“After all this time?”
I am a huge nerd.
I love books and form close bonds with the fictional characters who inhabit them and truly believe novels are a “uniquely portable magic” (-Stephen King) that take you to new worlds you may otherwise never have had the chance to see.
So when, at 23, I was back on the mainland and near Florida and had the chance to visit Harry Potter World with my equally quirky husband, we said heck yes and bought tickets faster than you can say “Expelliarmus!”
And disarmed I felt – surrounded by scenes of my childhood imagination come to vivid life in the park’s depictions of Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade.
(Expelliarmus is the disarming spell in the Harry Potter series. Super nerdy. I did warn you.)
It was so fun (and hilarious to see people’s reactions) dressing up in our Gryffindor apparel and walking around drinking Butterbeer, browsing the shops and listening to the Harry Potter theme music that played all over the two different parks; to just act like children for a bit.
Christian and I love taking trips together – especially because we’re always interested in pretty much the same things and value the same aspects in our travel experiences.
When we were discussing what we love doing most when traveling together while we were walking around Universal Studios, we decided it was “eating the food and drinking the drink.” Which, to translate our own little language, really just means experiencing a place slowly and carefully; walking around to everything on foot, forgoing waiting in long lines for the tourist attractions and rather just getting to know a place. One large bite and long sip at a time. 🙂
That being said: the Butterbeer was really a high point for us. I preferred mine frozen – it was frosty and sweet with a creamy root beer float consistency – while Christian liked the regular kind best. Both versions of the butterscotch-flavored drink were effervescent and sugary enough to taste like a satisfying dessert in an adorable little mug. Huge win in my book. We also loved sitting and people watching in the two different restaurants, the Three Broomsticks and the Leaky Cauldron, where we both preferred the fish and chips and enjoyed adult beverages called Wizard’s Brews (stout beer) and Dragon Scales (which tasted like IPAs).
And of course, I could’ve bought out all the little shops of their Harry Potter paraphernalia. Christian and I are both Gryffindors (obviously), and we felt it really required a lot of discipline not to buy more than the Gryffindor scarves, pins, baseball hat and tube socks we came home with.
Our time together on this short two-day trip was uniquely special and savored because it came right after a 3-month long separation during which we couldn’t communicate at all but for a few letters, and Christian’s graduation from Army Ranger School (the reason we were apart and out of touch). So this was both a celebration for his accomplishments and also a nice time-out from the real world for quality time together. A fantasy-themed park will do the trick if you’re trying to forget your responsibilities for a bit 🙂
Ironically, it was also the spark of inspiration I needed to get back into writing for my blog. Somehow this is my first post of 2018 (!!!!), and it’s already March.
I guess I just needed some magic in my life before I posted anything to start out this new year.
“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic.” – Albus Dumbledore
To be honest, I had started feeling like people were tired of seeing social media saturated with bloggers and blog posts all the time and worrying that I was really just writing for an audience of one (myself; my own biggest fan and critic). And I forgot for a moment what I loved so much about sharing my many thoughts over the internet when I first started blogging more than a year ago. But during this 3-month hiatus from writing and sharing blog posts, I think I’ve realized that no form of personal expression or social sharing is really any more “safe” from criticism or failure than another, and if I love writing about travel and lifestyle and personal fashion and relationships, then I should just keep doing that until I’m no longer inspired by it. Because in reality, there’s always really only a one-person audience that I need to remain accountable to: and that’s me.
When I think about all of us pursuing our own unique passions in this life (whether they’re far-reaching and outlandish or within a realistic arm’s width), a quote from one of my favorite fictional characters of all time comes to mind:
“…You sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” – Ginny Weasley.
Whether it’s her familiar red hair and brown eyes or fiery spirit, I’ve always seen myself in Ginny Weasley. And I’m really glad to have gotten my nerve back.
Thanks, as always, for reading –
Mischief Managed 😉