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James and Lilli's Blog

Sunday, March 29, 2015


It’s going to be a short report this week – just a few pics and stories from our trip today with Mom to the aquarium. Mom was asked to give a presentation and lead a trip for some students at the university (even though she’d never been to this particular aquarium before today!). She decided to take us along for company, and we had a great time!

It was a sunny day (after multiple INCHES of snow yesterday), and it was nice to get out and about. Lilli and I loved the penguins!

Actually, we loved most everything we saw. We will have to go back again soon!

We have a busy week this week hosting friends from out of town, and then Lilli and Mom and I head to FL on Saturday. Looking forward to seeing Coach, Lil, and Amos, and to getting back to warm weather!


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Celebrating spring by...skiing!

Happy Spring, everyone! We rang in the new season in true New England style – with several inches of snow on Friday and Saturday! We decided to embrace the remainder of winter and finally try our hand at skiing, so today we got up early and headed to Wachusett Mountain.

The wind was blowing pretty hard and Mom and Dad were worried it was too cold for skiing (and so they wimped out and hung out in the lodge all morning), but James and I loved it!

We aced our lesson, very quickly learning to stop and turn. Next time we go, we’re ready for the ski lifts!

Yesterday was also busy and fun – we went to 2 birthday parties! First for our friend Oliver, and then for GG. GG had a Magic School Bus themed party, complete with a Scientist and experiments!

We were all pretty intrigued, especially when she brought out the dry ice!

Pretty cool.

We’re hoping for some true-to-spring weather this week – cross your fingers for us!


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Thank you, Santa!!

Oh my gosh – where to begin? We went this week on our trip from Santa to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando. First things first, it’s warm in Florida this time of year!

We complained a bit about the heat the first day, and had to take every opportunity to cool off

But we quickly adjusted.

It turns out there is more than just Harry Potter at Universal. We decided to try our hand at roller coasters on some of the more basic rides

Before moving on to the real deal at Hogwarts and Gringotts.  But wait – I’m getting ahead of myself! Let’s start from the beginning.

We arrived in Orlando in the middle of the day Tuesday. After changing into shorts and t-shirts and grabbing a bite to eat, we headed to London and Diagon Alley to take a look around.  Here’s #12 Grimmauld Place!

We didn’t get a picture, but Kreacher occasionally peaks out of the 2nd floor window.

Nearby was the Knight Bus. You couldn’t go inside, but we did get a good look.

Then it was time to enter Diagon Alley!

There was so much to look at – it’s really hard to describe.

There is a dragon guarding the top of Gringott’s

And every so often he breathes real fire!!

First stop – the money exchange to convert some of our dollars into the appropriate currency.

Next up – butterbeer! (And Wizard’s Brew for Dad.)

We explored all the shops and got our bearings so that we could plan out our next 2 days. We also quickly identified the items we wanted to purchase, though Mom did make us hold off until the next day!

Back at the hotel, we cooled off in the awesome pool. A very busy first day!

On Wednesday, we got an early start at Hogwarts, dressed appropriately, of course!

The castle was very cool.

Lilli wasn’t quite tall enough to ride the Forbidden Journey ride, so Dad and I went alone. It was awesome, but I didn’t need to do it twice!

After touring the castle, we ate breakfast at the Three Broomsticks, and then visited Ollivander’s to pick out our wands. To our surprise, they actually work within the park! There are markers on the cement that indicate what wand motion to use and what spell to say. We did all sorts of tricks!

Next up – the Hogwarts Express back to Diagon Alley!

We rode the train as many times as possible during our visit – it was very cool.

We made our purchases at Diagon Alley (a phoenix for me and an owl for Lilli) and then we retreated back to the hotel pool to cool off. That afternoon, we went back to ride some more of the non-Harry Potter attractions, including a fun E.T inspired one. We also rode the water taxi back to our hotel.

Once there, we took good care of our new (and old) friends!

On Thursday we got another early start so that we could avoid the wait for the one ride we hadn’t yet tried – Escape from Gringott’s.  It was worth the wait! Lilli liked it so much that she and Mom went back again later in the day. But first, we ate lunch at the Leaky Cauldron

Got face paint and tattoos

And enjoyed some ice cream!

Oh, and had a final ride on the Hogwarts Express.

Whew. I don’t know if you can tell, but we had a great trip. So many wonderful experiences and memories!

While we were enjoying ourselves in FL, Torrie and Robyn took great care of our house, and most importantly, Scout.

We were very happy to get home Friday to see her! Yesterday was a pretty quiet day, though Mom and Lilli did make a pie for Pi Day

And Lilli practiced her reading on Scout.

Tomorrow, it’s back to the real world!