Travels with Mari…

I’ve been extremely fortunate in my life because I have gone to some amazing places and seen some beautiful parts of this world. I’ve traveled across country on a train—twice! Camped in Big Sur. Walked the beaches of La Push near Forks, Washington on my Twilight pilgrimage. While there, I viewed the snow-covered mountaintop ranges from Hurricane Ridge. I’ve done London in a day (limped out of SoHo) and cruised on the Queen Mary II across the Atlantic Ocean. I walked the streets of Stratford upon Avon and seen Shakespeare’s house. Pretended I was one of the Beatles as I walked across Penny Lane. I’ve seen the Atlantic Ocean from most of the East Coast and a fair piece of the shoreline of the Pacific. I’ve stood in the middle of Times Square in New York City more times than I can count and I live close enough that Washington DC is a day-trip for me

photo-1 copy 2Even after all of that, last summer I had what was probably one of the best vacations of my life. And it’s going to sound silly, but what made the trip so special—in addition to the locale—was the fact that I spent it with my family and friends. We traveled to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It’s a nice place and maybe compared to the other places I’ve seen, it doesn’t sound like it should top the list, but we rented a fantastic house! Seriously…dream home! And I can honestly say I’ve never laughed so damn much in my whole life. The days were idyllic—lazy, easy, slow, sometimes even long, which I love. We ate good food, consumed copious amounts of beer and wine and relaxed. It was Eden after a year of working two jobs and struggling to keep my head above the waves of deadlines, school projects and the million little things associated with getting my son to graduation and enrolled in college.

photo-1After the trip to Myrtle, we drove even further south, so that I could draw a line through the number one thing on my bucket list. If you know me, you know of my undying love of all things Harry Potter. I’ve wanted to go to Universal Studios ever since they opened the Harry Potter theme park. Last summer, I made it. I actually teared up a little when I saw the Hogwarts castle and that virtual ride inside the castle is INCREDIBLE. I flew over Hogwarts on a broom. It was a dream come true!

photo-1 copyThen the day after Universal, we went to Discovery Cove. Not sure if you’ve ever heard of that place, but that ended up being the favorite part of the vacation for all of us—from my six year old nephew to my sixty-seven year old mother-in-law. What a great place! My niece swam with the dolphins and the rest of us just soaked up the sun!

I’m already looking forward to next summer. No idea where we’ll go next, but as long as I’m with my family, I guess it doesn’t really matter.

3 Responses to “Travels with Mari…”

  1. michelleboone Says:

    Your life sounds amazing. So glad you are enjoying the fruits of your labor as much as I’ve enjoyed your books. Here’s to a wonderful 2013.

  2. Okay……more about Hogwarts seeing we’re heading that direction this summer. The vitual tour, is that one of those seats with a 3d screen or a roller coaster through it. Also, how do they do that broom ride? I’d really like to visit but I need details! We’re not going to be able to do much but the few things we do do I want to be the best.

    • Oh–the ride inside the castle is a MUST DO. We walked by it the first time because the wait was like 2 hours. But then it rained and the park cleared out a bit, so we went back and only waited about 30 minutes. It’s one of those rides where they strap you sideways onto a bench thing. Then it moves along the track while you’re virtually riding a broom over Hogwarts with the dragon chasing you. I’d never been on a virtual reality ride, so needless to say, I was blown AWAY!

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