January Reads

Hello dear readers, I have abandoned you! I know it’s been months since my last post, but alas, I have returned.

Last year I made a small New Year’s resolution, which was to broaden the amount of new books I read.  The reason for that was because I always tend to fall into a pattern of re-reading all my favorites, forgetting about new books I want to read. Suffice it to say that I did not do so well on that front.  I think I read 5 books I’ve never read before, and the rest were my favorites. For this year, however, I decided I wanted to read what ever I wanted, no matter if I’ve read it before or not.  By mid 2016 I wasn’t reading quite as much as I like and I don’t want the same thing to happen this year.  I want to always be reading something. So I want to write a post each month about the books I’ve read and what drew me to each book.

The first book I read this month was //The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald//

dsc01495

What drew me to this book: So at the start of the month I came across an advertisement for a new show called Z: The Beginning of Everything, and upon further research I discovered the show was about Zelda,the wife of F.Scott Fitzgerald; and to top it off Christina Ricci is playing her so I was immediately curious. I watched the pilot episode and really loved it. I then felt like watching The Great Gatsby (2016) and then felt like I must re-read the book! haha

“He smiled understandingly-much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced–or seemed to face–the whole eternal world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.” – The way Gatsby makes Nick feel

This book is definitely one of my all time favorites, I read it for the first time when the movie came out. The feelings of nostalgia and lost love are powerful and felt in every page.

“For a moment the last sunshine fell with romantic affection upon her glowing face; her voice compelled me forward breathlessly as I listened – then the glow faded, each light deserting her with lingering regret, like children leaving a pleasant street at dusk.”

The second book I read was //A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness//

fullsizeoutput_7ea

 

What drew me to this book: Being true to my nature, I saw a preview for this movie and found out it was based on a book. I then went ahead and ordered the book! The movie looked amazing and I love Felicity Jones as well as Liam Neeson. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I was right to buy the book just based on the preview.

This story actually really surprised me and I found it to be deeply moving and beautifully written.  It’s filled with wonderful lessons and truths about life. The illustrations really make the story extra special and I was delighted to find out the artist was Jim Kay, who illustrated the color editions of Harry Potter (*^_^*).

dsc01539

dsc01540

“You do not write your life with words…You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.”

The answer is that it does not matter what you think, the monster said, because your mind will contradict itself a hundred times each day.

The third book I read was //Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling//

fullsizeoutput_7eb

What drew me to this book: Need I provide an answer? haha. Seriously though I bought the screenplay for Fantastic Beasts as soon as I knew they had published it! I just hadn’t gotten around to reading it, but as the movie doesn’t come out on Blu-Ray till March, I decided to give it a read.

The screenplay reads really easy and as I have seen the film already I can imagine everything as I read it, which is awesome.  The movie was seriously cast perfectly and I just love the new characters of the wizarding world. I enjoyed reading this screenplay so much more than Cursed Child.  Maybe it was because I know J.K. Rowling actually wrote this one.  I loved the illustrations and all the beautiful details of the actual book.

fullsizeoutput_7ec

“Newt Scamander : “My philosophy is that worrying means you suffer twice.”

Only after reading all 3 books did I realize that they have quite a few things in common.  The Great Gatsby and Fantastic Beasts take place in the 20’s and in New York . All 3 books were made into movies or come from a movie.  And The Great Gatsby and A Monster Calls share similar themes of loss and dealing with the death of someone important. I really loved having a book to read at all times. Whatever I’m doing with my day, I love the comfort of knowing there is a story waiting for me to read and discover it.

Until next time, Jeannete x.

 

 

 

Advertisements

The Boy Who Lived, Will Always Live On

In my heart…

Is that too cheesy? Sorry, haha. But honestly people may be a bit worn out with all the continuing talk about Harry Potter after all these years, but not I. Always…remember? (still cheesy, sorry haha) The Harry Potter stories will always be relevant and meaningful to me. I have already mentioned before why Harry Potter means so much to me. But in short, I read them at a time in my life when I needed them the most. I was always a push over as a kid and all my friends were never really true friends. I always wished to have friends like Harry, Ron, Hermione, Neville, and Luna. They were kind, understanding and just lovely.  Reading their adventures filled me with something that I just wasn’t getting in real life. And the feelings I still get reading the books are indescribable.

