I was a reluctant Harry Potter fan.
Growing-up, magic was mostly forbidden. Bible magic was OK. Disney magic and Chronicles of Narnia magic was OK, too. But Bed Knobs and Broomsticks magic and Roald Dahl Witches magic was not. Maybe because magic was so forbidden, I have always been obsessed with magic.
Fast forward to the summer after my senior year of high school. Before college freshman orientation, we were all assigned to read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix the fifth book in J.K. Rowling’s series. I had never read a Harry Potter book and I thought it was the stupidest assignment in the world.
I dutifully bought the book. It was as heavy as a brick and 870 pages long. With a resentful heart, I opened the book and started my summer reading assignment.
I’m just not that into amusement parks. There, I said it. Big crowds exhaust me. Rollercoasters scare me. All of the other rides make me sick. I’m cheap, I like naps, and get claustrophobic.
This month, we met up with a small group of Jake’s friends and visited Universal Studios Orlando. Despite all of these things, I spent an entire day at Universal Studios and I had a good time. If you are like me, you can, too. Here’s are my ten best tips:
There might not be a screen door at the Screen Door and you’ll probably have to wait an hour for brunch, but that’s OK and I’ll tell you why. But first, notes on the journey:
In August, right after we left St. Louis and before we had a moment to catch our breath in Minnesota, we traveled to Northern California. This was the first time traveling together outside of the Midwest since we got engaged. We planned an epic road trip zigzagging from San Fransisco through Napa Valley to Tahoe, west to the Avenue of the Giants, and up to Portland.
If you asked where I could go if I could go anywhere, anytime between 20 years and two months ago, I would say the giant redwood trees in Northern California.
We finally made it.
There are actually ancient redwood trees growing in many places throughout Northern California. You don’t have to drive the Avenue of the Giants to see them, but it’s a good place to start.
You just can’t. But you can photograph the outside.
Whether it’s to protect the home from rogue flash photography, keep it shrouded in mystery, or ensure tours move efficiently, I do not know. But, don’t let that stop you from going on a tour.