October 2018Back Home Again: October 2018

Friday, October 19, 2018

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Over the kids' school fall break we took a trip to Florida to visit Disney World...but first Alan surprised me with a trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal!!! This was my third trip to Disney since Harry Potter opened and it was going to be the third time I wasn't going because of the expense of buying multi-park tickets for the family. Well, as Alan said "You're not going to Disney three times and not going to Harry Potter." And let me tell you, it was amazing. As we walked into Diagon Alley, I was teary-eyed. It looks JUST like the films. 

Diagon Alley is at Universal Studios Florida and Hogwarts and Hogsmeade are at Island of Adventure. If you get the multi-park ticket, you can take the Hogwarts Express between the two. There aren't a lot of rides in each, in fact only Escape from Gringotts is in Diagon Alley, but it's so worth it to just walk around and pay attention to the details. From the Howler, to the Firebolt to Gilderoy Lockhart's book, it's spot on. 

We got our wands (Bellatrix for me) and some butterbeer and just explored Diagon Alley before taking the Hogwarts Express. Cecily got an interactive wand so at certain places throughout, you can make various things happen, like water spout out of an umbrella or frogs to come to life. Very Cool. 

Once we got to Hogsmeade, Cecily and I rode Flight of the Hippogriff and got to see Hagrid's Hut. Unfortunately for us it started pouring right as we got on so we got soaked!

We had read that you could do a walking tour of the castle and not ride the ride so we decided to do that since the rain wasn't stopping anytime soon. Unfortunately they got rid of the touring line so we had to wait through the huge line to see the castle. At that point I should've just have ridden The Forbidden Journey but the kids were over it so I didn't and we went on to explore the Dr. Seuss stuff. Waiting so we could see the castle was so worth grouchy kids though. You got to see Dumbledore's office, the stairwell, Defense Against the Dark Arts, the Fat Lady, The Gryffindor Common Room, Herbology...too much to name. It. Was. Awesome!!!

If you are a Harry Potter fan and have not yet been here, this is a must when you come to Florida. I am so glad I finally got the chance!

Have you been to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter? If so, what did you think?

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Western Kentucky Botanical Garden

Back in August we went to Owensboro to go to the Western Kentucky Botanical Garden. When Alan and I lived outside Philadelphia we had a garden pass to Longwood Gardens and I loved it. Flowers and gardens and my thing and it was so nice to be able to visit an amazing one 20 minutes down the road from us whenever I wanted. So, when we moved back to Indiana I was hoping we would be able to find something similar relatively close. I have been wanting to visit garden in Owensboro for years and finally made it happen. 

It's not a big garden, in fact we only spent about an hour there, but it was nice. I think it's maintained mainly by volunteers so parts of it weren't planted or were in transition. 

I really like that it had different types of gardens, from a formal rose garden, to an herb garden to a children's garden. Plus all sorts of sculptures and a few water features. 

It's definitely no Longwood, but it's nice to know that there is something similar nearby. Now if only Evansville would create a garden like this!
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