My First Time: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

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I put off writing this for so long that I wasn’t going to bother posting it anymore. But what better way to celebrate JKR and Harry’s birthday than sharing some magic? This experience meant so much to me which is why I haven’t been able to just sit and write it out. But, here’s me trying to share my first time at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

The Wizarding World in Hollywood opened over a year ago today, and how I planned to be one of the first people to step into Hogsmeade but life had other plans and instead I went the day Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them released in theaters with a bunch of Potterheads known as the Los Angeles Dumbledore’s Army. This fan made group created an event which called for going to the WWoHP dressed up in 1920’s garb following an IMAX screening of Fantastic Beasts in CityWalk. Honestly, there was no better way to experience this place for the first time than with people who are just as passionate about HP. If you’re a Potterhead living in or near LA I definitely recommend you join the group as they always have fun HP related events going on!

So, here we go! Yes, I cried. Not upon the first steps walking in. Surprisingly, I kept my cool up until I reached the castle. This was the place that had filled my imagination and dreams as a kid. The place I always longed to escape to when times got hard. And now I could physically step into it. It was like the moment in The Sorcerer’s Stone when Harry gets his wand and there was that dramatic gush of wind, music, and spotlight. I was home.

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After the initial shock wore off, my sister and I set to scope out every corner of Hogsmeade and to be honest, it didn’t take long. The Wizarding World in Hollywood is small. I’ve never been to the one in Florida but I know theirs is much bigger. All the same, Universal Studios Hollywood provides the same careful craft of making you feel completely immersed in the world JKR created.

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There are two rides: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Flight of the Hippogriff. Both are a great time and I’m a bigger fan of Forbidden Journey now that it is no longer 3D (made one a little sick before). It’s a great thrill ride and I get to see beautiful and pure Harry playing Quidditch as if I were flying right beside him. This ride is located inside the castle which is the piece de resistance. As you wait in line, you get to see the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, the Gryffindor common room, Dumbledore’s office and so much more. Although I have not done so myself, I believe you can just do a walk through of the castle instead of waiting in the queue for the ride. I won’t give more away in case you’re waiting to see and ride it for yourself. Flight of the Hippogriff’s only flaw is that it’s TOO short. But if the wait isn’t bad, I still recommend you go on it. You get to meet Buckbeak just don’t forget your manners and bow.

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After riding both rides, my sister and I ate at the Three Broomsticks for lunch. I had the ribs platter with corn on the cob and potatoes. So good! The atmosphere in here is straight out of the movie with its rustic aesthetic. There is plenty of seating both inside and outside the restaurant and both views are enchanting as you have the wonderful view of Hogwarts outside. On the rare occasions I visit the park by myself, I take my journal, order a butterbeer and just write on one of the tables outside. These moments truly make me feel like a Hogwarts student. Oh, and since I brought it up, let me just say, butterbeer is amazing!

Bellies full, we decided to walk through all the shops. Bad idea for my weak resistance of pretty things. Obviously, I wanted to buy everything! For whatever reason, I didn’t do as much damage as I could have that day. But, I did indulge myself in buying Harry’s wand, a chocolate frog, and a few pins. I was upset they didn’t offer my Pottermore chosen wand so I’m holding out, hoping they come out with more types of wands in the future.

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After catching the Triwizard Spirit Rally & the Hogwarts Frog Choir (both great shows my personal favorite is the Frog Choir – ♫ Move your body like a hairy troll, learning to rock and roll spin around like a crazy elf dancing by himself ♫ ), it was time to watch Fantastic Beast and if the whole day wasn’t magical enough the film was just as dazzling. I can’t wait for the next one! The Wizarding World in Hollywood a wonderful escape from the Muggle world. I can’t help but awe each time I visit like it was the first time. It’s overwhelming for sure if you have grown up with Harry Potter. And now thinking about how it’s been 20 years since the Philosopher’s Stone released I can’t help but feel even more nostalgic. Happy birthday Joanne Rowling and the Harry Potter!

“Whether you come back by page or by the big screen (or theme park), Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”

 

Currently (3)

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“Currently” is a series I picked up from Alice over at a nudge in the right direction which I believe originated here.


LOVING: 

New Music! Paramore, Harry Styles, and Shakira have released new albums that I can’t stop listening to!

Here are my favorite songs that I limited myself to because honestly, all the songs are great!

  • Paramore // Pool & Tell Me How
  • Harry Styles // Kiwi & Two Ghosts
  • Shakira // Nada & La Bicicleta

Also singles I can’t stop listening to that NEED to mentioned too:

You might have heard some version of the following song but this is the better one minus the Bieber:

Another thing I’ve been loving to do lately is taking pictures at Universal Studios and Disneyland. It’s popular on Instagram and now having dabbled in that hobby myself know why that is. It’s fun taking the photos and editing them to fit your Insta feed.

If you have an account like this link me I would love to check it out!

