If you’re on Facebook, you’ve seen most of these photos. Don’t you just love smart phones? What did we ever do without them?
We had three days here in Venice and three at Universal Studios. My favorite thing….just sitting back and watching and listening. They make me laugh. They bring me such joy. Who could have ever imagined you could love anyone as much as your own children…and then grand children come along and you’re blown away.
Calli was my yoga buddy. We only got there on two days but I loved watching her try every pose, so serious, so focused (except when she had to straighten out her yoga blanket and sip her coffee after every move) And the kids were in the Gulf every day. The water was 64 degrees but it was hot on the beach. I even got in one day (for about 30 seconds) And so our time in Venice was spent at the beach and in the pool…that’s all. They did come out of the water to climb on the rocks and dig in the sand and eat and sleep but that was about it.
Universal Studios was another world. A few tips for those who plan on going. First, you need to get a park hopper ticket because one of the best rides in the Hogwarts Express…the train that goes between the two parks. And when you head for the train from Kings Cross Station, have someone wait and take pictures of the rest of the group going through Platform 9 3/4. It really does look like they’re vanishing. Erin got a great video. I just have photos. If you decide to buy wands (very pricey-the kids had saved Christmas and birthday money for months) get in line for Olivanders and see if you can get your kids to the front of the pack. Lana and Calli happened to be right up front and the only little kids in the group and got chosen to demonstrate how the wand chooses you. It had to be the BEST part of the entire visit to Harry Potter Land. And even if you hate wild rides, get in line anyway…at least for the Forbidden Journey and Escape from Gringotts. Both have lots of entertainment along the way to the ride and you can duck out at the end if you aren’t in love with exciting journeys. Finally, we noticed that the lines were shortest mid to late afternoon.
I can so clearly remember the first time I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and was dazzled with how brilliant it was. It took forever to convince Sean (who was in high school) that he would love the book but once he gave it a try (he should always listen to his mom) he became a bigger fan than I was. I read it to my second graders in Longmeadow that spring. Toward the final days of school, we read for longer and longer periods of time. I offered to summarize a couple chapters and then read the final chapter but the kids wouldn’t let me. So we ended up spending the very last day of school reading the last two chapters, finished just as the bell rang dismissing the kids for summer. Oops…as I rushed to hug everyone and get them out to the car line on time, I totally forgot to give them their report cards. I flew out of the room, caught some of them before they left the grounds and then drove around and delivered the rest that afternoon. JK Rowling worked magic and continues to work magic with kids everywhere.