Back to Hogwarts

Today is the day that James Sirius Potter heads to his first year of Hogwarts. In celebration here are some of my favorite Harry Potter moments in my life.

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Hagrid’s Hut

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Welcome to Hogsmeade

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-Elle

Nerd Tours: Hay-on-Wye The Town of Books Part 2

I’ve been organizing my pictures lately and found more from my trip to Hay-on-Wye so decided to share them. See the first post Here.

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Nerd Tours Tuesday: Hay-On-Wye the Town of Books

Hay-on-Wye: The Town of Books.

We’ve all seen the pictures on pinterest. A town full of books, shelves indoors and outdoors, rows and rows of books in one small quaint town. This is the place only book-nerds dream of! And than the impossible happens! You discover that it exists! This is how your average book addict/travel blogger would respond.

giphyOnce more, once you discover this town and learn it is within 2 hours of where you are staying in Wales it is time to plan your visit. Hay-On-Wye is in Wales and literally translates as “The town of books.” The town is literally full of book stores, many of which are themed, mostly second hand and antique books but so much phone to get lost in. My only regret was that I was not there during Hay Fest in May, it’s a HUGE book festival that has hosted J.K Rowling, Steven Moffat and so many more! Some day I will be there for the festival!

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Murder and Mayhem!DSCF019910665213_808996846973_9022506969154487250_nDSCF0205One of the cool things you see all throughout Hay are honesty boxes, where you pay for the books you purchase in the little box attached to the shelf.

Also if you have time stop by one of the local restaurants for a meal, we were there on a Sunday and had there Sunday dinner special! It felt like a home-cooked meal and the restaurant felt like we were just hanging out at a friends house and enjoying a meal together.

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I loved my time and Hay and cannot wait to go back sometime to experience Hay Fest! The town is literally on the England/Wales border and although out of the way is a beautiful drive and so worth it!

-Elle

Nerd Tours Tuesday: Route 66

Spring has arrived! With the cold weather moving out the days are just calling for long drives with the windows down and some country music. I’ve always loved Route 66, and with a beautiful day this past Sunday I thought it would be the perfect time to head out and enjoy the weather.

I am also using these places as my 12 Trips in 12 Months post, because you don’t always have to fly or drive far away to enjoy a trip, sometimes it’s just a few hours spent in your own city.

Route 66 ranges from Chicago to LA, however, since that road trip is a bit more time than I had available, I am focusing on the Oklahoma City portion. One of the places I take anyone who visits me is to the restaurant Pops on Route 66. They have bottled sodas from all over the world! With over 700 flavors it will be a hard choice to make! However, I always go for the Dr. Pepper, mostly because it’s one of the few places you can get it with cane sugar instead of the normal corn syrup!

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Be careful though, although they have your normal flavors like Cherry and Birch Beer, they also have Peanut Butter, Bacon and some others! Enjoy browsing all the types of sodas and enjoy a burger while you’re at it!

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Just down the street is the historical Round Barn in Arcadia. Over the years it has been restored, there is a gift shop on the lower level where you can also learn about all the history, and on the top is a room that can be rented out. Although this doesn’t take a lot of time, I always swing by and walk around when I am out this way.

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This is the ceiling in the barn. It’s just cool to look at.IMG_6670

Route 66 spans many states across the country, you can check out websites like The Mother Road to find other things to visit along Route 66, whether it’s on your next day trip, or as you travel across the country. You can also make an amazing playlist with all the songs about Roadtrips, Route 66, and about Standin’ on a Corner in Winslow, Arizona

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-Elle

12 Trips 12 Months: February

I know it’s almost half way into March, and I really slacked on posting my February 12 Trips in 12 Months post. However, better late than never!

February Trip to Universal Studios Florida!

I previously posted specifically about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which you can see at Nerd Tours Tuesday: Hogwarts Edition.

We spent a day each in Universal Studios, and in Island of Adventures. It was a blast! I am not going to write to much because pictures are more fun! Enjoy!

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Island of Adventures!

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The Delorean!

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The Monster Cafe is a lot of fun! The food is good, and great prices for a theme park, the portions are huge! And they play old Monster movies in the background!

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Who wouldn’t want to be a Minion!

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The Harry Potter portions of both parks were still my favorite! Guess I am just a nerd at heart!

-Elle

NerdTours Tuesday: Hogwarts Edition

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a NerdTours Tuesday! But the wait was worth it, since it meant I was able to go to Hogwarts!

For every Harry Potter fan Universal in Florida is the place to go for all things Harry Potter related. Both Universal Studios and Universal Islands of Adventures have Harry Potter lands within the parks. In my humble opinion you should start at Universal Studios where Diagon Alley is, make sure to buy a pass to both parks so that you can board the Hogwarts Express to Islands of Adventure where Hogsmeade and Hogwarts are located. (You can go whichever way you choose, I just think it would be cool to take the Hogwarts Express to Hogwarts over to Diagon Alley would be awesome!)

