we decided that

Friday morning we would get up early and take advantage of our early entrance passes for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  That didn't happen.  But when we made it over there around 10:00, we waited in line for the HP movie ride.  So we entered the Harry Potter area and it was pretty cool.  I can honestly do without the rides but I really love the sets.  Everything looked so real.  I felt like I was in a little English village... or at least what the movies make me think a little English village would be like.  But it was the same in other parts.  I felt like I was walking through San Francisco in one area and I felt like I was walking through New York with people sitting on stoops in another area.  I would've been happy just walking around seeing all that stuff.

(On a side note, that it was I enjoyed so much about Universal in California, all of the sets and make believe.)

Anyway, so we get to the Harry Potter section of the park and it's cool.

 (I just realized the kid looking back in this picture is wearing an A&M cap.  That's funny since I never saw anyone representing Texas when we were there.)

The ride we were headed to is in the Hogwarts Castle, which is the school for anyone who doesn't know anything about Harry Potter.  But even when walking in line for the ride it was one giant Harry Potter set.  It was cool.

Then we got on the ride.  It was REALLY cool.  I can almost remember the exact moment I'd had enough though, it was right about the time a big flash went off and I figured they'd just taken our picture.  I sat there, being tossed all over in my seat with this movie being played all around me, focusing on not getting sick on the ride.  A few minutes later it was over.  I felt sick but it was FUN.  We exited, which leads you to the HP souvenir shop (like I didn't see that coming) and this is where pictures are picked up.  I picked up our $30 8x10 just because that was going to be our only picture of the three of us on the trip... or actually, probably in the last few years.  I considered it our family portrait.  That picture was funny because not only did it accurately portray all of us but it we were sitting in the order of intensity.  It's a little something like this:

SUPER INTENSE - Eric (looking down with his eyes clamped shut, holding on to his harness/bar like it was taking everything in him not to vomit)

INTENSE - me (looking up at something, half in awe, half terrified, with a death grip on the handle in front of me... almost predicting that 5 seconds later I'll be sick)

MILD TO ZERO INTENSITY  - Cosme (looking off in the same direction as I was, smiling with one hand casually laying across his bar while his other hand is off to the side holding onto his phone)

So we finished the ride and then went for lunch.  So let's see... it's Friday, during Lent and we're in the Harry Potter section of the park.  That means lunch is fish and chips, except for me because I CANNOT STAND FISH.  We got off the nauseating (but fun) ride and go to The Three Broomsticks (or something like that) and the smell of fish and vinegar almost do me in but I manage.  So what does someone like me order in a place like this?  Here's where the kids menu comes into play.

Macaroni and cheese, grapes and applesauce and I'm TOTALLY fine with that.

And since they didn't have any soft drinks in there, I opted for lemonade.  Go big or go home, right?  Eric, on the other hand, went with butter beer (a HP thing, think cream soda with butterscotch).

Whatever.  He likes it.  I tried making it at home last year but I'm pretty sure the park's version doesn't have butterscotch schnapps.

After that we followed Cosme while he rode his favorite roller coaster a couple of times and then we headed back to the room for a break.  (One of the benefits of staying there was we weren't stuck at the park ALL day but came and went as we pleased.)

I'll finish Friday later.  Right now I've got to get ready for a photography thing I have going on this morning in Houston... with 8 strangers.  Yikes.  Yes, I'm totally out of my comfort zone.  Strange place.  Strange people.  But once I go, I'll enjoy it and be glad I did... hopefully.

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