Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Ah, October 16, 2009...the day we were married. Its been a year, who would have guessed we would be living in East Tennessee? No one, that's who. Anyway, thanks to Kiewit (check out this blog post: Mullet Man) we went on a sweet vacay to Orlando to celebrate! You might ask, "Why Orlando?" Here is why: the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, now open in Universal Studios. Yes, we are nerds. No, we don't care.

So we set off early Friday two weeks ago and arrived in Orlando by 9:30am. The Ritz Carlton let us check in at 10:30 (love that customer service.)
Ah, beautiful room with balcony. And two beds because after a year, we sleep in separate beds. Kidding.

And then off to Universal Studios! Since we've never been there before, it took us awhile to find HP world. But the first sighting of Hogwarts Castle was beautiful.
Oh Harry Potter World!

It was truly a magical place. There was butter beer...
I'm pretty sure it was cream soda with some sweet foamy stuff on top. But still delish.

Olivander's wand store...
Those are wands stacked up in the background. Don't worry, we left some money there.

The Hogwarts castle with a super sweet ride inside...
And lots and lots of people everywhere.
So as you waited in line for the castle ride, you did a tour of the castle. Which was amazing. Since it was pretty dark and we didn't want to be epically annoying (like the women in front of us), we only took a few pics. The walls were lined with moving pictures that talked, just like in the book/movies.

Everything was gorgeous with snowy rooftops...
Love that chunky child next to Caleb. There were many chunky children.

There was Honeydukes sweet shop with chocolate frogs, Burt's Every Flavor Beans, blood-flavored lollipops and more.
Yes, we left more money here as well.
We ate some lunch one day at Three Broomsticks. They had a lovely selection of English and chips, shepherd's pie. And of course more butter beer.
Don't worry, the Hog's Head was just next door where you could get real beer.

Caleb decided that if he went to Hogwarts, he would be a Ravenclaw.
And he's so excited about it.
The Hogwarts choir performed with us, along with their singing frogs.
They made the Slytherin girl be mean to all the other choir members. Hilarious.

I love choir.

Caleb hates having his picture taken so that's why most of these are of me. But I convinced him to pose with the Hogwarts Express conductor.

We tried to take some pics worthy of sending to the boss that sent us on this trip.
This is pretty funny. I  might send it.

We did two long afternoons at Harry Potter World (as I like to call it). Outside of Universal there was this super cool area called City Walk with restaurants and bars and shops and a big stage (kinda like Power and Light in KC). We went to Hard Rock Cafe on our anniversary after our HP adventure ended.
It was very cool and we got to sit in the Michael Jackson corner. Nice.
A belt he wore on tour...his old yearbook fun.

Caleb even got to sit next to a Beyonce quote. Lucky him!
Good thing Michael had such an effect on B.

We had the best server ever, Mikey, who gave us free anniversary dessert. I always tell people things like that in hopes that they will give me something free. I think it annoys Caleb. But you would be surprised at all the free things you get for just asking!

We spent the better part of Sunday at Cocoa Beach. I love the beach and this was no let-down. Note how my skin tone matches the sand. It later turned bright red. Because they confiscated my spray-on sunscreen at the airport. So I had to use my travel size bottle of normal sunscreen. So then I had to buy some aloe. Which they promptly confiscated on the way back. I always try to sneak full size bottles and I always get caught. Stupid airport rules.
LOVE the beach!

On the way back to the beach we went to this magical mall we found the day before, Mall at Millenia. We knew it was a big deal when we saw it had valet parking and there was an Aston Martin parked in the front row. This mall had more designer stores in one place than I've ever seen. Actually most of these stores I've never seen in real life. Jimmy Choo, Gucci, Prada, Michael Kors, Burberry, Louis Vuitton...the list goes on. My sweet husband fed the monster he created with a new Coach purse. I am so spoiled. Its ridiculous. 
I think I could live in Orlando for awhile.

We went to McCormick and Schmick's for dinner on Sunday night. Amazing. 
One year!

Awesome vacation. Loved Orlando and HP and the beach and this amazing man that I married a year ago. Thanks Kiewit!

My house is weird and quiet this morning. Its the first day I've woken up to a day off at home with nothing to do and no one else here in like...a month.  Zach and Audrey and George were here for the weekend and that will be a whole new blog post soon!

One final pic to leave you with from Suess Land at Universal...


  1. i secretly want to go to the harry potter theme park...don't tell anyone. ha. i bet you guys didn't have half as much fun there as you did with george!

  2. Looks like you had a great time. Can't wait to hit up the HP park myself.

  3. Caleb wants me to clarify: it is called Olivander's Wand Emporium. Not shop. My bad guys, my bad.