Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hard Rock Hotel - Universal Orlando Resort - Florida - March 25-26, 2011

My most sincere apologies for taking so long to get this post finished. I have been having all sorts of troubles with blogger. I am wondering if this is a thing that has been happening, as some of the blogs I follow are changing sites. Maybe they are getting tired of the problems? Hopefully I will not have so many troubles in the future.

I decided that before I could post Harry Potter pictures, I needed to do Hard Rock Hotel pictures first. We stayed on Universal property for 3 nights and went to Islands of Adventure 2 days in order to go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We had a special Harry Potter package, which is why we stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel.

The hotel was very nice, but I don't think the kids could really appreciate how nice it really was, since we haven't stayed in many hotels. They didn't have much to compare it too.

We were so very excited to see this sign. Before we exited off the toll road, I had entered Hard Rock Hotel into Scott's iPhone navigation system. It took us on a wild goose chase which ended up in a residential area. It works much better when you insert an actual address!!!

After we arrived, the service was first rate. I'm not really good at being "pampered" and felt weird about the hotel staff carrying out luggage to our rooms. It makes me feel like I must think I am better than them, to make them carry my bags. However, that is how they operate, so I did the best I could. After they took our bags, Scott took the rental car to the parking lot. The kids and I were going to go find our room. We knew the room number, and thought we knew the floor as well. We were lost and going up and down the elevator trying to find the correct floor. Finally, as we made it back to the ground floor, we saw our bags being taken to our room, so we followed the bags. Whew! I felt like a country bumpkin at that point. Our concierge, Eggy, arrived at our hotel room and we weren't far behind. He was very nice and gave us all kinds of information. It took Scott awhile to join us, and after Eggy left, I asked him if he had troubles finding our room. I felt much better when he said that he had been all over the place trying to find it. I didn't feel quite as stupid at that point. Scott does alot of traveling, and is good at that sort of thing, so I know I wasn't just me. He just didn't have the luxury of finding our bags enroute to our room!

This picture is the backside of Hard Rock Hotel. The path leads you to the water taxi which takes you back and forth from the different hotels on site to the parks. We were thankful for this service at the end of the day!

I had to take a picture of this pillow. I didn't notice it at first. Not until I saw Emma tracing the words onto a sheet of paper in her travel journal. I definitely agree that, "Sweet dreams are made of this!"

The Hard Rock Cafe was located between the Hard Rock Hotel and Universal Studios. We ate here one of the evenings and enjoyed it. You can't stay at the Hard Rock Hotel and not eat at least one meal at the Cafe!

Soon after we arrived at the hotel and got all of our things organized in our room and figured out where everything was, we went down to The Kitchen to eat supper. Calamari was on the appetizer menu so we had to order some. I had never had calamari until I went to New Orleans on the Mission Trip with our church last Oct. I actually liked it, so wanted the kids to try it. They loved it! I never would have even thought of eating squid, as a kid, so I was excited that Gage and Emma would try it! They are much more adventurous than I was!

Gage ordered steak from the menu. He ate it all too!

You see in the bottom left corner what Emma ordered. She is the mac and cheese queen. It doesn't matter where we go, macaroni and cheese is always her top choice.

We had a magician come to our table to do a few card tricks. I think he was unimpressed with us as one of his magic tricks didn't work. Not because he performed it wrong, but because we didn't remember the cards that we were supposed to remember. I guess that's what happens when you are up late, up early and kayaking for miles in the Everglades! LOL!

The waiter brought us the dessert display to see what we wanted. It was hard to resist when you can see them all in person!!

I can't remember the name of Emma's dessert, but it was a raspberry chocolate cake. It was very RICH, but that didn't stop her from nearly devouring the entire dessert! Scott and I did get a bite, but one bite is all I could take as it was too rich for me.

Gage picked this S'more Cheesecake.

How cute is that, with the roasted marshmallow on top. It had a graham cracker crust and it really tasted like a fancy s'more!

It tasted as good as it looked!!! After supper we headed to our hotel room to get rested up for our big morning at Harry Potter world!

We ate lunch the following day at the outdoor cafe which is right next to the swimming pool. It was a beautiful day and we couldn't resist.

Emma casts a spell with her Ginny Weasley wand as we wait for our lunch to arrive.

I couldn't resist the frozen strawberry daquiri. It looked better than it tasted though. It was a little too strong and a little too sweet for my liking. However, that didn't stop me from drinking it! ;-)

While we were waiting for our lunch to arrive, this juvenile great blue heron decided to visit.

He didn't stay long as he discovered we didn't have any food to share with him. This was up close and personal!

The kids had fun playing in the hotel pool when we took an afternoon break.

Emma does some poolside hula hooping.

They had an air guitar contest that Gage participated in. It was a girls against boys competition and Emma didn't want to join in the fun so she watched from the pool. The DJ had them doing all sorts of crazy moves and here is Gage, strumming behind his head. LOL!

After the boys were finished, the audience in and out of the pool voted for who they thought did the best. The DJ declared a tie. In order to break the tie, he asked for Mom and Dad volunteers.

Don't bother looking for me in the line-up of Moms. If Emma didn't have to play, then neither did I! ;-) Whew! I was glad I didn't make her after I saw this!

Scott gets the "Dad of the Year" Award! Yes, that is my hunk-o-burnin'-flesh out there in the camo shorts and long blonde wig. I only got one photo because I spent the rest of the time taking video! ;-) I will be posting that at a later date. ;-)

Here is another picture of the Hard Rock Cafe lit up in the night as we ride the water taxi back to the hotel.

We most definitely enjoyed our time at Universal Studios and it would be close to the top, if not #1 on our list of what was the best part of our trip!

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