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A Day at the Parks

by Meghann on January 9, 2011

I think one of my favorite investments from the last two years has been the purchase of my annual pass to Universal. I know I’ve raved about it on the blog multiple times, but it’s just so nice to have the flexibility to go to Universal when ever I want and it’s a big bonus that the majority of my family has passes too.

We celebrated my Dad’s birthday on Thursday with dinner and cake, but today we celebrated with Harry Potter and Roller Coasters. Nothing says ‘I’m 48’ like sitting in the first row of Rip Ride Roller Coast or demanding we go straight to the Harry Potter ride as soon as we enter the park.

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I <3 my Dad. πŸ™‚

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It was actually the perfect day to go to the parks. With a high of 65 it was comfortable enough to walk around in jeans and a light long sleeve shirt or to wear shorts and t-shirt.

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We spent a few hours at each park taking advantage of the off season lines and taking in the beautiful day. I saw a few people walking around with their Disney half marathon and marathon medals – kudos to the marathoners who were walking around the theme parks mere hours after crossing the finish lines. I’ll admit I’m bad ass, but I’m not that bad ass. πŸ˜‰

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We took a break at our favorite park bar mid-day for beers and food.

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I had a few sips of my Dad and Sister’s Black & Tans and the five of us shared a basket of Fried Potatoes & Onions (Yummy!)

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We stayed at the parks until 3:00 then headed to Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza for a late lunch.

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Seriously love this place. They have a simple menu with GREAT pizza. It’s a little on the pricey side, but it’s worth it. So worth it. πŸ™‚

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My Dad ordered us the mini meatballs to begin with. I guess the mini meatballs are on the ‘secret menu’ because he’s heard them advertised on the radio, but they weren’t mentioned on the radio. However, the server knew exactly what we were talking about because he delivered a beautiful bowl of well seasoned mini meatballs paired with a little side of soft, mellow ricotta cheese.

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The mini meatballs were amazing and paired with the ricotta the combination reminded me of a noodle-less lasagna.

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The main event was of course the amazing pizza.

I ordered the Eggplant Marina for the table to share.

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My sister built her own pizza with kalamata olives.

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And my parents ordered the small (yes, that’s a small with 2 pieces already missing) calzone.

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I had a bit of everything and everything was delicious.

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This style of pizza is right up my ally. The thin crust, generous toppings, slightly burnt bottom – what more can a girl want? I have left overs for lunch tomorrow and I promise that good food will not go to waste . πŸ˜‰

I came home and crashed for a few hours then headed to meet a good friend of mine at Austin’s Coffee for dinner.

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Actually the original plan was to meet at Infusion Tea, but they close early on Sundays. Boo.

Austin’s Coffee was a great runner up though. It’s a nice hole in the wall place with a lot of character – just like my beloved Infusion Tea. πŸ™‚

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I was still pretty full from pizza, so I ordered the 954 Salad which came with spinach, nuts, pears, onions, and dried fruit.

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I forgot to ask for the dressing on the side and it was a little overpowering. That mixed with the fact I wasn’t very hungry meant I only ended up eating half the salad. No biggie – I was there for the company anyways. πŸ™‚

I am wiped and ready for bed. I think a piece of chocolate is calling my name followed by my warm comfy bed.

Good Night World!

1 Maryann January 9, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Sounds like such a fun day! Happy birthday to your dad! πŸ™‚
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2 Kaitlin January 9, 2011 at 10:12 pm

What a fun day! Happy birthday to your dad– it was so great that your family could be there. The pizza looks delish!
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3 Jenna @Eating Green, Staying Lean January 9, 2011 at 10:13 pm

I’m so jealous that you live close to the theme parks! I’ve heard great things about HP world but have yet to visit.

4 Ash Bear January 9, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Sounds like you had a blast! Enjoy the parks while you can. πŸ™‚
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5 Kelly January 9, 2011 at 10:15 pm

I love Dad too. πŸ™‚ I had a fun day! And seriously that kalamata olives pizza was really really good.
Kelly recently posted..iFly Indoor Skydiving!

6 Amanda (Eating Up) January 9, 2011 at 10:17 pm

I hate when I forget to ask for dressing on the side. It’s always too much, I feel like. Sounds like your dad had a great day! It’s nice he has you guys so close!
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7 Allison @ PickyEatingRD January 9, 2011 at 10:19 pm

I heard it was great weather for the marathoners this weekend so congrats to anytone who finished! I’ve never been to Universal but after reading your blog it is obviously a place I need to see at least once.
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8 Stacy @ Every Little Thing January 9, 2011 at 10:22 pm

All that food looks great! Glad your dad had a good time πŸ™‚
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9 Matt @ The Kitchen of a Runner January 9, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Sounds like a great day!

10 Brittaney@ the girl that can't cook January 9, 2011 at 10:30 pm

The pizza looks fantastic! I’m jealous of your tank tops and flip flops. I’m in TX and that’s what I was wearing yesterday but today I’m all bundled up and it’s supposed to be really really cold the next few days.

