Back in mid-December, I got a message from my friend Pat, Jackie’s husband. He was planning a trip to Universal in Orlando for Jackie’s birthday weekend in early February and wanted to know if Kenny and I wanted to come too, as a surprise. Long story short, we left the boys with Nola and Nopsi and flew over to surprise the birthday girl on Saturday, February 4.
Pat reserved rooms at Universal’s Loews Portofino Bay Resort, which was so nice. Another couple was part of the surprise, too, Jackie’s and Pat’s friends Morgan and Adam, and we met up with them at the resort on Saturday afternoon. We had about two hours to kill before revealing ourselves to Jackie, so we took the resort’s water taxi over to Universal City Walk to scout out our hiding spots and grab a beverage.
The big moment finally arrived. Pat told Jackie he wanted a hot dog, so they took a boat over to City Walk and went over to a stand where Morgan and Adam were waiting. First surprise, success!
Kenny and I were sitting at a table on the patio in front of Pat O’s, which we thought was appropriate. The bar was sadly closed for a private event, but being positioned out front actually worked out really well. Morgan told Jackie that since it was almost Mardi Gras time, she thought they should get hurricanes. So they walked up the hill toward Pat O’s. Jackie noticed it was closed and went up to a Universal employee to ask where else they could get hurricanes, while Morgan and Pat were trying to direct her attention to the table where Kenny and I were. She finally turned around, caught sight of us, and froze in her tracks. So freaking perfect. It was awesome.
Mission Surprise totally and awesomely accomplished, we headed into Islands of Adventure for a fun afternoon of rides. Pat even sprung for the photo pass, so we have lots of fun pictures. I finally got to go on the “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” ride in the castle and the Hulk roller coaster. Both were amazing!
When the park closed for the night, we walked over to NBC Sports Grill and Brew for dinner and drinks before heading back to our rooms. That’s when I gave Jackie another surprise: we brought her two kingcakes all the way from NOLA. Day 1, done!
Day Two recap coming up next!