From Universal Studios as you head towards Diagon Alley the first glimpse you are entering into the world of Harry Potter is 13 Grimmauld Place. (If you are with non-readers who only watched the movies you may have to explain the relevance of what this place is)

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Next Stop Diagon Alley! Where you are instantly transported into the world of Harry Potter! There is so much happening it is hard to take in all at once! Swing by Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour for some ice cream! Don’t forget to check out Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes and Quality Quidditch Supplies!

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Don’t forget to get some Butterbeer! I really enjoyed the frozen Butterbeer! Delicious! We also were brave enough to try the Fishy Green Ale, which was interesting but I would still stick to the Butterbeer!

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Next stop Gringots! Where you will go on a wild ride trying to escape from the vaults! At every turn there is something new to see! Even standing in the line for the ride is an adventure.

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After grabbing some food, and wandering through more shops you can head over to Platform 9 3/4 and board the Hogwarts Express!

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Next stop Hogsmeade!

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From Hogsmeade you can see the village along with more shops, street vendors but most importantly you can see Hogwarts! As you head into the castle you can will see the mirror of erised, where they keep track of points and many more items as you head towards the ride. This ride is amazing and has managed to incorporate things from every book!

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After the ride we stopped at the Three Broomsticks for lunch (and more Butterbeer!)

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Than we spent a good chunk of time wandering around Honeydukes! So much candy!

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We also found Hagrid’s hut while in line for Flight of the Hippogriff! If you pay attention you will even see Buckbeak!

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All in all the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a total blast and I wish I had been able to spend more time there! Can’t wait to go back!

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-Elle

NerdTours: Tulsa Wizard World Comic Con Edition

 

For the first time Wizard World Comic Con made an appearance in Tulsa November 7-9, 2014! And the good news? They are returning October 23-25, 2015! So this was my first Comic Con and I was only able to attend for a single day, in the future I hope to be able to enjoy the entire weekend, and perhaps head out to one of the larger cons, possibly in Dallas Austin. However, with that being said, Tulsa was able to sell out the weekend so just maybe it will grow and have more special guests involved in the future.

With this being my first comic con I had a lot of expectations, some were met, some exceeded, and some left me a little disappointed. However, it was worth the experience and I will definitely return again. You never know you may run into someone famous like R2D2!

 

 

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(P.S It may not look it, but I am dressed up as Clara Oswald)

1. One of the first things that surprised me was how many people were not dressed up, I was a little bummed, although I cheated on my costume. Hopefully, in the coming years this will change, I know I’m already planning a full costume for next year!

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2. Panels, we sat in on a few of the panels, the first one we attended was Females in Genre Fiction: Writing Strong Females and Handling Gender Stereotypes this was a panel held by a local group and was a bit of a disappointment. It was obvious that a panel was relatively new to the speakers and it felt as if you were watching a conversation at a coffee shop that you could not participate in, even though the audience was able to ask questions. This panel actually caused us to re-evaluate other panels that we attended.

 

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The Karate Kid 30th Anniversary with Ralph Macchio – this was a fun panel, Ralph talked a lot about the Outsiders because it was filmed in Tulsa, and a lot of the questions asked were about the Outsiders.

 

 

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Heroes in a Half Shell with Alan Ritchson – this was fun, Alan Ritchson is quite the character and had a good pace and interacted with the audience very well.

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Back to Hogwarts with Tom Felton by far the most popular panel, the room was packed and had people lined up against the walls, the line for questions started before Tom Felton even made it to the stage. Tom Felton was also filming a documentary about the people that attended Comic Con which was pretty awesome and will be interesting to see. One of my favorite moments also came from the panel. A little boy probably around 5 dressed as Harry Potter was asking a question, while his mom was translating the little boy started walking away and Felton responded with ‘Get back here Potter!’ You probably need to be a Harry Potter fan to appreciate it, but it was one of my favorite things of the entire con.

On a side note, I love what Tom Felton is doing with his documentary, from what I’ve read he is talking a lot about the people that attend and the culture, where many times it is ok for someone to dress up and paint themselves for a football team, but if they do the same thing for something like Star Wars it is looked down upon. Comic Con definitely has its own culture (and subcultures) and the community is so welcoming and open to everyone, even when they have different opinions on who is the best Doctor, it will be interesting to see where this documentary goes.

 

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Half hour of Power with the Green Ranger this was a blast! Jason David Frank taught a half hour karate class! Kids of all ages and parents got involved, some even in full costume were taking the class. I love that this was an option to participate in during this event!

Beyond the panels and meet and greets there were tons of booths to wander through and rows of comic book artists to meet and purchase items from. Beyond Wizard World there are tons of other cons out there, be sure to check out what is in your area because it is worth it. Hopefully someday I will be able to make it to San Diego Comic Con, and Galifrey One, a completely Doctor Who Con.

-Elle