Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Somebody has to do it...

I'm off to Florida. Haven't been there since a college spring break road trip.

Now....in case you just raised an eyebrow...my sister, a senior in high school at the time, went with me. How in the world mom gave permission for that one, I'll never know! But we were traveling to Gainesville in a van packed with I don't know how many other people. We were dropped off at a high school friend's dorm while the rest of the herd went on to beaches unknown. And who knows what else unknown. We had a nice visit with Marilyn. (Marilyn...I'm sorry we lost touch. Where are you?) We then drove back to central Iowa via New Orleans. That was quite an eye opener for me.

ANYWAY, this time in many ways promises to be like spring break. I'm not going by van, but who knows how many people will be packed on that plane. I am going with my sister once again, because her second born is to be married there.  We won't be staying in a dorm room, but in a lovely beach house. I know there will be spring-break-like behavior by some we are with. But, hopefully that will be mostly confined to other accommodations, or at least other parts of the house at bedtime.

And, this time we'll be on a beach. Hopefully, a QUIET beach after the ceremonials. With books. And bathrooms close by. And much bigger beach cover-ups than in '72.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Best Birthday Ever

Yes. I am getting old. I turned 60 while in England. GASP! Truth be told, there is no other age I'd rather go back and be. How blessed I am! Fairly healthy. Three grandkids. A dream place in the country.  Not to mention that retirement is far more fun than employment. Until the money runs out. Then I might have to work, but we'll see how that goes and cross that bridge whenever. 

So, on my birthday, I was surprised with a trip to The Making of Harry Potter in London. Now, some of my friends, being muggles and all, thought this a bit strange. Was this more for the grandkids? Really, this is something I wanted for my birthday? Why, yes. Yes it was. I was giddy. I AM giddy. People around me are getting tired of hearing about it. As a matter of fact, there are probably few people I know who HAVEN'T heard all about it. Cuddle Buns asked that we go a day with no Harry Potter reference while he was with us in England. Couldn't be done. And, my daughter and both of her boys are big fans. It would not have been nearly as fun going to this event if they weren't. There are only some who "get" my knitting, and only a few who "get" Harry Potter. It's nice to share your interests with other enthusiasts. And I can't think of ANYONE I would have rather been with to share Harry Potter.

My Hosts and Hostess in front of Hogwarts:

Gryffindor Common Room:

The Invisibility Cloak. Apparently it doesn't really work. I am so disappointed. They weren't available in the gift shop, either. Didn't stop me from spending a fortune. I suppose if they had been available people would have been able to put them right on and leave without paying for their purchases. Then where would JK be?? Disappointed to know the wands for sale didn't really work, either. With the prices they were charging, they should have!

Dumbledore's Office and Hagrid's Hut:

 The cardboard model of The Burrow, home of The Weasley's, and then the actual set complete with Mrs. Weasley's knitting:

Me at the door to The Chamber of Secrets

Special Effects: Book of Monsters, Dolby, and hands from somebody. Creepy. The rubber creatures were amazing. Amazingly Creepy.

Butter Beer. No worries. Actually Cream of Soda floats. Very yummy. I will try to create this concoction at home! It may become a new birthday tradition.

In front of Lily and Jame's house on the Hogwarts bridge that Neville very bravely blows up at the end.  In a cardigan. I love Neville Longbottom.

It was a great birthday. Dare I say magical??

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Not keeping up....

I awoke this morning, the second-to-last morning here at my daughter's in Merry Ol' England, with conflicting thoughts running around in my head. I'm tired. We did a whirlwind day in London yesterday, which is how I'm guessing London is "done". So I'm tired. And I'm ready to get back to my slow paced country place. And I'm dreading leaving my daughter and grandsons here. And I'm never going to be able to share here all the cool things we've seen and done. 

So, for this morning, a shot from Will Shakespeare's birthplace.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Just saying...

A yummy oasis in the middle of Oxford. Our first stop. Afterall, sustenance is necessary for sight seeing, right???