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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Happy (Belated) Birthday, Harry Potter

So, it's time again for my mini celebration of Harry Potter. It's a bit late this year, because I've been planning my annual party, working on some costumes for Yule Ball and Rose City Comic Con and volunteering at a Harry Potter event for the Harry Potter Alliance. 

Now that I'm a bit more caught up with life, let's talk about my Potter-related activities this past year. 

Another (several) visits to my favorite Potter-themed coffee shop was on the docket. I've gone to Vegas three times this year, two with a car, so of course I headed straight to Bad Owl Coffee in Henderson. Not only is the decor perfect, the coffee (themed and otherwise) and food are so delicious, I'd go there again and again even if it was just a regular coffee shop. 

I made my mom go with me on our short trip, drug my friends along while they were in Vegas with us, and Eric and I went again on our own before hitting up the Salt Room (which I highly recommend). My mom and I split the Tonks Italian Turkey. Last July Eric and I split the Siriusly Prosciutto (a toasted sandwich with prosciutto, arugula, fig and goat cheese). I got it again when I visited the next time (that's how good it is), and then we had to try the banana and strawberry waffles and the breakfast sandwich. 

For coffee, you have to at least try the ButterBrew Latte once. It's Siriusly delicious (see what I did there?). You can get all your favorites as well and I'm a little sad I forgot that I wanted to try the Earl Grey Latte, so I'll definitely be getting it next time. Instead, I tried their Chai Tea Latte and their Spanish Latte. Both were awesome over ice. While the prices may not be the cheapest, it's still fresher and tastier than a lot of Vegas options, so it's worth the drive.

We just finished a whirlwind Harry Potter weekend, where we threw our annual party - this year's theme was Quidditch World Cup - and volunteered at a fundraiser event for the Harry Potter Alliance. Our party was a hit and everyone had a blast dressing up as wizards trying to dress muggle, eating a bunch of foods that are featured in the books, and trying to one up each other in (my super hard) trivia to win the House Cup. 

I ran a raffle for some sweet Harry Potter goodies this year (in the past we've done a book drive) and it was very successful. My guests got a chance to win some cool swag and we raised money for the HPA that we donated the following day.

Sadly, we don't have that many pics of the awesome HPA fundraiser, because we were busy handing out programs and signing people up for the costume contest and pointing them toward the donation boxes, but that's great, right? Once I was done with my duties, I hit up the bar for an adult Butterbeer (I missed out on the topping, but I was cool with that, so sorry it just looks like whiskey in a glass) and some popcorn and was ready to play some trivia and watch Sorcerer's Stone with all the other Potterheads. 

In December, we went to SoCal and visited the new Hogsmeade area of Universal Studios. You all know that my visit to Universal Orlando was AH-mazing...like to the point that I broke up my Wizarding World visit into three posts. I was really hoping to get that feeling there, but was disappointed that the shops were super small and the world was just all around tiny. I mean, it didn't stop me from getting excited from entering the WWoHP, getting my pics taken on the train and meeting the conductor of the Hogwarts Express. 

We had a blast despite the crummy weather and the packed park. We walked the halls of Hogwarts, we rode Flight of the Hippogriff and admired Hagrid's hut, we had Butterbeer in all its forms and ate at the Three Broomsticks. We also enjoyed the frog choir which put on a special show, and we shopped a bit in the cramped shops. 

Our trip included a visit to the Warner Bros Studios, which you may have read about here on the blog. I highly recommend it. They were having a Harry Potter & Fantastic Beasts exhibit, which was small, but really awesome. I was surprised by how much they packed into the space, and sad I only had 15 minutes to look at it all before continuing on the tour. 

I made the most of it though, running upstairs, taking pics and interacting with the employees there. I even got sorted...you know, into Ravenclaw! The Sorting Hat talked to me though, which was really fun. 

In December we'll be attending the HPA's Yule Ball event. I'm making my outfit for maximum awesomeness. You can get a sense of what I'm going for with this DIY video. Next month is Rose City Comic Con and I'm hoping to go two of the three days, which means I'll get a chance to wear two different cosplays. One of them will probably be Harry Potter themed. So, here's to another great year full of Harry Potter, travel and celebrations.

If you're interested in other HP travel we've done, check out this post.

Did you celebrate the Boy Who Lived in some way this year?

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