We left late Wednesday night to begin our drive down to Orlando arriving at St. Augustine beach right before sunrise. We pulled in and got out just as the sun was coming up over the horizon. It was pretty cool to see. We then spent the next couple of hours driving through and touring St. Augustine before driving to Orlando. But this post isn't about the beauty and splendor of nature...it's about the beauty and splendor of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!!!
As we were driving down the highway towards Universal, we were battling on who would be the first to spot the beautiful turrets of Hogwarts piercing the morning sky...I lost. We ran through Islands of Adventure to get to Hogsmeade and take in all it's glory. As you can see in the picture, just looking through the entrance was something absolutely breathtaking. If it weren't for the rest of those around me who couldn't wipe the geeky smiles of off their faces, we would have looked like complete idiots standing there staring down the street of Hogsmeade taking it in.
We continued down the street seeing all of the stores like Zonkos, Honeydukes, Dervish and Banges, etc all which led up to the ever-so-impressive Ollivander's Wand Shop! I wanted to gain entrance so bad but then saw the line and figured it would have to wait. The line stretched for what seemed like miles just to enter...the next day I was able to go in though and bought something which you will see later. Coming around the final corner of Hogsmeade, I looked up to finally see what I have been waiting all my life to see...Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!!!
Another thing I have been dying to do while in the world of HP (and most awesome) was drink a pint of Butterbeer!!! Finally my chance had come... and I didn't even get carded! It was rich and foamy as it cooled my throat making me beg for more! Sadly I must say that in the three days we were there I drank five cups of butterbeer...each one even more delicious than the last. Especially the frozen BB which out shined them all! As you can see in the picture of me drinking my first BB, it enjoyed being a part of me as much as I enjoyed it being in me :)While standing in line to ride Flight of the Hippogriff, we saw Hagrid's hut! The rest of the pictures kind of explain themselves and have no story behind them so I'll just post them for you to see.
Also, I got to meet Shannon Delany, author of 13 to Life, while I was in Orlando! I didn't have my copy of the book with me so I quickly drove to the closest Barnes & Noble to buy one. She was so nice to meet and we got to talk for about 15 minutes. She also gave me some really cool pins! She told me some really exciting news too but I'm not at liberty to say because it's BIG news but at the moment it's also a secret until she is allowed to tell everyone.
By Monday I was pooped (pardon my French)! We walked for three days straight relishing in the most amazing place ever! Needless to say, visiting the world of HP will be something I won't soon forget.
Thanks for taking the time to check out my Potter vacation. I hope that you guys will get to enjoy it as much as I did one of these days (hopefully soon)!