IMG_2599

So yes, as a 27 year old, you might get the eye roll or laugh at still being obsessed with Harry Potter, but unless you’re a potterhead, you just won’t understand.

I am always excited to read new material from the Wizarding World, like the new writing by J.K. Rowling of the Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (proud Pukwudgie!) and I’m really excited for the new movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. However, I still missed my favorite trio. So with the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child of course I was extremely excited and at the same time nervous.

So for those of you who don’t know, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a play written by Jack Thorne based on the original story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany. The script for the play was released in book form so that people who can’t attend the play in London can still somewhat experience the story. Now, when I first read the description of the play I was horrified. What were they doing to my favorite story!? I felt like they were tainting something that was pure and perfect!

“It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.”

I was worried that this story was going to sully everything I knew about Harry Potter and the wonderful world J.K. Rowling had created. The last words of The Deathly Hallows read “All was well.” But now with Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, we know things are not all that well. Without giving away any spoilers, I did thoroughly enjoy the read. But of course this is not the eighth book although it is the continuation of the story we all love. The script is not wonderfully detailed like the books and was never really intended to be. This is just that, a script to a play that would definitely be more enjoyed seen on stage rather than read. However, J.K. Rowling gave us 7 wonderfully detailed books and 8 visually stunning movies were made, so all we need when reading this script is to use our imagination.

IMG_2597

The story itself went into some dark places that can only be written for adults. There is a part about Harry as a child talking to his aunt Petunia that just made my stomach drop and heart break. Of course we know Harry suffered at the Dursley’s but Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone was written for children so it doesn’t really touch on dark issues. One of the things I really loved was Ron and Hermione’s relationship. It seemed very solid and loving, unlike what many people predicted it would be like for them. Harry and Ginny’s relationship though appearing pretty solid as well seemed a bit lacking in romance for me, but that’s maybe because most of the scenes they had together were in concern for their son Albus.

My favorite new character was Scorpius Malfoy, who reminds me of a mixture of Hermione with a bit of Harry and Ron, if that makes sense. Albus Potter on the other hand, is more difficult to describe without using any impolite words-haha. However, all the events that transpire are believable to the main story. A lot of people were saying this read like really terrible fan fiction, and I think that that is because it is not a book written by J.K. Rowling. It can take you days or weeks to finish a Potter book, whereas I finished Cursed Child in 4 hours. Most of what makes Harry Potter so special is J.K. Rowling’s ability to write amazingly, so amazingly that we believe her world. I love the movies, but one thing that was missing from them and from this script book is the awesome thing that the books had, which was that as the reader we knew Harry’s thoughts and reasons behind every word. We warmed up to Harry because we knew his mind. The books have wonderful layers that are just so intricate that it’s impossible not to delve right into their magical world and feel for the characters so much, as if they were real people. So it’s not fair to compare the Cursed Child to the rest of the Potter books.

One of the things the Cursed Child demonstrated was that no world has a happily every after, even a magical one. And it wouldn’t be fair to expect Harry to lead a perfect life, he is human after all. He was bound to have other struggles beyond Voldemort.  In my mind, having grown up with Harry, I just wanted his whole life to be perfect, even his children to be perfect! But how realistic is that? So in a way I am happy with the plot of this story because it brings more realistic issues into a very unrealistic world. Besides that, we meet lovely new characters and are reunited with some surprising old ones that for me made the whole story worth it :’).

IMG_2581

Those beautiful wonderful books helped me through so much, gave me courage when I needed it and still have a warm place in my heart that fills up a bit more each time I read them. Will the Cursed Child have the same effect? Maybe not. But it will have a place of honor in my mind for sure, if not my heart. And reading it is an experience every potterhead should take part of.

Until next time lovely readers, Jeannete x.

A Bit About Jane Eyre

Hello dear readers,

I am someone who feels anxious about having unread books in my own bookshelf. I feel that if you buy a book, or are gifted one, then you must read it at least within the year. So every book I own, I have read, except for about a handful. Those unread tittles make me itch with anxiety whenever I remember them sitting alone and unread on my shelf. So in an attempt to start reading those unread books, I picked up Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Now, I have mentioned in a previous post that I love classics, but I had never gotten around to reading Jane Eyre, even in high school which is when most people read it.

