Ahhhhhhh! I am so late in getting this wizard-y #WanderlustWednesday post because as soon as I returned from work, SB forced my out of my house and into a sports bar where we spent an incredibly nerve-wracking 4 hours watching our sweet home Chicago cubbies win the World Series! It was intense. Literally, my resting heart rate was between 100-130 for the whole last hour of the game!
Anyway, this week for #WanderlustWednesday, I just had to share some snaps from last week's excursion to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. For years, I joked about going to Hogwarts when I turned 30, but I figured I'd end up at the one in Florida. Now that I live in Vegas, the Hollywood location is just a hip, skip, and a jump away.
Our trip got off to a shaky start. After getting stuck at work to debrief on one of the worst days in my history of work days, we hit the road and about 45 minutes into our journey, realized that SB had forgotten the tickets and so we had to turn around. After a few hot tears of frustration, we had everything we needed (I was able to grab the Luna wand I'd initially forgotten) and were on the road again.
We booked lodging the day before our trip (blame my crazy work schedule) and ended up staying in a guest house attached to a mansion in Studio City (it's called Desert Haven... check it out). The owners were wonderful (and also from Chicago), the room was comfy and super high tech. They gave us beer, sent us to bed, and all was good.
When we woke up on Saturday, I kind of freaked out because it was freezing (errr... 60 degrees) and raining and I hadn't packed an umbrella (who packs an umbrella to go to California?), but it actually worked out in our favor. We got up super early and got to the park right when it opened at 0900. We made a beeline for Hogsmeade and got onto both the "Flight of the Hippogriff" (more of a family ride- a super tame coaster only lasting about 60 seconds) and had a short wait inside of Hogwarts. "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey" was a rather fabulous 3D ride that actually made me a bit scared of dementors, and made both of us a tiny bit nauseous. It was cool, nonetheless. My favourite part was actually waiting in line. After touring the sound stages in Leavesden, it was fun to see the sets from the movie reproduced again.
I had to make several trips around Hogsmeade before we could explore the other areas of the park. In my opinion, they were not as cool, so we headed back to the Three Broomsticks for lunch (we recommend both the shepherd's pie and the chicken and lamb Guiness stew). We weren't huge fans of the pumpkin juice, but were able to share a butter beer and finish it. I think it was a tough sweeter than it was in Leavesden, but really... it just tastes like cream soda.
I am happy that SB bought us annual passes because now that we live so close to California and because my dad is in California, it will be easy to make quick trips. If we can figure out a place to park for free, we can just swing through, go on a few rides, and be transported to a more magical place, if only for a few hours...
(I took this photo while on the "Flight of the Hippogriff.")