Category: Life

Harry Potter World at Universal Studios Orlando

Kim’s Review of Harry Potter World: 5 stars!

Yes, I am reviewing a theme park and I’m super excited to do it! When Ivan and I got married 2 and half years ago, we decided to go to Orlando for our honeymoon. We spent 2 weeks doing Disney World, Universal and Sea World! We absolutely loved it. So, for Ivan’s birthday this year, I planned a trip back to Universal. He mainly went for the Halloween Horror Night, but I was there for Harry Potter. HPW was even better the second time, after I had read the full series, than it had been the first time. Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade are beautiful! The movie captured the settings so perfectly, so building them for the park was a no brainer. It’s like walking straight into the books.

I dressed up as a Ravenclaw student and I felt completely at home. The first thing we did was the wand experience at Olivander’s. The wandmaker actually chose me to go thru the process of choosing a wand  . . . geek out!!!! I had shown up not knowing which wand I wanted. I had favorite characters and of course I considered their wands, but by the time we got to the shop, I was still unsure. But with the wand experience, my wand literally chose me!

This time, we ended up taking our time, walking thru each store and exploring every corner. There were areas that we didn’t see last time. The pet shop was amazing! Every creature from the story was there! I ended up getting my very own Fawkes the Phoenix. He sits proudly in my library and I’ve even considered having his theme playing constantly because he looks so real sitting there. We crept down Knockturn Alley and found Borgin and Burkes. Dude, that place was crazy. Ivan, the horror freak that he is, had way too much fun in there. Anything dark, you’ll find it in there. The Weasley’s shop is exactly as you’d imagine, areas all around the alley where spells could be performed, and the centerpiece, Gringotts Bank, complete with fire-breathing dragon! We walked thru the beautifully detailed bank to get to the ride. I will admit that Gringotts was not my favorite of the park, but still definitely worth doing. Then we hopped on the Hogwarts Express that took us to Hogsmeade Village.

If you thought Diagon Alley was beautiful, then Hogsmeade will blow your mind! It was 90ish degrees, but I wanted to put on a jacket because the snow capping the houses looked so real. Music played all thru the village. Honeyduke’s Sweet Shop carried everything that you could want: chocolate frogs, chocolate wands, Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, etc. The Three Broomsticks is one of the coolest places you will ever go! We ate there our first time and we have been dreaming of their fish‘n chips ever since. The butterbeer flows. Unfortunately, the 2 dragon roller coasters were under construction, but I can tell you that they are so much fun. They were open the first time we went and I loved them. But the Hippogriff ride was open and it was more fun that I remembered. You can even hear Fang barking inside Hagrid’s cottage. The Owlery store offers all kinds of cool writing materials, perfect to use to send your mail home with your owl.

And then the piece de resistance: Hogwarts Castle!! Oh. My. Gosh. If you do nothing else in HPW, do Hogwarts. I do believe it is my favorite ride in the park! You literally feel like you are flying thru the grounds with Harry, Hermione, Ron, and a dragon. I cannot overhype it enough, as in, it can’t be overhyped because it is that amazing. Even just walking thru the castle while waiting in line is worth it. All this to say, if you have a vacation coming up, maybe consider Harry Potter World at Universal. You do have to get a 2 Park ticket to get to both sides, but it is totally worth it. I felt like I was actually immersed in the story, and I never wanted to leave!

Have you been to Harry Potter World? Did you love it as much as I did!  Who wants to go with me next time!?!?!

It’s Been an Interesting Two Years!

A little over two years ago we had to say final goodbyes to my dog Misty, whom I adopted 10 years ago.  It was the hardest thing I have done. She was my baby and I was devastated. My husband and I had talked about adopting cats way down the road, not realizing we would have to say goodbye to Misty so soon.  She had gotten a UTI in October 2014 and never fully recovered.  This is the last picture of her: My husband took the picture and Misty was looking at me. After a little bit of time I was still upset, and my husband said lets just go to the animal shelter and look around. This was August 1, 2015. We looked at both the cats and dogs.  Among all the cats, there was a litter of 4 kittens named Sage, Curry, Ginger, and Nutmeg and they were in 2 cages. We actually picked up Ginger and Nutmeg first. Then Sage and Curry…. Needless to say we came home with TWO kittens: Sage and Curry!!! (I saw that eventually other two were adopted, just not together).

