did indeed look like the carrot my daughter assured me I would look like! 2) After walking out to the swimming pool and having my 5th graders ask why my feet were orange, I decided that the product was faulty. I mean REALLY??? How many 5th graders are looking at their teacher’s feet, unless there is something OBVIOUSLY WRONG! 3) After several hours in the pool, I came out looking as if I had a disease involving white blotches which still SHOULD still have been the lovely orange shade they were BEFORE I got into the pool, But NO, I looked like a moldy carrot. I have now decided a ‘neon beacon in the night’ is MUCH better than a moldy carrot! So, my advice ~ skip the spray on tan! SO NOT WORTH IT!
ZZ TOP had me rocking on the ROCKIT! : ) I also loved the TWISTER show since “Twister” is one of my favorite movies! CRAZY I KNOW! I love the line “WE GOT COWS”! It was a great reenactment of the “drive in movie” scene when a twister devastated the town of Wakita! I also loved the Simpson simulated ride. We rode that twice and I am sure I cracked a rib from the laughter!
Our incredible leader Cassi, planned the whole trip beautifully! And one of the smartest moves she made was purchasing ‘meal deal’ tickets! We lunched at ‘Louis Corleone’s’ Italian Restaurant… Pizza Pasta salad ~ YUM! I loved the décor: the vintage pictures, the stained glass lamps! FABULOUS! Dinner was eaten at “Mel’s Diner’, with an ‘American Graffiti’ theme, onion rings, LOVE IT! The meal deal was the way to go. We could eat as much as we wanted and got free cups for as many drink refills as we wanted! Tis the way to travel the parks!
I really had a wonderful day at Universal riding the rides, eating the food, laughing until I felt like I could laugh no more, but how was I to know that the BEST part of the day would be the friendships I made with the other mom’s and dad’s, the joy the students were experiencing and the thrill of personally experiencing those childlike moments again! And I had NO IDEA THE BEST WAS YET TO COME… Islands of Adventure, but I will let you come back and visit me tomorrow to hear about the INCREDIBLE World of Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, Comic World and more… SO FABULOUS, and even more lessons learned!
I would encourage you to think about a trip to Orland to visit both Universal and Island of Adventures… good food ~ the price of a meal deal, rides~ a thrill a minute, sunshine and beautiful weather~ fabulous, new friends, the happiness of your students/ children, being a kid again~ PRICELESS.
Hope to see you back for Islands of Adventure!
Shrek 4D show~ too cool!
Living, Loving, and Laughing until my sides split!
Patti ; )