Per usual, we've been going full steam ahead ever since we left brave camp.
We were a little sad to leave Miami, but excited to see what Gumbo Limbo had in store for us.
Gumbo Limbo is a sea turtle rescue center in South Florida, and while we loved the adorable turtles, and happy little blue fish we visited, the real scene stealer was the box 'o poop hanging on the bathroom walls.
Next there was an overnight stop in Vero Beach, FL to visit Rico's childhood bestie Frank and his family.
Then it was off to Orlando, to uphold one of our promises to Tiny - when dad gets better, we'll visit Harry Potter's Village.
And as much as I love me some Harry Potter, and I do mean loooooooooooooove - if I never see Universal Studios again, it would be ok.
The butter beer is great. The Hogwarts Express is cool. Jurassic Park is worth a trip, but the rest: ugggggggggggggggg.
For starters it's just too, how do you say it?
"People-y" for my tastes.
I'm not even talking about the lines - (which weren't terrible for us, since we often needed to use the handicapped accessible entrance) - I'm talking about trying to walk down the sidewalk without inhaling somebody else's twelve-hour old mid-summer Florida sweat. There just isn't room to move - and you can imagine how much people with anxiety love being surrounded by thousands of other sweaty, exhausted people in close quarters.
The rides are cool.
The first time.
But after the first two, you start to realize that all of Universal's rides are basically failed anti-gravity simulators for NASA.
Time after time I was strapped into a five-point harness, forced to cover my already nearsighted eyes with an additional set of glasses, and forced to watch a 3-D movie while my seat was jostled, spun, swung and jerked to a complete stop. Throw in the ice-cold water and jets of fire they continue to spray in your face throughout each ordeal, and I think I'm a technically qualified Navy Seal.
But the kids loved it.
The next day was off to a Tampa, where we got to spend the fourth with my little brother and his family. His is the only house I know, where my kids can learn to pick locks with a professional lock picking kit, and light their sparklers with a homemade flamethrower consisting of bug spray and a blow torch.
This might be, why he's our favorite.