Universal Studios – FINALLY!

I have been waiting for years to go to Universal. Emmerson is finally brave enough to ride the rides, at least most of them. Mom and Dad surprised us with a trip for the weekend with special ride passes so we don’t have to wait in long lines, except for Harry Potter stuff.

We arrived Friday afternoon and went to Universal to get the lay of the land. It was amazing walking into Diagon Alley and seeing the books and films come to life. They did an amazing job.

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We took a wrong turn and ended up waiting in a short line for what, we didn’t know! It ended up being the wand choosing at Olivander’s Wand Shop. E and I were selected and the ceremony was nothing less than amazing! I had to practice spells to find the correct wand. Finally the wands were chosen. Mine is a reed wand with dragon heartstring. E ended up with a birth wand with dragon heart string from the same dragon. It was a cool story!

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We had our share of butter beer. I liked the frozen the best.

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The rides were spectacular! The que lines even more so! I loved walking through Gringott’s Bank!

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Saturday we were up before the sunshine and had pancake room service. IMG_7334

We arrived really early at the gates for 8am admission. We were chosen to the be “Opening Family” and got to open the park! We got in a few minutes early, received a free photo pass and had people asking us all day if we were having a family reunion. They gave us badges that said “Opening Family”. It was a running joke by the end of the day… Hello Mr. and Mrs. Opening!

We LOVED Hogwarts express. I was amazed how it really looked like the movies.

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After a morning of Harry Potter we checked out Islands Of Adventure. I loved the Jurassic Park area and can’t wait to come back to ride the ride.

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We were exhausted after the park but still found the entry to be in the pool for nearly 2 hours.

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There was a family of mallard ducks enjoying the pool with us. Mom, Dad and 8 ducklings swam all over.

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Sunday we spent the morning casting spells with our new interactive wands.

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Grandma and Grandpa wandered around with us, drank more butter beer and had a great time.

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I thought the Hogwarts Express line was awesome. From one spot you can see people disappear to platform 9 3/4. IMG_7368 IMG_7376

I got scolded for casting spells on the train.

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The knight bus driver was hilarious! We also made a MAGIC phone call from the telephone booth! There are so many little details and hidden treats!

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We checked out Jaws and headed for home.

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Thanks for a great vacation!

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Below are some of the photos from the free photo pass we had for being the “Opening Family”.

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Maker Boot Camp- Editing

We have been taking Maker Boot Camp classes at Seminole Community Library! We learned about editing software this month, specifically iMovie.  We then had to use clips from our classes and make a short video.

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I enjoyed learning the history of video editing and also how to make a really cool camera setup for under $100!

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I am glad to have friends in the class with me.

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I loved adding sound and transitions to my clips.

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Legoland – A Ghost Town

Today we visited Legoland. The park was so empty. Many rides we were allowed to just stay on a few times in a row, even some coasters!

I did the jousting because Emmerson begged me to go on.

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My reward was 4 times on the beetle bounce in a row.

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There were times when we thought we had the park to ourselves!

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Even boating school we were able to just ride again without getting off the ride.

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Driving school was the same way!

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There were 4 kids driving in our group. They let us drive 2-3 times longer than normal since there was NO ONE waiting in line to get into the ride.

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We finished the entire park before 1pm. We rode all the rides except 4 (3 were closed and one wasn’t open until 11 and we didn’t want to come back to it). What a fun day at Legoland.

 

Stuffed Animal Madness

Mom was cleaning Emmerson’s room and we had to wash the bags that the stuffed animals are normally stored inside of. We dumped everything out and sorted through them to make a bag to give away to Salvation Army.

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We opted to hide in the animals.

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We had a great time visiting our stuffed animal friends, swapping out the ones in our beds and making stuffy fights!

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Camping at Paynes Prairie and 4H State of Florida Forest Ecology Contest

This weekend MOM drive us to Gainesville in the RV. Dad kept a watchful eye on Mom’s driving as this was her first solo driving trip!

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We arrived without incident and Mom even backed the RV into the spot!

We enjoy this really woody campground a lot, except for the mosquitos.

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We had nightly campfires as I studied and reviewed the local trees and plants for my 4H contest.

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We explored town and I got to visit Devil’s Millhopper. It was a really cool old sinkhole you could hike down into.

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I loved all the life inside of the sinkhole.

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Sadly the water at the bottom is covered in duckweed. This is usually caused by all the runoff that has fertilizers in it. It makes me sad to see this.

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At the contest I was in a small group for our rotation. I took my time, double checked my answers. Between events We were allowed to wiggly outside which really took the stress of the contest off. It was a tough competition this year again.

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I was shocked to win 2nd place in the state! I have worked very hard for this.

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My pretty, HUGE ribbon!

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What a great group of kids from our club and county. We all plan to come back next year and WIN! IMG_7223 IMG_7227

To celebrate my hard work we visited the Santa Fe Teaching Zoo. There was a turtle doing yoga!

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I loved all the animals, especially the Asian Small Clawed Otter.

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It was a great weekend out of town. I look forward to more adventures.

Long Lost Friends

My buddy, Aran, came into town from Washington state. We picked up right were we left off a few years ago when he left.

We met for lunch and then headed to the park.

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We had a great time playing and hiking at John Chestnut Park.

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We saw cool birds, snakes and even an alligator.

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We are a bunch of goofy kids. I am sure we will be friends for life!

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April Fools!

Mom is evil. End of story. She woke us up and said there were brownies in the oven. There were BROWN Es! UGH! MOM!

The milk was also blue and my cereal was int he wrong box.

I was very upset by all of this but quickly changed tunes and plotted to get Mom back!

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E and I made fake ice cream and told Mom we made her a nice dessert. She laughed! IMG_6945

April Randomness

We have been busy filling the days with 4-H practice, field trips and much more. We are still doing a few subjects in school at home but not a heavy workload.

Some of my art was on display at the Safety Harbor History Center.

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I am working on a game and presentation for NEXT year for 4H. I figured I would get started early since we will be on travel a lot soon.

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I had to go shopping with Mom to find a new dress shirt, pants and tie for 4-H Demonstration day.

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I have been practicing my speech non-stop! I am teaching about Bernoulli’s Principle.

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Small distractions from getting my work done. We have had 3 snakes in the yard this week. We also have baby bunnies and lots of birds. Constant distractions.

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More work on my speech has been done. I am starting to put it all together and add more props and showy stuff.

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At homeschool gymnastics I am finally flipping over the bar. I have been seriously apprehensive about it.

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We visited the 4-H extension office to turn in some paperwork and we found droves of lubber grasshoppers. Every step you took sent hundreds of them scattering all over. They are tiny now but will grow to be about 3-4 inches long!

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We used magnifying lenses to concentrate sunlight to burn holes in leaves and wood.

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As you can see, we have been busy!

Hoppy Easter 2016

We spent Easter weekend at Grandma and Grandpa’s house in Venice. We enjoyed several days of just relaxing.

Group iPad time!

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We spent a LOT of time in their heated pool.

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And the hot tub!

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And running and jumping and splashing into the pool!

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More iPad time and relaxing.

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On Easter we helped Grandma make the traditional bunny cake. Dad suggested some changes this year and they bunny now has toasted coconut!

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We dyed eggs.

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They weren’t really eggs. They were fake eggs grandma found. They were neat because we can keep them after Easter.

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I had a fun time drawing on the eggs too.

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Hoppy Easter to all!