Any diehard fan of the Harry Potter series understands the painful/wistful feeling of being immersed in a world you know you can never actually enter into. Cue the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando! The two Potter-themed areas at Universal, Hogsmeade Village and Diagon Alley, are about as close as we can get to having the real thing. Since opening in 2010 and expanding to a second area in 2014, they have easily become Universal’s most popular attractions.
I first went to the Wizarding World with my mom in 2012 when Hogsmeade Village was the only Potter park. I vividly remember the sheer joy I felt when riding the Forbidden Journey ride inside Hogwarts, snapping as many pictures as I possibly could while walking around the castle. Smelling the sugary scents of Honeydukes, drinking Butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks, and picking out a wand at Ollivander’s (I bought Hermione’s) are some of my favorite memories of that trip. Since then, it’s happened to work out that I’ve gone back to the Wizarding World every year either with my mother or my partner and her daughter. It’s completely magical every single time. There is almost nothing within the parks that detracts from that feeling. Read more..
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In July, I went to a national conference for interpreters and roomed with a friend from grad school. At some point over the 5-day conference, she mentioned she used a bullet journal. She showed me her book and it was one of the coolest things I had seen! I was in love. She had creative spaces to organize her projects, tasks, plan the meals she would cook for her family that week, etc. I was inspired.
I had heard of bullet journaling before but had never looked into it. It seemed like too much time or just another thing I would get into and then not keep up with. While the jury is still out as to whether or not I will keep up with it, the journey has definitely been fun so far! I’ve seen so many fantastic bullet journal spreads on Pinterest and Google that the amount of human creativity just amazes me. Sometimes it’s a little intimidating. Will my journal be “that good”? Read more..
Disclaimer: This is a completely first world problems sort of issue, but… I get it — it’s rough. You’ve just come back from a fantastic trip to another area of your state, your country, or another entirely new country and now… sadness. It hit me big time after coming back from Europe in July. It’s hard to return from our annual trips to the Wizarding World in January. Heck — it’s even a challenge sometimes to return from a road trip! Regardless of where you were, the excitement of visiting a new place, experiencing something you’ve longed to experience, or finally getting the chance to relax can mean that going back to the everyday hustle and bustle isn’t easy.
I’ll be the first to admit, I do give myself some time to wallow in that feeling. It’s there for a reason, after all, but I also know that I don’t want to live in that feeling forever! That’s not good for anyone. Here are my favorite tips and ideas for how to shake those post-vacay blues. Read more..
One of the main reasons my family decided to go to London for the bulk of our European trip was, of course, Harry Potter! There is so much to do and see there that you definitely need as much time as possible to do it all. If you’re in the planning process and wondering about the possibilities, here are my eight favorite Harry Potter experiences we had.