Harry Potter

I spent the last three days at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at universal studios Orlando. It has been a magical family vacation so far. My daughter has acquired the full Gryffindor regalia. It has been so much fun watching her bask in the experience. And my husband and son have joined in with us, trying to ride every ride and experience it all. Apparently I get motion sick easily. I am taking a lot of ginger. Ugh.

Do you know they sell beer throughout the park? Really-you could get hammered at universal studios with your family. And sadly, I expect I would have in the past.

Not this trip. No hangover means we get here for the extra early hour before the crowds. I am not sweating, cranky and thirsty. I am having fun. It gives me goosebumps. We are making memories that I will cherish forever. And I hope my hubby and kids will too.

Tomorrow we move on to disneyworld for the next four days. We are staying at the Animal Kingdom. Hopefully we see a giraffe. My sensitive brain is already overwhelmed, but I am all in to see what comes next.

My kids are 9 and 11. As I write this I feel a pang of regret for not making the effort to go on more family vacations…or for ruining some of the past ones with too much booze.

But those days are done. Today is for living and I am doing that-absolutely sober and loving it.

Stillness and peace


30 thoughts on “Harry Potter

  1. I love giraffes πŸ˜‰ I think it’s awesome that you are present and having fun; no regrets! Enjoy πŸ™‚ xx

  2. hi Anne
    that is awesome that you are enjoying yourself with your family. I noticed too that in the West Coast parks they sell beer on every corner too. I never mentioned it but it is awful. a childrens’ park for gods sake!! people were standing in queues drinking beer in front of us.
    have a blast and thanks for your comment today

  3. Beer and gigantic turkey legs, what a sight?
    I am so happy for you that you are present and enjoying your family life. Mornings are so much better without being hung over, no matter where you are!
    Have fun!

  4. Anne this is so great! I went to Disney in 2010 with my kids, still drinking. And while nothing on the vacation suffered, per se, when I look back on that time, I recall my preoccupation with my addiction, rather than where it should have been, and it fills me with shame. I love reading this post, it give me such a shot of energy. Have a FANTASTIC time in Disney, and I can’t wait to read all about it!

    PS… I’m pretty sure you are going to see a giraffe πŸ™‚

  5. We head there this summer. Animal Kingdom is great. Try dinner at Boma if you can. Aren’t sober vacations great? 9 and 11 are great ages to have a present, interested mom by their side. What a beautiful thing. Enoy the rest of your trip!

  6. Anne, this post made me so happy!
    Just think how much you can give your kids and hubby!
    Have a wonderful time!
    Peace and Hugs!

  7. So happy for you πŸ™‚ And such an amazing experience for the family! There are moments, aren’t there, when you compare then and now, and the differences – we’ll, we might as well be a different person! Have a fab time at Disney. Hope you get to see the giraffes. Tell me if you see any penguins 🐧 x

  8. My boys are 9 and 11 too. We love Harry Potter. Here’s one of our favorite quotes:

    It is our choices… that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
    – Quote by Albus Dumbledore

  9. Sounds wonderful Anne. Enjoy this special time with your family. I’m really hoping I can do my holiday sober. You make it sound so worth it. A x

  10. I laughed out loud when I read your post. The last time I was at Universal Studios I was hammered. At Harry Potter World. With my kids. I’m sure they didn’t notice, they were 7 and 4 at the time. Now, at 8 and 11, I think they would notice.

    Its so much better to be present in our kids lives, isn’t it? I’m sure the whole time we were there, I was preoccupied with having enough wine. What a relief to not even be thinking about it.

    Have fun – those places are magical with kids!

  11. Somehow I missed this post, so you’re probably home by now. I hope you had a fantastic trip, and you can look forward to many more sober vacations with your family. On our last trip to Disney, my kids were 18 or 19 and we had even more fun than we did when they were little. (PS Love Animal Kingdom – do they still have that amazing African buffet?)

  12. I know you said you regret not having more family vacations, but really, I think family vacations before a certain age are a waste. Little kids tire out easily, they always have to eat or pee, they require naps at inopportune times, and they’re too underdeveloped to appreciate anything that isn’t loud and brightly colored.

    Your kids, on the other hand, sound like they’re at just the perfect age to really benefit from family vacations. They’re old enough to be responsible for their own body functions, old enough to appreciate natural wonders and the great outdoors, and still young enough to think that spending time with their parents is fun!

  13. Hi Anne, thanks for your comment on my blog – I am still struggling with the Blogger v. WordPress thing, but my blogging skills are so limited that I just don’t feel ready to try to change over to wordpress, at least not now. But I am happy you can bridge the gap, I love your comments.

    I read about your trip to Orlando – I have enjoyed taking my kids to the parks in sobriety and it is so much better than the past attempts when I was drinking/stumbling through. It also helps that they are old enough that it’s not a daunting chore to live thru the park itself. I only live an hour away from Orlando, next time you visit we should meet up!!

    I have lots of regrets about things I missed in my kids’ childhoods owing to alcohol, and it is sometimes very bleak to have to accept that there is no changing that past. On good days, I know that what I am doing TODAY is what counts and if I am sober and present with them, that’s the very best I can be doing to ‘make my amends’ for that past. Today is a good day :).



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