So what brought Jane Eyre to my bookshelf? I was in the mood for a nice romantic movie one day while looking through Netflix and I came across the 2011 film Jane Eyre. I am a huge fan of Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender, so of course I gave it a watch. And I am glad I did because I really loved it. It had all the elements of a great movie, an orphan girl with a troubling childhood, a brooding handsome man in love with a plain girl, a mystery, and a happy ending. So since I enjoyed the movie so much, I become interested in reading the book. Because as soon as I find a movie is based on a book I must read it, knowing it will be a million times better.

Jane-Eyre-movie-image-Michael Fassbender-Mia-Wasikowska
The 2 leads are of course more beautiful than described in the book

I believe in the law of attraction, any ideas and thoughts we set fourth come back to us in many different ways. A few weeks after watching Jane Eyre I took to visiting my local thrift store. I love looking through the old books hoping to find a hidden gem. I had completely forgotten that I had wanted to read Jane Eyre, when the tittle popped out to me while looking through the bookshelves. Sure this book isn’t on top of many peoples reading list and it’s not that surprising to find it in a thrift store. It’s an old story that many people no longer relate to, but I felt it was the universe reminding me that I wanted to read it.

So as I mentioned earlier, this book I had longed for remained unread in my book shelf for more than a year! Yes, when I came home from the thrift store that day I attempted to read the book, but I found myself being bored by the Victorian way of speaking and writing. I set it down and didn’t revisit it. I am somewhat glad I ignored it that day, because I think I was meant to read it when I did. Last week I picked up Jane Eyre and was totally engrossed by it. I have not felt this way about a book in a very long time. I was feeling so many emotions. I was laughing, crying of sadness and happiness, I was stirred by the love story, and was an anxious wreck whenever a suspenseful part came about. It may appear as just a simple story about a plain girl’s life; but in that, we encounter so much more than expected. We find Jane Eyre is anything but plain and her character and sense of self really grab the reader.

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

Jane was a true feminist, brave, intelligent, and had a curious inquisitive soul. She has seriously become a role model in my life. After reading this book, I looked at what people thought about it online (big mistake, haha). Many people thought she was a prude for not marrying Mr. Rochester or that the story was dry and boring. I think that her not marrying Mr. Rochester just demonstrates her strength of character and self worth. Not very many would have been able to deny a man that loves them that deeply regardless of the fact that he was married. I asked myself many times if I would. And I don’t think I could have, especially with the way he pleaded with her during their separation. But like Jane Eyre knew, the relationship would have been fraught with guilt and possibly resentment. Is it true happiness if guilt and uncertainty are always looming around you? And sure, I myself had some difficulty with this story the first time I tried reading it, but if you give it a chance it will definitely surprise you and hopefully teach you something, as it did for me.

now I remembered that the real world was wide, and that a varied field of hopes and fears, of sensations and excitements, awaited those who had courage to go forth into its expanse, to seek real knowledge of life amidst its perils”

This quote resonated so much with me. Sometimes we live life in such a routine that we forget that the world is so much bigger than us. That we must seek it and explore it, and learn from it, regardless of how scary that idea might be to us.

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

woman are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a constraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags.  It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom had pronounced necessary for their sex”

I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”

Women weren’t known for saying things like this in 1847! Charlotte Bronte was definitely a woman beyond her time, thus making her heroine Jane Eyre one as well. Jane Eyre considered herself an equal to men, and I believe that is one of the reasons Mr. Rochester fell in love with her.

I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, or even of mortal flesh:⏤it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God’s feet, equal,⏤ as we are!”  

“As we are!” repeated Mr. Rochester”

I quickly forgot that the Victorian way of writing had bored me before. Instead it now made me long for daily conversations of this depth. I felt such a rapport with Jane. I even get the feeling she might be a fellow INFJ. That is why I say I read this book at the perfect time in my life. I will forever cherish the way this book made me feel, the longing for a more meaningful life it has stirred within me and the crude reality that I cannot let life pass me by, but must take initiative in times of doubt.

