Posted by: JulieAloha | May 19, 2017

365 Gratitude Project – Day 139: Back to the Wizarding World and Home

May 19, 2017

Slow and easy start to the day. We took our time packing and checking and double-checking that we had everything. We’d made arrangements the night before for a late check-out, we were almost ready on time anyway, but it gave us peace of mind to gather things together and arrange our luggage and things. Our flight wasn’t until evening but we had to check-out by noon, so we had anticipated spending the last morning and early afternoon back with Harry Potter at Universal Studios and having to store our baggage for the day. When we arrived at the gates we asked about storage, figuring we would have to pay for lockers, but they directed us to the Lost & Found and we were able to leave our bags for free! We then went to rent an ECV for Mom, there were no more regular units so we rented one with a canopy roof for an extra $20 – we figured we’d saved that much in not having to pay for lockers. The sun was very strong, so we were glad she had the extra shade. We headed through Suess Landing, perusing the stores to pop into the AC, and through The Lost Continent to Hogsmeade.


We rode the Hogwart’s Express back to King’s Cross Station and Diagon Alley – there’s a different show in the train cars depending on which way you are traveling! I mostly wanted to see what was in all the little stores and pick up a few gifts as well as use my wand at a few spell stops. The Park was pretty crowded – not surprising on a Friday, but we managed to get around fairly well. We stopped in to Florian Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour for a sweet treat – I had a scoop of Earl Grey and Lavender and Mom had Chocolate with Raspberry. We had intended to go on the Escape from Gringott’s ride, but it was too long a wait – we did see the Gringott’s Money Exchange, and nearly got Mom stuck in there for good – a cast member had assured us her ECV could make it through the queue, but it was incredibly difficult in the tight quarters and I had to maneuver the thing about with a line forming behind us – annoying and a bit embarrassing.

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I really enjoyed wandering about the shops (and playing with my wand). We also caught the Tales of Beedle the Bard show near the Hopping Pot. Almost 1:00 pm, we rode the Hogwart’s Express back to Hogsmeade, toured around a bit and decided to start heading for the exit. We did stop at Starbucks for a cold drink and then split company, me to Lost and Found to reclaim our bags, Mom to rental return, and we were ready to go. It’s a long walk through the City Walk to the Uber pick-up spot – we rested several times along the way, but we had planned things very well and arrived at the airport in good time.

There was a delay of our flight due to mid-west storms, but the rest of the trip was easy and uneventful. We were very tired when we landed in Seattle – it was after midnight EST – and we still had to shuttle to the car park and drive home. Mom dropped me off and continued on home to Snohomish – she texted me when she arrived safely, but I was already fast asleep.
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I can’t possibly express the gratitude I feel for being able to take this amazing trip and to share the experience with my Mom. Last year I had intended to make this trip with my ex – it was to have been a birthday present for him, but everything fell apart last August and I fell into a great depression all Fall and Winter. To bring me out of my sorrow and give me something to look forward to Mom had suggested we take a trip to Paris, which sounded lovely, but I had timeshare points I needed to use so we changed our plans to Orlando – and what a blessing it was.

Thanks mama, RILY

11,193 steps today – 4.7 miles


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