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So I’m back from Florida and have yet to cook/bake anything that isn’t eggs.  You all forgive me, right?  I had a fantastic time and did consume some good eats and drinks, so it sounds like it’s time for some recaps!

I know you’re supposed to save the best for last, but I can’t help posting about this first.  And actually, the main draw of Orlando for all of us was to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Universal Islands of Adventure, so we went there on the first day.

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January seems like it’s the best time to go to these parks because the weather is perfect (not hot!) and the lines are short, or at least almost always moving!  The first ride we rode happened to be the best ride EVER.  It’s Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, which is the one that’s inside Hogwarts (!).  Freaking incredible.  If you’ve never been on it, you basically feel like you’re flying.  Enough said.

The other major highlight of HP world was the butterbeer.  My expectations weren’t very high because I knew they had two versions that were cold, one being frozen.  While reading the books, I had always imagined butterbeer to be a warm beverage, but evidently J.K. Rowling approved both concoctions at Universal.

Butterbeer!! Happy Place
Butterbeer #1 (frozen)

The first version that we tried was the frozen.  It’s served out of a machine that’s similar to what’s used for churning margaritas, and there’s another pump that stores the foamy topping.  The best way to describe it is a cream soda slush with butterscotch-flavored whipped cream.  SO gooood.

We went on to the rest of Universal and rode the Spiderman (awesome!) and Hulk (SCARY) rides, but had to go back for Round 2 of HP land.  After riding the Hogwarts ride again and Flight of the Hippogriff, we decided it was time for some more butterbeer.

Butterbeer #2 (unfrozen)kegs foam = NOM.

Courtney and Laura went with the frozen again, but Katie and I opted for the other version this time.  The only difference was that the base seemed to be non-frozen cream soda, and they topped it off with a little more foam.  It also wasn’t served with a straw which makes for a more foam-appreciating experience and creates ‘staches.  I prefer the frozen, but think next time I’ll try drinking it without the straw because the foam is the best part!  By the way, I think the frozen was $4.25 while the non-frozen was $3.25.

Finally, the other fun thing about HP land is that a lot of the shops in the books are there.  One of these was Honeydukes which supposedly has every kind of candy mentioned in the books.  The pink coconut ice made me wish I liked coconut!

inside Honeydukes Bertie Bott's!
Honeydukes!
chocolate frog display pumpkin juice

There was also a bakery case full of fudge, candy apples, and other HP-ish treats. As tasty as it all looked, I could not be persuaded to buy anything.  They were charging $9.99 for chocolate frogs and small boxes of Bertie Bott’s, and $6 for pints of pumpkin juice!

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Everyday we spent in Florida was fun and full of things to do, but the first day remains my favorite.  Hopefully we’ll all get to go back again someday!

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