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

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

NerdTours: Doctor Who and Torchwood Edition

 

 

Cardiff. Most have probably never heard of this small capital city of Wales. However, if you are a fan of certain television shows, when you hear Cardiff the first things you think of are Doctor Who, Torchwood, and Time Rifts.

For all Doctor Who and Torchwood fans searching for a trip, the first place to choose to travel to would be Cardiff. Not only is Cardiff filled with many things fandom related, but it is also a beautiful city full of castles, parliament building, shopping, and tons of friendly people to meet up with.

One of the best things about Cardiff is that the city is very walkable, you don’t have to worry about figuring out public transportation, I stayed in the downtown area at The Angel Hotel and walked everywhere. All of Cardiff felt very safe, no matter what time of day/night and there are a few pedestrian streets where you don’t need to worry about traffic and are full of shops and restaurants.

 

For the Doctor Who fan, one of the first places to stop is the Doctor Who Experience on Cardiff Bay. Check out props and costumes and replicas from fifty years of Doctor Who, the exhibit also recently went through refurbishing for the latest Doctor.

 

 

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Unfortunately, I booked this trip last May, and it was announced mid-August that they would be closing for the remodel, and my trip wasn’t able to be moved, I missed being able to actually visit. (However, that just means I will have to go back!)

While in Cardiff be sure to keep your eyes open as you will come across the TARDIS or even a Dalek.

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Just down the way from the Doctor Who Experience you will find Roath Lock, home of BBC Wales.

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The building is beautiful and has really amazing architecture so be sure to walk around and check it out.

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While you are wandering around join one of the walking tours to explore locations where Doctor Who and Torchwood were filmed, as you wander the city you will recognize many of the locations. As you continue around the bay you will recognize the area where Torchwood is located.

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You will even find the headquarters of Torchwood.

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Be aware though that no matter how much you try, your sonic screwdriver will not break you into Torchwood.

 

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You will also run into Iantos Shrine near the docks, be sure to stop by and leave something behind in rememberance of Ianto.

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Every Doctor Who fan will enjoy their trip to Cardiff, and if there is time you can take the train into London to see more sights, see the Shard, Canary Wharf or run into the TARDIS.


-Elle

 

NerdTours Edition

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I have a confession. I am a nerd. Most of my friends are aware of this fact and I am never offended by being called a nerd. I have learned to embrace my nerdiness. So I’ve decided to add a regular post specifically aimed at nerd travel. Each post will focus on a trip or place that may be defined by some as nerdy. Hence the name NerdTours.

First, what defines a nerd?

Rather than defining a nerd by stereotypes and what the world defines as a nerd. One of my favorie podcasts is Nerdist (if you haven’t listened to it, go check it out now nerdist.com) The host, Chris Hardwick defines a nerd as “what makes someone a nerd is how passionate they are about something and how they will try to understand that thing on a granular level, like, more than anyone else in the world…So I think it’s the level of which someone has a passion and focus about something that they care about, I think that’s what it is.”

Taking this to the next level, NerdTours would be taking those passions you already have and visiting the places they take place, the places that create them, the places that help to define where that focus came from. A few of the places I am going to look at come from my recent trip. Here’s a sneak peak into the future NerdTours posts.

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Doctor Who

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Torchwood

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Hay on Wye

Town of Books

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Platform 9 3/4

Stay tuned for the first NerdTour posts starting next week! If you have suggestions for places to see or places you’ve been leave them in the comments!