11 Sana January 9, 2011 at 10:31 pm

I know exactly what you mean about overpowering dressings! the salad is basically swimming!!
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12 Amy January 9, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Do you wear sunscreen? Your skin looks really damaged…

13 Tracy January 9, 2011 at 10:58 pm

wow, that is such a nice thing for you to say

14 JSE January 9, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Your HUMANness is damaged. You are only saying this because you feel “safe” over the internet. For shame.

15 Amy January 10, 2011 at 9:49 am

I’m sorry I didn’t mean to offend you all. I’m not hiding behind the internet. I would say this to any of of my friends that looked like they weren’t wearing sunscreen. Not only is sun damage going to make you look like a 40 year old when you are actually 27 but skin cancer will kill you. I think you would be doing your friends and family a disservice NOT to tell them to wear sunscreen/stop smoking/etc.

16 Meghann January 10, 2011 at 9:56 am

Amy – thank you for the words of concern. You were a bit harsh at first, but I respect your second reply. I’ll admit I’m not the best when it comes to wearing sunscreen, but I do wear it when I remember. My brother’s girlfriend is a future dermatologist and she has told me enough horror stories to make me think twice with my skin.

17 Amy January 10, 2011 at 12:07 pm

I’m really sorry Meghann, I honestly did not mean to offend! I do apologize and should think twice next time. Damaged has a really ugly, negative connotation. Unfortunately it is the only word (that I can think of) that describes the product of the time in the sun. I will admit that I’m a former sun-worshiper/athlete/tanning bed addict. Fortunately I don’t have many visible affects of that time but I do fear that the damage was done and will come back to haunt me!

18 Krystina January 9, 2011 at 10:39 pm

I have an annual pass too, totally worth it. πŸ™‚

My memory of Austin’s is going there at 3AM, drunkenly playing yahtzee and trying to sober up by inhaling an eggless egg salad. I’m a classy broad.
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19 Sarah (Sarah Learns) January 9, 2011 at 10:45 pm

i always order dressing on the side at restaurants. other wise it’s like lettuce soup. your day sounds like a great way for your dad to celebrate his birthday!
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20 Kathleen January 9, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Can’t wait to one day make it to the HP ride. Sounds like a great way to celebrate.
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21 Christine January 9, 2011 at 11:29 pm

You just described my favorite pizza too. Love that thin crust/burnt bottom.

YUM!

22 Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) January 9, 2011 at 11:36 pm

so glad you had a great day! perfect weather, with family, and then coffee w/ a friend…sweet!
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23 Ashley January 9, 2011 at 11:40 pm

I’m jealous, I can only dream of seeing the Harry Potter park. I shall live vicariously through your blog πŸ™‚
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24 Chelsea @ Strawberry Sweat January 10, 2011 at 12:01 am

I just got back from Orlando last week, and I have to admit–I want to move there JUST for the theme parks. Ok, maybe also the warm weather–it’s too cold here in MN!
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25 Courtney (Pancakes & Postcards) January 10, 2011 at 1:00 am

Fun celebration!! I am dying to go to the Harry Potter park. I SO wish I lived near a theme park!
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26 Kate (What Kate is Cooking) January 10, 2011 at 2:25 am

Fun! It’s my mom’s birthday on Tuesday and I would love to take her to Disneyland. We only live 20 minutes away, but we don’t have season passes any more!
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27 Katie January 10, 2011 at 6:54 am

Glad your dad had a happy birthday and hope he enjoyed some cake too!
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28 Kara January 10, 2011 at 7:15 am

That calzone looks amazing! I love that your dad is still riding roller coasters at 48, my dad gave those up years ago!
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29 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey January 10, 2011 at 7:18 am

What an awesome day! I love anything to do with Florida theme parks!
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30 Hope January 10, 2011 at 8:08 am

Looks like you had a fun day! I want to see what the new Universal park looks like! I love Anthony’s Coal Fire Pizza! I’ve only had it once and I fell in love with it. I love how crispy it is. I really need to get back there!
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31 Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine January 10, 2011 at 8:11 am

So fun that your dad chose HP for his birthday….I know I’ve said it before, but I am SO EXCITED to go this week!
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32 Ali January 10, 2011 at 9:31 am

What a fun birthday! As everyone else said, I would love to live that close to a theme park so that going there for a day was reasonable. That pizza looked really delicious too! πŸ™‚
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33 Jamie @ Food in Real Life January 10, 2011 at 1:07 pm

I loooooooove Anthony’s pizza! I had it in Fort Lauderdale this Spring and thought it was just amazing. I hear they have one around Philly and Delaware so i need to start looking. Thanks for the reminder!
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34 Cole January 15, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Wow! I need to order those Mini meatballs next time I go to Anthony’s! I have never heard of them…I love off the menu ordering πŸ˜‰ I didn’t know Anthony’s were as far north as Orlando, i thought they were all down south. Good to know!

35 Katie January 16, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Mmm – love Anthony’s coal fired pizza! We have one around here in Clearwater and I like stopping by for a yummy thin and crispy slice every once in a while!

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