Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Legilimens (a glimpse into our summer vacation)

If you haven't heard, we just returned from our east coast vacation.

We started off in Raleigh, North Carolina where my step-brother and his family live. They hosted us for two nights and we absolutely loved every minute of it.
Alex really misses being around family, so this was a special treat for him. He LOVES cousins!
Gabby simply adores her cousin David (as seen below) and was pretty much by his side through our whole visit:
Then, it was off to Charleston, South Carolina and the beach--a first for Oliver! Turns out he's a beach bum just like the rest of us.
We found a jelly fish (but weren't stung by any, thank goodness!)
the kids worked on their body boarding skills, which was tough because the waves were pretty wimpy.
Oliver bravely dressed in drag, and pulled it off quite well I thought:
Noah had to work for three days in Charleston (poor fellow), but the kids and I got to explore.

Some how, I summoned the courage to take all three kids on a boat to Fort Sumpter (the starting point of the Civil War), since history is way more exciting when you experience it:
Oliver was a royal pain in the $%#.
And of course, we checked out the market and walked around down town. I'm sure it would have been loads more fun minus kids and minus about 50 degrees (I cannot begin to tell you how hot and humid it was). SO HOT! And SO HUMID!!!
Luckily, someone noticed our sweat (possibly our stench) and let us in on a little town secret...
Fountain Park!
This picture gives you an idea of the lengths to which we went to cool off:
And then it was time to go home... or was it?

We packed the kids in the car on Thursday afternoon telling them we were headed home and that we would stay in a hotel on the way. We arrived at our hotel at about 11 that night with sleeping children who were unaware that we drove to Orlando, Florida (home of Harry Potter World at Universal Studios--have I told you yet that Gabby just finished reading the entire series?)

The following morning was Alex's birthday and we told the kids we would take them to breakfast and then to a mall to go shopping for Alex. We made sure the kids were completely distracted with DS's and battleship as we drove by billboard after billboard advertising The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The kids missed them all.

When we got into the parking lot of Universal, we let the cat out of the bag:

so long ipad 2:
The Three Broomsticks: where we blew $60 on lunch!
Hagrid's cottage:
Oliver wasn't a big fan of roller-coasters, but he got to go on them anyway:
Since it was Alex's birthday, he got to wear a magical pin that ensured special treatment and announcement of his birthday over the loud speaker on nearly every ride we went on (much to his approval):
The magical pin most likely also contributed to his getting picked by Olivander himself at the wand shop!
Turns out the boy isn't a squib after all!!!
And of course, there were other, non Harry Potter themed parts of the park we visited (Noah loves a good fish ride!)
Best vacation (and birthday celebration) EVER!!!


  1. That...is awesome! I'm so glad the surprise went as well as it did! It looks like you guys had so much fun!

  2. Kaila, you are the best Mom ever! Looks like you had a blast. Only wish you'd had the BSB for your drive!

  3. what makes you think we didn't have the BSB on the drive--I'm married to Noah, remember?

  4. Wish I were your kid! I want to go to Harry Potter Land sooo bad!