Thursday, November 5, 2015

The OctoNovember Birthday Vacation ~ Headed for Orlando

Despite this being the fourth time, the excitement of heading for Orlando and our beloved Wizarding World of Harry Potter was running through me like I'd touched a live wire. The cheese omelette and half a cinnamon roll were making their way down my system when I finished packing whatever little we'd used overnight and headed for the car with Abbie hauling the luggage trolley with me. The journey up till Florence had been a little uncomfortable for Abbie. She'd hardly had space between her knees and the seat Gubby's car seat was buckled to in front of her and she could feel her knee stiffening up in pain. Saraallie's magical touch was obviously needed. Before the second half of the road trip began, I climbed inside to rearrange the stuff enough to create leg room for Abbie. We realized it was just a case of bad organization on bro and SIL's part, I rearranged everything they'd packed in the car, and we had a good three inches for Abbie's knees to relax in. All set, we loaded the stuff before bro showed up with his time-to-pack sulk face on, and got into our seats ready for Orlando. My outfit for the day was another comfortable pick for the not-so-comfortable seat I was in. I'd thrown on a long dress in gorgeous shades of purple and pulled over a black top on top. So the car began moving and I got lost within the pages of the Mortal Instruments once again.

Soon the cheese omelette and half a cinnamon roll that I'd had for breakfast vanished from my system as if I'd never even seen it. We stopped at Burger King. Though not my first choice, I still like their food. The onion rings and fries tasted sea-salty but were delicious alongside the fish burgers. To a hungry stomach and a person who was off her diet plan it still felt bliss. Abbie and I shared the burger so we could add a layer of ice cream without feeling too guilty. As the hot fudge sauce of the chocolate sundae melted down my throat I melted along with it. It was the first ice cream of the vacation and the first I'd had in six months. It was paradise.

Hours passed away and it began getting dark in the car. The sky was starless and the only light in the car apart from the traffic around us came from mine and Abbie's phones and iPads as the Mortal Instruments unfolded beyond us. By now I was officially in love with Jace Wayland and had gotten lost in the Shadow Hunters' world, another fantasy that was tickling my mind into peace. When we reached Orlando the world stopped. The only thing that was moving was my heart which was overacting with excitement. I glanced at Abbie in the dark and could see a similar expression spreading on her face. We were there, it was happening. We were going to go see Hogwarts and Gringott's dragon again, soon! Before the magic began though it was our stomachs again. Food. We were all stopping at BBQ Tonight for dinner before we checked in at our hotel. After a few minutes of discussions over food, during which Gubby decided to take over the world, sat on the table, and began uttering gibberish over the menu as if she was reading it out, we ordered our food and waited patiently.

When I saw the server coming towards our table with our food I held myself back from throwing a happy fit. The naan was steaming hot and glazed with garlic and buttery goodness, the chapli kababs were juicy, and the chicken curry smelled divine. We concluded over dinner that night that bihari kababs, although delicious, weren't my favorites in the kabab world. I said, "I'd still eat them and enjoy if they were ordered, but if I was the one ordering I'd never ask for bihari kababs over all the other choices." I'm more of a seekh kabab person. It didn't matter to me though because I'd served myself some biryani and was devouring it hungrily. Undoubtedly, the biryani had stolen my heart and was my favorite choice on the table that night.

"Welcome to Cabana Bay Beach Resort's roadside hotel. We hope your stay is comfortable and relaxing. We're glad you're here!" The welcome message flashed on our television when we finally reached our hotel room at Cabana Bay Beach Resort. We'd vacationed here last year and I didn't know if it was just me and my crazy over-emotional self, but it gave me the feeling as if I'd returned home to a happy place.

The room was as brilliant as last time. Bright colors bounced all around me as I approached the comfy beds, taking in the room's familiar retro theme. The abstract paintings that hung above our heads last year as we slept in peace, dreaming about the next day's Butterbeer mugs we'd be sipping, still hung the same way. Every inch of the room screamed welcome at Abbie and I. We could already see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter approaching! I could feel the presence of the dragon, the bricks, the crooked roofs of Hogsmeade, the magnificent Hogwarts ...

But first, the room needed to be Potter-ized!

Abbie and I set about adding the Potterhead touches to convert the room into our own personal Gryffindor dormitory. We had our Mischief Managed pillow cases laid out on a matching bed sheet with red and gold for our house colors. We'd taken our hoodies along, even though Florida's weather was going to be hot, for exceptional nights when the room was too cold. Our Hogwarts bags and mufflers embellished with Harry Potter pins were placed on our beds and we were ready to begin a Potter vacation in style. The Gryffindors had reached their dormitories!

Of course the two awesome ladies who would be sleeping in that majestic Harry Potter themed bed had to wear special Hogwarts sleeping suits too. We had our sleeping shirts printed with a large Hogwarts crest in front. Below the crest it said, "Hogwarts wizard in training."

Cabana Bay gave Abbie a complimentary Starbucks beverage per person too. Before we changed into our night suits that night, arranged for a desi cup of chai, and watched Big Boss 9 before turning in, Abbie sat on the sofa taking a beautiful picture of our matching Harry Potter wallets with Cabana Bay stuff around it. The excitement within me was threatening to explode by the time I got into bed. I was certain that if somebody looked at me then they'd see the excitement shining through me like a bright Patronus. Tomorrow would be the day I would be standing next to Abbie in the shadow of the Hogwarts castle.

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