Thank you so much to everyone who encouraged me to read the Harry Potter books. I’ve finished the first, second, and third and have loved the stories so far. I can’t really remember the movies, so I feel like the plot of each book is new!
My friend, and housemate, Helen from Georgetown was training in Orlando for her job. Her plane back to DC was overbooked (as always, Delta) so we seized the opportunity to get together!!! I drove over Saturday morning and picked her up from her hotel. We decided to go to Islands of Adventure because we were dying to go see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
We bought our tickets ($90…. gulp) and made a quick pitstop to buy shorts. (Helen’s suitcase was en route to D.C. and she was wearing PANTS… big NO-NO in Florida heat!) We made a bee-line through the park to the Harry Potter section. I don’t even think words can describe how incredible it was. Very, very well done.
Our favorite part was definitely the “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.” The ride was SO COOL. But the best part was the queue. No, seriously. You walk through the park and it is like you are in Hogwarts. So realistic (minus an annoying hologram of Harry, Ron, and Hermione).
Here are my tips if you’re planning on going to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Don’t bother trying not to look like a tourist. There’s a lot of standing and waiting and sweating, so wear shorts and sneakers and a t-shirt. You’ll already be better dressed and more put together than 99% of the other visitors.
Be prepared to spend money. It’s a theme park, it’s a rip-off, and it’s expensive. Oh well.
Take pictures…. as you can tell by the post, I have none.
Be mindful of timing of the rides if you’re storing things in a locker. The first 55 minutes are free!
You can walk through the castle without riding the ride. Spend as much time as you want listening to (and watching) the portraits lining the halls!
Don’t stop at the first butterbeer station you see. Keep walking through the street and there are more stations with shorter lines. Everyone’s so eager when they find that first one so the line is ridiculous. Also, get the frozen one if it’s super hot!
Pay attention to what line you’re getting in. Helen and I got stuck in the front row line on accident for a roller coaster and our wait time easily tripled.
Try to go on rides during “lunch time” as the lines are much shorter.
Last, but not least, REMEMBER WHERE YOU PARK…. Not that Helen and I completely forgot and spent an hour roaming the parking garage trying to find my car or anything….
It’s really amazing. They did such a wonderful job with the whole exhibit. After the Hogwarts tour ride, Helen and I decided we could have left without seeing anything else and still would have gotten our money’s worth.
It’s also really strange because I don’t really consider myself a HP geek or anything, but I was ready to buy a cloak and enroll in Hogwarts!!!! (And by every single Hogwarts t-shirt in the gift shop.)
This is a noontime on a Saturday random musings of Carly post… bear with me 🙂
In fifth grade, my best friend and I started a book club with our closest friends. Our first book just happened to be Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. My mom and I read the book together and I remember it taking a really long time to get through. (We also pronounced Hermione completely wrong throughout the entire thing.)
I didn’t read any of the other books. Well, actually, I read the first chapter of the second book probably five times but never got into it.
I’ve seen half of the movies… I think. There are eight movies right (seven books, but two for the last one?)… so yea, I guess I’ve seen four. Maybe five. Little V tivoed a bunch of them in December and I would watch parts of the movies after spending all day in the library during finals. (A girl can only study/stay focused for so long.)
Now that the saga is “over,” I’m wondering if I should attempt to read the books now. Do you think I can get into them if I’m not 14???
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📌 Save this post! Can’t get over the MAGIC that is @backtonature.nj’s Christmas Market during the holidays! 🎄🌟🎅🏻🧣The decor this year is on a new level. If you need to get into the holiday spirit (or pick up speciality gifts or more decorations for your home), 100% recommend making the drive! It’s worth it ❄️
When you don’t actually feel cute but then kind of end up feeling cute because you put a bow in your hair, slipped into a dress that fits, and swiped on your favorite red lipstick 💋 @hillhouse @annmashburn 🎥 by @carterfish, maybe I’ll post the video without music so you can hear her hyping me up, because you can’t imagine the crowd the bore witness to the making of this Reel
And then there were three ❤️❄️🎄🌟⛸️ Needlepoint stockings are a huge undertaking… they take hours (and hours and hours) of stitching. The final results are more than worth the effort though. These will hang on our mantle every Christmas and I can’t think of anything more special than that. I finished Mike’s stocking at the end of the summer after stitching almost every night for seven months. I am taking a little break and then I’ll start on the baby’s stocking for next Christmas!!
This tree feels extra special this year. 🎄💫⛸️❤️🕯️ Jack is fully embracing the magic of Christmas (“kiss miss”) and his enthusiasm is downright contagious!
Not one of my best qualities, but I typically feel immense pressure trying to make things feel extra special and perfect and then I get disappointed when the reality doesn’t live up to my (unrealistic) expectations. I wish I could blame social media for this.... but I know the call is coming from inside the house.
This tree seems perfect to me, though, just the way it is. It was a true group effort getting it here. Another one of my not-so-great qualities is that I’m terrible at asking for help when I need it.... this year, I can’t ignore it though. I needed help, and a lot of it. Mike got every holiday storage box up from the basement (no small feat) and hoisted the into the house and got it up in the stand within minutes (then redid it twice to get the angle of the tree just so); my mom and I took multiple trips to the hardware store and drug store for the “right” colored lights (in case you’re wondering, “bright white” is warm yellow and “warm white” is actually bright white... make it make sense); my mom wrapped the tree in lights a second time when we learned the hard way that when the box says you can’t plug in more than five strands together they mean it; and Jack was there to help and hype us all up to say how “boo-full” the tree and lights are– and keeping us in line by scolding and reminding us that we aren’t allowed to touch the ornaments 🤭
I feel a little pang of sadness that we aren’t celebrating a first Christmas with a baby who was supposed to be here, while also struggling through a third trimester (just feeling physically tired and exhausted), while also cherishing our last Christmas as a family of three, while also getting excited knowing our baby will be here before we know it. Sure, it’s a lot of pressure to put on one single tree, yet here I am. ⭐️