Every atom of your flesh is as dear to me as my own: in pain and sickness it would still be dear.”

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset
“She comes from the other world⏤from the abode of people who are dead; and tells me so when she meets me alone here in the gloaming! If I dared I’d touch you to see if you are substance or shadow, you elf!”

I also loved the supernatural aspects of this book. I love the fact that Mr. Rochester calls Jane a fairy, elf, and other mythical creatures in an endearing way. Also the mystery surrounding Rochester’s wife was perfectly played out and gives the reader a sense of mystery as they read. Jane’s experience in the red room,her premonitions and dreams all add to the supernatural element found in Jane Eyre.

The ending was truly beautiful and satisfying for a reader that longs for Jane’s and Mr. Rochester’s happiness. I feel like they needed to have gone through that ordeal for Mr. Rochester to really appreciate Jane for the woman she was. Not that he didn’t before, but I think their separation cemented their undying and unwavering love for each other.

And as I had known, the book was much, much better than the movie. I watched the film again after I finished reading the book, and it sadly paled in comparison. All the conversations between Jane and Mr. Rochester, Jane’s thoughts and Charlotte Bronte’s descriptive and emotional narrative are all greatly missed in the movie. But for anyone not looking for a lengthy Victorian read, then the movie should do just fine although I would recommend watching other versions as I will do as well, to see if the others did the book any justice.

Have you read Jane Eyre before, what did you think about it?

I love that Jane addresses her readers, so I think I will do the same ^_^

Until next time, Jeannete x.

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset
“I know what it is to live entirely for and with what I love best on earth. I hold myself supremely blest — blest beyond what language can express; because I am my husband’s life as fully as he is mine.”

 

Bookends

So today as I was driving home from work I was listening to the 500 Days of Summer soundtrack. If you haven’t heard it, it’s a lovely compilation of really great artists, from The Smiths to Regina Spektor. Ever since I watched the film years ago I loved the soundtrack and I love listening to it every so often. There is a song on there from Simon and Garfunkel called Bookends. Everyone knows the amazing Sound of Silence and Mrs.Robinson whenever Simon and Garfunkel are mentioned, but this song is rarely spoken of.  It is nostalgic and romantic and soft and gentle. It is sad and happy and hopeful and so ridiculously beautiful, it is also very very short. I kept repeating the song over and over. It made driving through horrendous traffic much bearable. And I decided that if I had to pick a song that represents my soul I would pick Bookends.

    “Time it was and what a time it was,

      it was

      A time of innocence

      a time of confidences

      long a go it must be

      I have a photograph

      Preserve your memories

      they’re all that’s left you”

          – Simon and Garfunkel

This song completely encompasses everything that is my soul. The music is sweet, and the song makes you think of days gone by. There aren’t many lyrics but every word is poignant and meaningful and nostalgic. I myself am a very nostalgic person. Nostalgia is a wistfulness for the past and looking back and missing something you once had.  It can be bad to always be looking backwards at what once was and not looking toward the future. But I tend to feel nostalgia for times that haven’t happened yet. For children I might have, for tender moments with the one I love. I am nostalgic even for things that I’ve never experienced. I am also a romantic and I’m sure it plays into this. But how can you long for something you’ve never known? The little warm moments in between moments. I love and long for it all. Also, the title of this song is Bookends and my love of books cannot be missed with my love for this song. So yes that is why this song is a representation of my soul.

Hope you didn’t mind this ramble, I felt like it needed to be written and shared. Is there a song you feel this way about?

Until next time, Jeannete x

 

 

Book Review: the curious incident of the dog in the night-time

A bit of a reading slump was what lead me to the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.

