Accepted into Hogwarts.

Accepted into Hogwarts.

I had another tour booked for today, this time to Warner Brother’s Harry Potter Studio followed by the city of Oxford. Again, I met the bus at 10am, this time having a seat all to myself. After the typical tour guide humor about past incidents and selling stuff left on the bus to eBay, we began a 45 minute drive to the studio. There, we had 3 hours to walk through the exhibit. I was surprised at how all 3 hours were actually needed, it went by quickly! The studio was filled with actual props, costumes, sets and history from the making of the movie. It was fun to see everything up close and to learn a little bit about what they use to design it. For example, all of the books in Dumbledore’s office are actually London phone books covered with old book spines. Many of the exhibits were interactive and you could press a button to watch a cauldron being stirred. They used a lot of mechanics to make things look wizardry. There were also some interactive green screens where you could take your picture or video.

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I found the brooms and the potion rooms the most fun to look at. About halfway through, there was a stop where you can buy Butter Beer and Butter Beer ice cream. I couldn’t decide between the two…so I got both. The ice cream was good, the beer…not so much! It tasted like watered down soda. I also bought some chocolate frogs, and almost bought a wand but decided against it last minute. The wand I liked the most was Ginny Weasley’s for the record.

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Our next stop was to Oxford. It would surely be interesting to go to school here, the whole area seemed so full of tradition. There were many well known authors that went here and I liked knowing how certain things in the environment inspired their famous books, such as Harry Potter and The Chronicle of Narnia. I didn’t get to go inside any of the buildings which I was disappointed in. So after an hour long walking tour, we had an hour to go eat. At the end of the day I didn’t find Oxford something I’d recommend, but I think it was because my stay was too brief and I didn’t go deep enough in my tour.

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Maybe you’re just a pile of rocks!

Maybe you’re just a pile of rocks!

A long awaited tour day had arrived to Bath, but most importantly, Stonehenge. I took the tube to the meeting point at 10am. I settled down into my seat and was looking forward to napping during the long drive. We took off and made one stop to pick up a few others along the way. To my disappointment, a woman sat down next to me who said she normally doesn’t drink coffee but she did today and she apologizes in advance for all of her talking and loud behavior. Great. At first I was pretty annoyed, but she actually was very nice and pretty interesting. She was in town with her family for a Star Trek convention. Our tour guide was unintentionally hilarious because he was a crotchety old British man who had no problem speaking his mind. You wanted to hate him for being so blunt, but it was so endearing the way he said things so I just had to laugh.

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We’re ballin’.

We’re ballin’.

I decided to walk to Notting Hill this morning. I was told it was a cute area that sold antiques. It was a very cute neighborhood, but I was a little surprised by how many of the stores were just your typical souvenir shops selling magnets and keychains. The stores which I hoped would have English vintage clothing, mostly had imported scarves and bags. I stopped for some soup and tea at Farm Girl and then walked back. I had wanted to go in the igloos at Coppa Club today, but wasn’t able to get a reservation. Which maybe was a good thing because it started raining. I used that as a reason to take a nap. I didn’t feel very guilty because I new that my next two days would be busy.

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London, the new meet up spot.

London, the new meet up spot.

Today I was headed to London! I had breakfast and then took off for the train station. The ride was only 2 hours to London and I mostly slept. Once there, I took some time just to relax and re-pack my bag before meeting up with some friends who happened to be visiting London as well (thanks to social media for informing me). I walked to dinner down this super cool street (Brick Lane) lined with vintage shops and trendy eats, a very hipster area. Dinner was at a place we at was called Dirty Bones and after eating nothing but a bag of chips that day I was super excited about the menu! I ordered a fried chicken sandwich with spicy aioli and we split skinny fries (turns out you don’t get skinny by eating them). We also split a bottle of Rose despite one of my friends saying he gets canker sores from rosé (we ordered him some salt water just in case). It was one of their birthdays so we also had a surprise dessert with a candle. I have never heard a restaurant participate as much as this one in the birthday song, the place was erupting in song! Turns out they probably sang so loud to get the same in return, because there was another birthday girl there. Michael was a little bummed to have to share the spotlight 😉

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