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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

It's My Blog Birthday!

Whoa! You guys! I've been blogging here for EIGHT years (on Monday)! What the what? That seems crazy, right? I've loved bringing you guys all my best travel tips and photos from my travels. Well, it's not going to stop, and my next book is in the works. I'm hoping to have it available before Thanksgiving. 

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Usually I try to bring you some awesomeness from the year, which I will, but I'd also like to do a bit of a wish list for my travels. Since I've just turned 8, I'm going to do a list of 8 places. If you've been reading for a while, you know I'll be headed to Philly later this year, I'm probably in LA right now, and I'm planning a trip to Scotland/London next year for my husband's cousin's wedding. Here are 8 other wishlist destinations, in no particular order.

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1. San Antonio

We just reconnected with some long-time friends that I've known for practically my whole life. I've been very lucky to count a handful of people among my chosen family. Some of them live in San Antonio, so my mom and I are planning a side trip from Las Vegas to spend a few days in Texas to sightsee and spend some quality time with our chosen family.

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2. Iceland

I've had Iceland on my list for a long time. I'm shooting for 2021, because why not? I know several people who've gone and their pictures look amazing and I just can't even wait. Can I even tell you how much I want to sit in a geothermal spring and eat cod that was cooked by the same thing that heated the water? Why does that sound so intriguing to me? I don’t know, but the fact that the people of Iceland also believe in elves and I can see the Northern Lights there, I’m willing to try to figure out how to pronounce some of their gigantic words and also eat some gross fish dishes at unreasonable prices.


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3. Toronto

I have been dying to go to Toronto. Is that weird? I blame Barenaked Ladies, but that's okay. I'm okay with being weird. I don't know that much about it, but they have something like a Space Needle and different foods and they have a Harry Potter-ish themed bar called The Lockhart. That's not my main draw, because I rarely drink, but I wouldn't be opposed to checking it out. Anyone been to Toronto? I need tips. 

4. Orlando 

My BFF's daughter is going to graduate in 2020 and her pick for her graduation present trip was Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. They asked if we would come along. Heck yeah! There's not much that can keep me from Diagon Alley...plus there'll be a new ride (or rides and/or food) and I need a new wand and a reason to run around in a Quidditch costume. I mean, really, who doesn't need that with a side of Butterbeer?


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5. Tokyo Disneyland

Ah yes, Tokyo itself sounds really amazing, and I’m going to make it there one day, but one of the attractions I am dying to see is the Japanese version of my favorite theme park. It’s so different, yet I know it will probably still feel like home, but probably with more politeness. How can this not be on my list? Also, is it weird that I kind of want to spend a night in a capsule hotel? Yes? Okay then.

6. Turkey

This is the ultimate budget travel destination on my list. Once you fly there, everything is quite affordable, plus it’s not like your typical European destination. I want to visit Cappadocia and sleep in a cave hotel and go on a hot air balloon ride and take a ride on a yacht. I mean, don’t all those things sound just the coolest? Everywhere else this would cost a fortune, but not in Turkey!


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7. Greece & Malta

If you’ve ever seen a picture of the gorgeous Greek seaside, you won’t wonder why this is on my list, or really anyone’s list. Between the Mediterranean, the food and the people, this is really quite high up on my Life List. And since Malta is, literally, right there, there’s no reason to skip it. I blame old World’s Strongest Man competitions for making me drool over this destination. It’s small, it’s beautiful and it invokes a little bit of Greek heaven. I guess I better get to work on the elliptical, so my legs can handle the millions of steps I'll have to climb on my trip.


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8. Spain

How am I ever going to test out my Spanish if I don’t go anywhere that speaks it? That can’t be the only excuse to visit Spain though. The buildings, the history, the landscape. I just want to wander the villages and eat tapas my whole vacation.



What's Trending?

I find that some posts come back in popularity, including some that are several years old. Here are 5 that people have been looking at this year that you might have missed and want to check out too.






Looks like everyone's hoping to travel and explore a little closer to home, but also want to know what is necessary before they go a bit further and take a vacation abroad. 

What's next on your travel list?

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Harry Potter's Birthday: Part 2

It's been over a week since The Boy Who Lived turned 38, but that doesn't mean he's been forgotten. My house is still Hogwarts and we did our second Harry Potter themed tea last weekend where we did tea leaf reading in our mini Divination class. It was so well done, I decided it deserved its own post for pictures. 



The best part of this tea were all the little details. I've left them at full resolution, so you can click to make them bigger and see all the gorgeous ways this steampunk tea house made Harry Potter come to life.














They even Harry Pottered up the bathroom with giant spiders {"Follow the spiders. Why couldn't it be follow the butterflies? - Ron} and Moaning Myrtle.



You can see photos from my other Harry Potter events here, but you'll probably get a bunch more when I'm back from LA and my visit to Universal's Hogsmeade. We'll be doing some cosplay in September for Rose City Comic Con and then again in October for Chestnut Hill's Wands and Wizards Fest.

And if you want to see more of my Harry Potter and other travel-related trips in real time, follow me on Instagram.

Who's your favorite Harry Potter character?
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