DSC00263

Up until I heard about this book, I had been trying and failing to get through Hollow City, the second installment of Miss Peregrines Home For Peculiar Children. I read through the first part just fine, in fact I found it very interesting and finished it in about a week. When I was almost done I ordered Hollow City and thanks to Amazon Prime, it arrived right the next day. I was so happy that I was going to be able to continue right away with the second part of the story. Much to my dismay, however, I have found that Hollow City is not a smooth read. I don’t know what it is, but I’m finding myself not caring about what happens to the characters and their adventure, which is very bad for someone who really liked the first part! I think my problem is that I really don’t like the main character, Jacob.  Anyway I have totally gone off topic now. I needed a good book, but I didn’t feel like reading anything on my shelf, and I just felt antsy to read something new and intriguing. I heard about the curious incident of the dog in the night-time through Marzia’s blog. I ordered it through Amazon Prime on Friday, and it arrived on Sunday around noon. I was so excited to read it because after I heard about this book I did a bit of research and it sounded like something I really might enjoy. So I began reading it right away; I’m glad the book arrived on a Sunday because I don’t know what I would have done had it arrived today for example and I had to go to work because I read and finished the book before Game of Thrones started (!!!) around 5ish the same day. The book is so easy to read and the way the story is written just makes you want to keep reading it to find out what the outcome will be.

The book is described as a mystery but it is much more than that. It is a window to the life of a teenager who has Asperger Syndrome, which is now part of the Autism Spectrum Disorder. I have never met anyone with this or any similar disorder so it was intriguing and heart wrenching to read a book that describes this disorder so candidly. Since the story is told in first person we are able to feel what Christopher (the main character) feels on a much more personal level. Looking at life through his perspective, it doesn’t seem at all strange that he would react the way he does to the world around him. As someone who is an introvert, I related to some of his feelings, however, I cannot imagine how horrible it must feel to be so crippled by doing “simple” day to day things. I found this book so full of hope despite its unlikely outcome.  I am someone who is optimistic and hopeful and I would like to believe that things will work out for Christopher. There are so many different little aspects of this book that really make you stop and think about how futile and insignificant some things we worry about really are. I feel like this book should be read by everyone. If there’s one thing the world seriously lacks is empathy. The ability to put yourself in others’ shoes and feel what they feel. I will be giving this book another read, because sometimes I read too fast and I want to take things slowly since I already know what happens. I give the curious incident of the dog in the night-time 5/5.

DSC00268

Phew. I’ve never written a book review so hopefully you gained some insight about this great book, I didn’t want to go too in depth and give anything away, as many of the reviews on Goodreads did! I hope you enjoy reading it and learning from it as much as I did.

Until next time, Jeannete x

 

A Day At The Arboretum

This past Saturday the weather was beautiful, sunny with a slight wind.  It was about 85-90 degrees, so it was really hot.  But it felt like the perfect day to do something out of the ordinary.  My husband Danny proposed to me in the Arcadia Arboretum because he knows how much I love that place. Since then I’ve been wanting to go back, however, one thing or another always prevented us from going.  I don’t know, maybe the stars were aligned just right, but Danny agreed to go to the Arboretum even though the day was so hot.  We only stayed about an hour and half but we will definitely be coming back and explore the rest of the arboretum when it’s not as warm. 

DSC00220
The city of Arcadia’s logo is a Peacock, and you can find many of them roaming around the neighborhoods, but they obviously look more at home in the Arboretum’s beautiful gardens.
DSC00232

The right side of the Arboretum is divided into Africa and Australia – showcasing different plants and trees that grow in those countries. There’s also a tropical greenhouse.  We didn’t explore those parts because as we looked at the map, it became clear what I wanted to see the most, which was the Queen Anne Cottage that was built in 1885, and that was located on the left side. I love historical buildings and the rose garden was next door so we made our way in that direction.

DSC00236Before reaching the Cottage we passed through the Prehistoric Forest which felt and smelled beautifully fresh.  The plants were so green, and it felt like we weren’t in the modern world.  DSC00240DSC00241

We also spotted these cute little turtles swimming around in a pond.

IMG_2063

After a lovely walk, and a pineapple popsicle, we arrived at the Cottage.

DSC00249

DSC00248

DSC00247

The cottage was really adorable and when we peaked through those tall windows, the cottage was beautifully decorated inside.  I wished I was sitting in the quaint little table and chair sipping some tea and reading a book.  In one of the rooms though there were 2 mannequins of children playing with toys and that was actually really creepy! I imagined them roaming the house at night (chills!) haha.  A little further down the cottage there was a huge barn.

