The last few weeks have been pretty stressful for me. Between classes, homework, tests, interviews, club meetings, and a social life, I haven’t had much time to relax at all. Thankfully, Thanksgiving break came just at the right time and was a much needed break from all of the busyness that school brings. Although I did not have the privilege of going home for the five day break, I was able to spend time in Orlando.
My Thanksgiving break was not full of home cooked meals, family time, cold weather, or relaxation; instead it was filled with theme park food, driving, sunshine, and a lack of sleep, although I wouldn’t have changed it. I was able to spend the break at the Disney World Parks, at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, as well as in Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Orlando.
Although I did not travel to my home in Washington State, I still felt like I was on the go a lot. The first day of break I went to Tampa and St. Petersburg just to explore the cities, since I had never been there before. It was a really awesome experience because I got to drive across central Florida and along the west coast for awhile. One of my favorite things to do is to go on adventures to places I have never been before, and because of this passion, I made it my goal to explore the whole state of Florida while I am at Embry-Riddle for four years. This Thanksgiving break seemed like the perfect opportunity to start on the path to my goal, so I did.
The next few days of break were filled with Disney magic. I had never been to Disney World while the Christmas decorations were up, so I took full advantage of every minute I had to enjoy the holiday festivities. I was so excited to see the full size gingerbread house inside the Grand Floridian Resort, as well as the Osborne Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. (The Osborne Light Show is a light show that is synced with holiday music and is truly amazing to see in person. It is put on each year during the holiday season.) Each morning I woke up early so that I could make it to one of the parks right when it opened, and then I would jump between parks, Downtown Disney, and the Disney resorts throughout the day. Anytime you spend a day at Disney you are sure to have a great experience, but also end the day absolutely exhausted. I was there so much that my Thanksgiving dinner was a famous Disney turkey leg that I bought in the Hollywood Studios park!
Christmas tree at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
Gingerbread house that is entirely edible at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
Being funny and eating a famous Disney turkey leg for Thanksgiving dinner!
The Osborne Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
In addition to my fun-filled days at Disney World, I also spent a day at the Universal theme parks. I had never been to Universal in Orlando before, so I was excited to get to experience rides that were new to me. I started the day off early at the Islands of Adventure park where I decided to ride the Hulk first. I never realized how intense the roller coasters are at Universal until I got on the Hulk, but being the adrenaline junkie that I am, I absolutely loved it! The rest of the day was spent visiting Harry Potter World, sipping on the famous Butterbeer (it’s non-alcoholic, of course), and riding more rides in the Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios parks.
Hogwarts at Universal’s Islands of Adventure Park
Delicious frozen Butterbeer
Suess Landing in Universal’s Islands of Adventures Park
Although it felt like my entire Thanksgiving break was go, go, go, and I did not get to spend it with my family, I am still so thankful for the opportunities I had to experience new things while I was here in Florida over break. My advice to you is to always be thankful for the people in your life, no matter if they are near or far, the life you are living, even if it does seem to be go, go, go all the time, and the opportunities you are given.
Until next time,