READING:

I haven’t improved on this. The shame keeps piling. I just bought Geekerella by Ashley Poston I’m striving to start and finish it soon.

WATCHING: 

The Handmaid’s Tale& House of Cards! Honestly too very bleak but powerful shows. If you watch either or both shows let me know your thoughts on them.

THOUGHTS:

I just got back from my San Francisco trip and it was so much fun. It was a refreshing break away from my every day. I got to see friends that I haven’t seen since graduation two years ago. I also got to see a musical, no not Hamilton that’s in October, but Roman Holiday. It was fun, cute and the cast was great. If you’re up in the Bay Area I definitely recommend it.

The job situation is going better. I haven’t quit yet and they haven’t let me go. Looks like we’re at a standstill but I have taken a new position that doesn’t suck. Still looking and hoping there’s something better for me soon.

ANTICIPATING:

The new season of Game of Thrones! Gimmie it already! I mean have you’ve seen that trailer?

WISHING: 

I was still in San Francisco. I didn’t get enough time in that beautiful city.

MAKING ME HAPPY:

Theme Parks, Star Wars & Wonder Woman! The 40th anniversary just passed and rewatching the films again to celebrate it really make me sigh with happiness. This film saga has given me so much. I’m hoping I can post a 40th Star Wars post soon because I celebrated the official anniversary date at Disneyland and have some fun photos to sure. Here’s one!

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Also, I’m still drowning in feels of Wonder Woman. Patty Jenkins did such an amazing job bringing Wonder Woman to life. Not to mention, Gal Gadot’s performance. I’m just really, really happy this film accomplished what Wonder Woman represents: innocence, love, and hope. It’s the Wonder Woman film, I’ve been longing for, for so long.


What have you been loving and thinking about lately? If you have a “Currently” series link me I’d love to read them!

Currently (2)

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“Currently” is a series I picked up from Alice over at a nudge in the right direction which I believe originated here.

This is a great series to update what’s currently going on in my life – what I’ve been doing, loving and thinking about.


Loving: 

Musicals! I’ve always been a fan of musicals like all kids who grow up on Disney but, Broadway musicals have rapidly become an obsession. I think it started when I went to see a screening of Les Miserables. I was sixteen and the main reason I went to see it was because I was obsessed with Nick Jonas and he was going to play the part of Marius. Tbh, it wasn’t his best performance but I enjoyed the rest of the musical regardless. Flash forward to my first attendance of the live production of Wicked and then Phantom and I was hooked! Last year, Hamilton came into my life and what a spiritual experience that was! And guess what, friends? This girl got tickets to see the Hamiltour in San Francisco next month! When I received the confirmation email for those tickets I swear there was a light that shined down on me as I looked up to the heavens and heard the beautiful choir of Hamilton sing.

I also love this quote which I just yesterday:

But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.  – C.S. Lewis

Reading:

At the moment I’m not reading anything I know, I know shame on me. But I just finished listening to an audiobook of Jane’s Austen’s Sense & Sensibility and currently listening to Mansfield Park. This audiobook collection is a dramatic reading of all of Jane Austen’s novels and I’ve been enjoying it so much! 110% recommend! Here’s the link!

Watching: 

I started rewatching Breaking Bad. Seriously one of the best shows to have ever been created. The Walking Dead just finished it’s season so I’ll have to wait in anguish for that show to return in the fall.

Thoughts:

My thoughts are muddled by the fact that I need to find another job asap. My manager basically gave my job to another person having no reason to whatsoever. To sum up, I was training this person for a month having been told they would be moving to another branch so you could imagine my shock when I was the one to actually be replaced and moved to another office to do a “project.” The first day at this new office I got so upset with what they had me doing that I had the impulse to quit. But first, I went to lunch to take a step back and think about the consequences quitting would have. I came to the conclusion that this is exactly what my employer wants so they won’t have to pay me unemployment had they just let me go. But unfortunately, until I find something else, I’m at an impasse and can’t afford to leave. It’s not like it was a dream job or anything. It was just a stepping stone just something to bring in an income. I was getting too comfortable here and the truth is I deserve better now more than ever. So, no I’m not upset because I loved my job, I’m upset because these people are shady and what they did was wrong.

There’s only one thing I can do and it’s move on and move forward. There’s something better for me I can only hope it comes my way soon.

Anticipating:

My trip to San Francisco next month! Not only do I get to see Hamilton but I also get to see my friends from college!

Wishing: 

I get a new job soon!

Making me happy:

Musicals, audiobooks and my always supportive family!


I hope you are all in a good place! What have you been loving and thinking about lately? If you ever faced a difficult situation at work, how did you cope with it? Or, if you have any advise anything would be helpful and I’d appreciate it!

P.S. I’ve been posting more pictures on my new instagram so check it out!