This is the picture where we announced the adoption on Facebook and introduced our new babies:

Curry is on the left, Sage is on the right.

From the beginning we could tell that these two were meant to be together. They are such twins and truly needed each other. and this experience would not be the same without both cats! This was from the day they were adopted.  Sage is a girl and Curry is a boy.  Curry often lives up to his name; it is like he is two cats at times….

Curry started out the smallest of the four kittens, but he has more than made up for it now! He must have some Maine Coon in him, as he is a  lazy monster at 20 pounds and our co-dependent kitty…  Sage is around 10 pounds now. It’s crazy to look back and see how much they have grown! My babies are not so little anymore!

They definitely have their own crazy personalities:

“Why are you bothering us?”

“What?  I’m not up to anything!”

I guess she wanted some water…


“Hello ladies” says Curry in his sexy voice…

Just hanging out ‘twin style’.

Here is one from the second day we had them.  How could anyone NOT get both at once!?!?  They are even heart shaped too!

Curry on the left, Sage on the right

It’s been an interesting two years, and I can’t imagine life without these guys. I have never been around cats before and who would have thought I would have become a  cat lady?  I never would have!  It was two years yesterday, so Happy Birthday to my lovely babies Sage and Curry!  I hope for many more to come!


Ladies: Safety First!!

Ladies: Please be aware of your surroundings! This happened to me last night:

My husband and I were meeting after work at the Target in Austell, Georgia. We were both coming from our jobs, so we were in two different vehicles. We purchased what we came to get and headed back to our cars separately. Then a tall, skinny, black teenager who was sweating a lot started to approach me by walking fast.  He said, “I don’t mean to approach you this way ma’am.” He was trying to say more and still walking towards me and I was backing away from him. I quickly interrupted him and say I can’t help him.  I’m a little freaked out and can’t remember where my car was so I beeped it once. I hear it and head over there.  Then the teenager approaches me and says again, “Excuse me ma’am”… And I raise my hand towards him in a stop signal and shout very loudly, “GO AWAY!” He did and started walking very quickly towards the restaurant in the shopping center.  It was then that I saw he had another teenager with him.  I was parked right by where the shopping carts go and there was a cart attendant out there who saw the whole thing. My husband did not see any of this unfold and hates that he did not.  Whenever we are meeting somewhere now, he will make sure I am in my car first before we leave.  He also thinks if the kid had seen him, he would not have approached me.

This scared me really bad.  It seemed to me like the kid was on something.  My husband said that he could have been on something or they might have been planning to jump me.  The fact that I shouted loud most likely deterred the kid if that was his purpose of approaching me.  Yes, he might have needed genuine help, but you just don’t approach a woman like that. This was a very quick incident that lasted less than a minute.  If the kid had been white it would have been the same result. DO NOT APPROACH A WOMAN!  My husband said this was the time to hit the panic button on my car remote, but it happened so quickly that I didn’t even think of this.  It’s scary- I could have become a statistic tonight. BUT I did not and am safe at home.

What scares me even more was that there was a second teen. What if they had grabbed me?  I carry a stun gun, but the carrying case for it is broken so it was in my purse. Needless to say it would not have done me any good tonight if something had happened. We are going to find me a good case for it ASAP. I don’t carry a handgun as I have not practiced enough to be comfortable to conceal carry.

Ladies- again PLEASE be aware of your surroundings- Look up as you are walking to your parking spot. DO NOT be texting and walking to your car. Don’t even be on your phone! Don’t take the chance on something happening to you.

I don’t post often about my life as this is my book review blog, but this really scared me and I want women to know about it and to be aware of their surroundings.