DSC00253

It was really dark inside so I didn’t take any photos, but there were old timey coaches parked inside and horse stables.  The time Danny and I got engaged we didn’t fully explore, and I had only been there once before in a field trip when I was really young.  So the Arboretum lived in my mind as a magical place, it didn’t disappoint! We followed the trail to the rose garden which made me feel like I was Mary discovering my own secret garden.

IMG_2067

IMG_2064

DSC00227

IMG_2052

For the amount of time we were there we really explored quite a lot. Next time though, there will still be a lot left to discover.

Do you enjoy nature walks? Have you been to an Arboretum?

Jeannete x.

 

 

I Went Home

And by that I mean I went to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter over at Universal Studios Hollywood. If you hadn’t already guessed from My Top 5 Favorite Books Of All Time post, I am a huge Harry Potter fan. I live and breath these stories, so going to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was something I wanted to do since I heard they were building it. When Danny and I got married last year, we had planned on going to Universal Orlando for our honeymoon solely so we could visit the Wizarding World, but our finances just didn’t allow for that. Later we heard they were building one at Universal Studios Hollywood, so of course we had to go. They opened it in April, but we waited till our wedding anniversary to go.

DSC00075
The most beautiful place in all the land!

I was not disappointed one bit, it seriously looked exactly like it did in the film.  I felt like I was right in the Harry Potter universe! My only disappointment (which was super tiny) was that they didn’t build Gringotts as they did in Universal Orlando, with the super awesome fire breathing dragon, and the fact that you can’t ride the train! But everything else was pure magic. The shops were heaven and the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride was so freaking awesome. I will not lie, I shed tiny tears of joy when I first rode it because I literally felt like I was in Hogwarts, plus Harry was talking to me and it was just amazing all around. The ride itself is a tiny bit scary (I’m not a fan of roller coasters or drops) but this one was just so magical that I didn’t even mind the couple small drops (that made my stomach clench) so much. The other ride,  The Flight of the Hippogriff, though described as family friendly was actually a bit scary for me (I am indeed a chicken though so don’t take my word for it). I did enjoy it, but it wasn’t worth getting on again. The ride was only what felt like 30 seconds long.

DSC00103

DSC00105DSC00104We had breakfast and lunch at the Three Broomsticks. It was really beautiful inside.  All the furniture and the atmosphere just felt so magical. I tried both the Butterbeer and pumpkin juice. They were both very sweet, so if you don’t have a sweet tooth (like danny) you might not enjoy it as much. My favorite was definitely the Butterbeer.

DSC00110
The ceiling of The Three Broomsticks ^_^
DSC00109
*^o^*
DSC00095
Proud Ravenclaw

DSC00082

DSC00080

Since The Wizarding World part isn’t that big, we set out and explored the rest of the park. I have only been once before, so it was fun going on the rides and seeing the shows. Water World is a really fun show to watch, but sit all the way at the top if you don’t want to get soaked! I “bravely” endured Jurassic Park for Danny, it’s a fun ride, but that drop though! There was a tiny little girl sitting next to me though so I couldn’t be a chicken about it. But as the evening started to approach, we made our way back to Hogwarts. We visited Ollivanders where a person is selected to receive a wand. As Danny and I stay close to the walls in crowded spaces, neither of us was selected. But it was still fun to watch.  The shop was lined to the ceiling with wands.

DSC00135
Still getting the hang of my new camera, photo came out slightly blurry.

We missed the Frog Choir show, but made the Triwizard Spirit Rally. The girls from Beauxbatons were definitely my favorite.

DSC00155

The weather was a perfect 60 degrees with gray clouds and sun peeking in and out all day. It definitely helped set the tone.

DSC00079

DSC00083

My only purchases were Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans, a Chocolate Frog, a few other sweets for my nieces and nephew, House enamel pins, and a postcard that got ruined in my backpack. Though I managed to save part of it by cutting away the crumpled wet(?) part.

DSC00146We also went into The Hogs Head for some drinks and got these cool mugs to take home. Danny got the Witches Brew and I had another Butterbeer.

DSC00078

We had such a magical, wonderful day, that we will surely be returning. I cannot wait to see it beautifully decorated for Christmas!

Have you been to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios Hollywood? Orlando? How was your experience? Tell me about it in the comments, I would love to know.

Until next time, Jeannete x