5 Fandom Friday – Favorite Sequels

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Happy Saturday everyone! I know this comes a day late but I didn’t want to miss another Fandom Friday. Here are my favorite sequels in film:

  1. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back. This is my favorite Star Wars movie. Yoda. Hoth. AT-ATs. The biggest shock of cinematic history (maybe if you didn’t know Dutch). The galaxy far, far away really expands and comes to life in this film: characters grow, relationships develop, themes get more real.
  2. The Dark Knight. The biggest strength of the movie is Heath Ledger’s Joker. Heath Ledger brings this insane character to life from his quirks of constantly licking his lips to his sinister comical laugh – it’s beautiful.
  3. Mad Max: Fury Road. So, I might be cheating here a bit because I never seen another Mad Max movie, at least, completely through. But this was probably my favorite film of 2015. Mad Max: Fury Road is amazing and honestly aside from the beautiful cinematography, I wasn’t rushing to see it in theaters. But once I did, what ride! So much more than the typical action film I thought it was going to be. SO. MUCH. MORE.
  4. Monsters University. So I might be in the vast minority here by saying I enjoyed this film more than Monsters, Inc *dodges pitchforks*. This one just really hit close to home by showing the reality that sometimes it’s not always a happy ending and we can’t always succeed but we can still grow and move forward.
  5. Jurassic World. Chris Pratt and raptors. Need I say more?

What are some of your favorite sequels in film, books, plays, et cetera?

Currently (1)

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“Currently…” is a series I’m picking up from Alice over at a nudge in the right direction which I think originated here.

This is a great series to update what’s “currently” going on in my life – what I’ve been doing, loving and thinking about.


Loving: 

Blogging. I can’t believe I wrote at least once a week in January. Many thanks to The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick for their 5 Fandom Friday prompts. I also have been enjoying reading more blogs on bloglovin. You can see the ones I follow here.

Another thing I’ve been doing and LOVING is taking my journal to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and writing at the Three Broomsticks. There is a sitting area in the back that has tables with perfect views of Hogwarts. It feels amazing, like I’m a student at Hogwarts especially with my wand and butterbeer at my side. What better place to find some inspiration and magic.

Fit Girl is a healthy lifestyle guide that I’ve been doing for two weeks now. They have different programs the beginner’s is the 28 Day Jumpstart and it includes meal and fitness plans. These are meals you’ll actually enjoy and can easily make. And what’s special about this program is the community. Fit girls are encouraged to support and inspire one another mainly through instagram. I’ve had ups and a whole lot of downs during my first round but this program is so reassuring and hopeful. One of their mottoes is “progress not perfection” and that’s what I’m striving towards.

Reading:

 Pride and Prejudice. This is my fourth reread of Austen’s masterpiece. And it’s making me very nostalgic because my first two reads of the novel happened during two literature courses I studied at university (one being a full on Jane Austen course I know how awesome, right?). Therein began my love affair with her novels. If you’ve been wanting to get into Austen and don’t know which novel to start with, I recommend Pride and Prejudice or Northanger Abbey because it’s on the shorter side of her novels.

Watching: 

The Office. The Office. The Office. And more The Office. I’m half way through season eight so almost done. The Walking Dead is back and oh how I missed the stress. The final season of Bates Motel just started and I can’t wait to see how they end things. Looks like the season might end just before or right after the shower scene in Hitchcock’s Psycho.

Film wise, I am going to try and watch the films nominated for best picture by Oscars Sunday so I can root for my faves.

Thoughts:

Am the only one who felt that January was more exhausting than refreshing? I wanted to kick off the year with energy and motivation but that became difficult because of the daily news I would wake up to everyday since the inauguration. It just seems like everyone is in a tense state. Coworkers, friends, and family can’t bring up politics in fear of being judged one way or another. I’ve been given many eye roles from family when I can’t help but speak out and comment about what’s going on. One family member has even told me I’m being “too liberal.”

Because of this, I’ve been limiting my time on twitter and instagram. And after only  5 days of absence from these social media outlets, I felt so much better. I realize that I shouldn’t make myself blissfully ignorant so I do take the time to inform myself to what’s going on just on less opinionated and enraged outlets. Don’t get me wrong, there is obviously reason to be angry and upset (I’m right there too) it’s just sometimes posts can become so distorted and manipulative that it’s challenging to interpret news your own way. I’m glad and hopeful though, that so many have made it a point to become more aware to what’s going on in the world and using that knowledge to do something about it. It seems that for every discriminatory and unjust action the new administration makes there are so many willing to speak up and challenge him/them for what’s right.

Anticipating:

I’m always looking forward to planning my next Disneyland or Universal Studios trip. I’m an annual pass holder to both and although they have sucked my wallet dry, I’ve been going every chance I get to make it worth it. They’ve become my second and third homes.

Wishing: 

That it was March 16th already so I can see Beauty & the Beast!

Making me happy:

Family, writing and theme parks!


How are you currently doing? What are you loving and thinking about? Let me know or if you have made or plan to make a currently post link me I’d love to read it!