One Ocean, Two Islands, and Three Theme Parks Later…

13 Sep

Ah, snowy Hogsmeade in September…

Well, hello there, lovely blog friends.  Silly vacation, tearing us apart for so long.  I’ve missed you.  Truly.

It would be odd and unfortunate if I didn’t share some of the ocean, the islands, and the theme parks with you guys, right?  Right.  I think so, too.

I made some observations over the past week.  Here they are, in no particular order:

  1. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible for me to go an entire week without Starbucks.
  2. Right in line with popular belief, however, is the cold hard truth that an entire week without coffee or lattes? HA. I rather quickly made friends with Vanya, the barista onboard the Disney Wonder cruise ship. She makes excellent lattes.
  3. The flight from Houston to Dallas lasts exactly as long as it takes for me to do 16.5 easy sudoku puzzles.
  4. There does, indeed, exist a sunblock that works for my skin. After a week in the sun, I came out looking shrimp-pink rather than my usual lobster-red. (It was a Neutrogena something or other, FYI. Perhaps I should memorize it so I don’t go right back to lobster land? Yeeeah.)
  5. Yes, I am in this picture. I know, I know. You only noticed the castle. Me, too.

    If butterbeer—the frozen kind—was a Starbucks drink, it would taste like a butterscotch créme frappuccino.  Hear that, Howard Schultz?  I expect to see these in the spring.  You’d make bazillions off of them.  Not everyone can travel to Harry Potter World just for a delicious beverage, but most people (except for my beloved family in the Texas Hill Country) can easily get to a Starbucks.  And who doesn’t want to try butterbeer?

  6. Glamour magazine should come with a warning label that reads: DO NOT READ WHILE SITTING IN A BEACH CHAIR IN THE OCEAN.  BETTER YET, DO NOT READ, PERIOD, UNLESS YOU WANT EVERY PAGE TO FALL OUT (AND FOR YOUR FINGERS, LEGS, AND STOMACH TO GET SMEARED WITH BLACK INK THAT HAS RUBBED OFF THE PAGE).  Ahem.  Then again, if they printed that warning label—especially so shoutily—they might not sell magazines.  But then, at least, people wouldn’t be left in beach chairs in the ocean wondering where to put all the pages that have fallen out while simultaneously trying to figure out if the ink will wash off.

    An ocean to myself! I'm reading Paranormalcy here. (Not the falling-apart Glamour magazine.)

  7. September?  Is totally the time to go to theme parks.  We did Harry Potter World (at Universal Orlando), the Magic Kingdom, and Epcot, all in two days.  We rode everything we wanted to, and even on rides like Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (you’d think Disney World was in the Rockies or something) we only had to wait for, like, five minutes.  The ride inside Hogwarts Castle was the longest line we had, and even that was only about 30 minutes.
  8. And PS: uh, the ride inside Hogwarts?  Very cool.  We even kinda wanted to stay in line longer because there were so many amazing things to look at.
  9. Nothing beats 7AM mornings on the upper deck of a cruise ship, surrounded by ocean, with a latte made by Vanya and a fresh blue Moleskine in hand.  I sat out there for an hour or so every morning and brainstormed ideas for Book #2, and I’m overwhelmed with excitement about the things that poured onto those pages.
  10. Contrary to what I’d hoped, the construction and crammed street outside the window of my favorite Starbucks?  Did not suddenly morph into an ocean while I was away.  Bah.  I miss the ocean.
  11. Massages on the beach are expensive.  And so, so, so worth it.

Amazing, right? The sunrise over the ocean, dark and early, from the top deck of our ship. No wonder I felt inspired enough to fill a zillion(ish) pages in my Moleskine.

Also notable: for the first time ever, I came back itching to work on stuff.  Perhaps it’s due to the wealth of ideas I got while brainstorming, or perhaps it’s because Linda and Melissa have been über-amazing, quick readers who have already given me some brilliant feedback on the draft I just finished, like, a week ago.  Whatever the reason, I’m inspired and encouraged and ready to set back to work.  Hope all is well with all of you!  I feel like I missed a ton from the blogosphere while I was gone.  What are you guys working on this week?

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12 Responses to “One Ocean, Two Islands, and Three Theme Parks Later…”

  1. liza Monday / 13 September 10 at 12:52 pm #

    I want to visit a world in which “Harry Potter” is in the title!! *envious sighs*
    this trip looked like so much fun! I’m like you: content to live on the beach/by the ocean all vaca long and so looking forward to my beach time next week…if I can finagle a way to bring the ocean back with me to surround my home, I’ll let you know so you can set it outside of your fave Starbucks ;)
    Thanks for sharing!!

    • Kayla Olson Tuesday / 21 September 10 at 12:41 pm #

      It was pretty amazing. By now, I guess you’re on vacation – I hope you’re having a blast!! :) Yes, please do work on our the-ocean-likes-to-stay-put dilemma. I’ll be waiting eagerly for your solution! ;)

  2. J.C Monday / 13 September 10 at 3:02 pm #

    Sounds like an excellent holiday! So pleased your back, feeling refreshed and ready to write :-)

    • Kayla Olson Tuesday / 21 September 10 at 12:42 pm #

      Hey, Cassie! It’s been long enough now that I totally miss the ocean (and the butterbeer). Last week was a rough transition back to reality for numerous reasons, but nonetheless, I’m excited to write! :)

  3. Elena Monday / 13 September 10 at 4:28 pm #

    Welcome back! I’m attempting to finish a draft tonight. Wish me luck!

    • Kayla Olson Tuesday / 21 September 10 at 12:43 pm #

      Hey, Elena! How did your draft go? *Luck!* *Luck!* (A little late. But luck is luck, right?)(Oh, and I should clarify: I wish you GOOD luck!) hehe

  4. Carol Ann Hoel Monday / 13 September 10 at 4:35 pm #

    How we do love our Starbucks! Ha! What a splendid holiday! Thank you for sharing!

    • Kayla Olson Tuesday / 21 September 10 at 12:45 pm #

      Oh, yes. Yes, we do love our Starbucks! hehe

      (And, you’re welcome, by the way!)

  5. Megs Monday / 13 September 10 at 8:05 pm #

    Well, good to see you! And lovely pictures… :giggled out loud at Glamour:

    I’m glad to see you’re excited to get back to work and all that. I’m starting to have some real fun again with writing too, though I would like if the muse would listen to ME about what to work on next. :shrugs: :sighs: C’est le vie.

    • Kayla Olson Tuesday / 21 September 10 at 12:47 pm #

      MEGS!!! My friend, I miss you. Good to see you, too.

      It’s been over a week since we returned to Texas, and looking at those pictures now just makes me want to go back. It was SO BEAUTIFUL everywhere we went.

      Silly Glamour magazine. At least it washed off.

      Listen, I’m so excited to read that you’re having fun writing again. This is wonderful news! Feel free to shoot me an email some day, I’d love to hear more about that.

  6. Kerryn Tuesday / 14 September 10 at 5:45 am #

    It sounds like you had an amazing time! Thanks for sharing. :) Just the sort of holiday my hubby and I would love.

    • Kayla Olson Tuesday / 21 September 10 at 12:48 pm #

      Hey, Kerryn! I would definitely recommend this sort of vacation. It was sooo relaxing and fun. I hope you and your husband get to do something like this soon! :)

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