Thursday, January 26, 2012

Florida - Animal Kingdom

Darren was not excited about going to Disney but he did suggest the Animal Kingdom knowing how much I like zoo type places and because neither of had been there.  Now when the Avatar land is done, we'll have to go back! :)

The Tree of Life was neat.

But the highlight of the day was the animal safari.  I'd have to say it makes me want to go to Africa badly and do a real safari!

See the baby elephant hiding behind the momma?

At one point we had to stop because the Rhino's were in the road.  For about 5 minutes they didn't want to move at all!


The animals get amazing close the jeep.  I thought they'd stay away if they could.

This guy wasn't that close, by my zoom was helpful!

Everest was neat and the roller coaster was different that anything I'd been on.  You go forwards, backwards and then forward again!

We ended the day being able to just squeak into the Lion King show.  Just barely making the last show.  It was definitely worth the run across the park to make it!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Florida - Islands of Adventure

Dork that I am, what I was most excited about was going to Universal Studios Islands of Adventure, the home of Harry Potter World!!!!  It was neat walking through many of the props used in the movies and seeing how they designed all the buildings.

You first walk into Hogsmeade the only town for just magical people in the Harry Potter books.

The buildings are so cute.

But the castle was crazy realistic.  Definitely smaller than I pictured Hogwarts to be but it looked the way in real life that I would have pictured it.


Inside had so many memories from the books and movies.  A classroom with Ron, Hermione and Harry.

Dumbledore's Office.

The moving paintings.

The sorting hat.

And of course the "Fat Lady."

In the village they even had the Hogwarts Express! 

I'm fairly certain this visit is what prompted me to spend the last few months re-reading all of the books back to back.  I just finished on Friday and I have to say I'm sad to be done with them. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Florida - Universal Studios

The real fun began after we got to Orlando.  Four theme parks in four days.  It was fun though.  Up first was Universal Studios.  I had never been so that was pretty fun.

We saw the Simpsons come out of their motorhome.

And the Delorian from Back to the Future.

And the train used in Back to the Future III.

The park was so empty we were able to catch quite a few shows including the Monster Mash!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Florida - Wildlife Park

In September - Darren and I both were able to take vacation and finally took my cousin Paul up on his offer for us to come visit.  It was much needed after the move and starting back to work.  A few days of relaxing before we went to Orlando. :)

One of our afternoons outside Tampa, we went to a wildlife park.  It was a mini-zoo of sorts but aside from a Rhino contained only animals that were native to Florida.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Lake Maxinkuckee

Labor Day weekend we headed up to visit Darren's friend's whose parents have a house on Lake Maxinkuckee in Culver, IN.  We had a great Saturday out on the water just hanging out, throwing the football and taking boat rides.

The girls - Bindu, me, Kelly and Darby.

The guys Prasanth, Darren and Brian.

The whole crew.

While we were on the water later in the day a crazy storm kicked up that knocked all of the patio furniture off the dock and we could barely get the boat in the slip.  It was a bit scarey but in the end quite the adventure!

Kelly & Darby's birthday was the week following Labor Day so we celebrated with a super cute Chicago cake.  Kelly just moved back to Chicago with Brian following a stint in Cleveland and Darby was now out of residency and working outside of Chicago as well.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Homecoming 2010

Wow I'm far behind... I almost said "last year" regarding Vanderbilt's Homecoming but really it was now 2 homecoming's ago!  But I got to see and hang out with some great girls I just don't see often enough, Jenny, Lauren and Jane.  And honestly I don't remember if we won or lost... But I'd err on the side of losing in 2010 but Vandy's games are always fun, especially with great company!


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Ashley & Fletch's Wedding

Later in August we also got the chance to drive to IOWA.  I know it was a thrilling drive through the cornfields but one of Darren's friend's was getting married in a small town called Pella.  Also know for their windows and is home of Pella Glass.

We drove the convertible and it was a beautiful day not too hot!  The sunset on the road was amazing.

The wedding was held in the town's small Opera House.  The setting was absolutely adorable.  And the lighting was cool too.

The look so happy!!

Darren's friend's Jamie and Nadia where there with their daughter Morgan.  I've never seen a two year old exude cool!  She was hamming it up for the camera for sure!  Here she is hanging with Brita.

And with dad!

And me.