In which Britt returns from Florida, and goes to Pittsburgh

That’s right, I arrived home yesterday from the land of sunshine and richly costumed theme park employees, and am currently blogging from a slightly more dismal, dank office in Pittsburgh. *sigh*

But let me regale you with my tales from Florida! Warning- there are LOTS of photos in this post!

My best buddy (also a fellow equestrian, who used to join me in terrorizing the hunt country on our Haflinger steeds) and I did Orlando on a budget- which means we took the train down to Florida instead of flying. If you’re curious, it’s 13 hrs by train from NC to FL.

On our way!

On our way!

We got there, then napped (sleeping is somewhat difficult on the train) and decided to save all our energy for the next day- Disney! Now, I haven’t been to Disney since I was little, and really didn’t remember a thing about it, so I was pretty surprised by the level of detail that went into the atmosphere, and many of the special effects were pretty jaw dropping. For instance, I always thought fireworks set to music were nice, but the music would be atmospheric rather than aligned with the visual pyrotechnic display- Disney’s firework show was brilliant- I don’t think I have ever seen timing done so well!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The next day we went to Universal- the highlight of my trip because I am oh-so-into Harry Potter. Obviously. We arrived as they were getting ready to open the gates, and of course headed straight to Potter land before all the other obsessed Muggles got there and spoiled the fun.

Let me just say, if Disney world was jaw dropping, the effects inside the Castle ride were heart stopping. I still have no idea how they acheived some of the 3D effects they did. It was very well done, so much so that we went for a second trip later in the afternoon.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Monday we caught some rays (can you believe it was 80 degrees there? paradise!) and then went indoor skydiving! This was possible with a giant wind tunnel, and an instructor will stand on the net and help you get in the correct position so you actually float in the air! The wind is obviously incredibly strong, so you have to wear ear plugs, helmet, and a badass looking flight suit. And, if you walked 2 miles in the blazing sun to get there and you can’t get your rings off because your fingers are like sausages, you also get to wear a glove a la Michael Jackson.

Anyways, the whole floating thing is actually a lot harder than it looks. In order to stay up, you have to relax your spine, drop your waist, bend your legs to a specific degree and hold your arms in a certain way in front of your face (or like me, go for the Thriller pose, embracing the Michael Jackson theme). It sounds easy until you add all the wind and the fact that there is nothing that compares to trying to float in space, so your body has zero idea what is right or wrong! I started to get the hang of it my second time around (we got 2 turns each, 1 minute each turn), but I have a new found respect for the people who do acrobatics doing the real thing! Wow!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We toasted our new found skills with a glass of wine at Maggiano’s that resulted in a free meal plus dessert (winning!) and hopped the train back to Raleighwood. I got to spend one night with my guy, quickly see Foster, and here I am again in Pittsburgh the next morning! Phew! Lots of traveling, but I am so glad I got to go on such an adventure-packed vacation! Mischief managed!

Florida Bound!

Trip with my BFF!

Trip with my BFF!

Farewell, friends! Tonight I am headed to sunny Florida!

No, I’m not headed to Welly World, as much as I’d like to after seeing all of the fun photography opportunities on She Moved to Texas. Nope- I’m headed to the world of adrenaline and geekiness- Orlando! There to finally make my way to the mecca of PG related wizarding fun – Harry Potter world. And you can bet I am excited.

Just as excited as we were for the opening night!

Just as excited as we were for the opening night!

HP themed manicure!

Ready to go with my HP themed manicure!

 

So expect me to be away for the next few days, and back on Tuesday with lots of geeky fun photos to share with you guys! Have a great weekend, y’all!

Witches, Wizards, and Weddings Oh My! The Harry Potter Engagement Party

The bride-to-be and myself, because the only thing better than a nerd with a wand is a nerd with a wand who also has PHOTOSHOP!

The bride-to-be and myself, because the only thing better than a nerd with a wand is a nerd with a wand who also has PHOTOSHOP!

As far as engagement parties go, they don’t get much better than this. Hours and hours of preparation and voluntarily researching by watching more hours and hours of Harry Potter movies culminated in a well attended party with 40 enthusiastic muggles who ate ourselves silly and the proceeded to prod each other with homemade wands.

HP_Invite

While the house-on-the-hill that I call home is no Hogwarts, we did our best to transform it into a wizarding wonderland. After you went through Platform 9 3/4…

Platform 9 3/4 this way!

Platform 9 3/4 this way!

And avoided the flock of flying keys…

Flock of flying keys

Flock of flying keys

You were sorted into your house via the Sorting Hat and received your wand and house scarf…

sorting

Getting sorted!

Watch out for the spiders trying to make a hasty exit out the window…

Spiders!

Spiders!

Before sampling various potions and treats from Honeyduke’s Sweet Shoppe…

Some of the food served! Ron Weasley eat your heart out!

Some of the food served! Ron Weasley, eat your heart out!

Then enjoy the festivities and play some quidditch outside…

A "Quidditch" Set, our wedding present to the happy couple

A “Quidditch” Set, our wedding present to the happy couple

But be care not to break any of Umbridge’s Proclamations…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Or else you will lose points from your house!

points

I’m missing some photos of details that were going up as people were arriving (and thanks to Megan for sharing her photos with me that I didn’t get to take), but you probably don’t need to see the Employee Entrance to the Ministry of Magic (aka the toilet), among other things 🙂

The party went on well into the little hours of the morning, and it was great getting to visit with friends I haven’t seen in a while, as well as make new friends and of course get super excited for the impending nuptials of my best friend Nikki!

The Bridesmaids (sans a couple who live far far away) with the Bride-to-be! Swish and flick!

The Bridesmaids (sans a couple who live far far away) with the Bride-to-be! Swish and flick!

Former roommates and great friends! And look, we're all in different houses!

Former roommates and great friends! And look, we’re all in different houses!

My Hufflepuff man!

My Hufflepuff man!

I have to shout out to the other bridesmaids and MOH for everyone’s hard work and dedication, and for owning your nerdiness and making this party a success! Until next time (like October of next year 😉 )…

Mischief Managed!