Saturday, December 5, 2015

The OctoNovember Birthday Vacation ~ Highlights and New Places

Our fourth day was all about discovering new places and experiencing new stuff. The day began with us trying something different for breakfast. We got a Tuna sandwich (that I, the chubby food-lover had discovered the previous night) and I picked up my most favorite chocolate croissant. It was, without a doubt, a brilliant start to our day. Today, it was supposed to be a Bestie Day because mama was staying back at the hotel to rest and so were bro and SIL.

When Abbie and I reached Universal Resort we decided we'd go to Universal Studios' side today. We were planning on trying to finish our shopping today just in case we couldn't later on. Once inside I noticed a different route leading into Universal Studios and when I pointed it out Abbie and I decided to explore the section we'd previously missed. It was the Hollywood side with the Walk of Fame showing off its embedded stars over which we walked. We found new shops too. There were the main shops that displayed the characters from Halloween Horror Nights, which were in progress while we enjoyed our vacation. Another shop had a Terminator display which was cool to which despite the zero interest I had in the movie. We also found a Betty Boop shop where we posed around for photos. Scooby's Mystery Machine was a great photo spot too! 

As we kept on walking we came across something that said 'Horror Make Up Show'. An old lady sat outside the entrance who, upon inquiring, told us that it was a comedy show about the making of all famous evil characters in scary Hollywood movies. It seemed like fun to us (especially Abbie!) so we ended up finding a seat inside. It was more than what I had expected, it was really really fun! A really hilarious man who was a former make up artist, as he said, demonstrated gore tricks on a lady from the audience. She was a really fun person so the show became extra funny. The ending was great as the guy showed off the latest project he'd been working on which abruptly came to life, scaring the hell out of all of us. For a minute I thought the thing would jump on me from the stage and I was prepared to scream my lungs out. Nothing as such happened thankfully because nobody would have wanted to see or hear me like that.

Right outside, in the waiting area or the entrance, were props from Hollywood movies that we took pictures with. Chucky stood with his familiar pathetically evil expression. I swear, even standing beside the prop fully aware that it couldn't move at all, was scary. I posed beside Chucky holding my breath as if he'd spring to life any second and kill me. There were props from Dracula (which Abbie loved!), Jurassic Park, Mummy, and etc. It was a cool place to take pictures at and I was so glad we'd discovered it!

With the rain being super annoying (Abbie was almost sulking!) we somehow made our way to Diagon Alley where we found the shaded area and put on our Harry Potter rain coats. Of course that was another photo taking opportunity for a person like me who loves to pose. What? There's no harm in posing okay? Okay.

Abbie and I grabbed a Butterbeer to share again and stood in a corner of the park under our umbrella sipping away the magic, looking at the dragon above our heads, and feeling the wonderfulness of the Harry Potter world. We were here for shopping and we hadn't forgotten that. We knew some of the stuff we were dying to purchase and take home and the rest we'd just decide on the spot. Since this was our fourth time visiting the place and we were the only Potterheads of the family we had a feeling nobody would agree to come again next year. So when we began shopping we kept the thought in mind that this may be our last time, at least for a very long time. Let me tell you this, it is a nice thought to keep in mind while shopping, you end up buying the stuff you've been craving like mad for! We made our way to The Magical Menagerie where Abbie let me take Hedwig home. I already had Fawkes and Buckbeak back home waiting for me to come back with more Potter merch. Hedwig would be the perfect addition to my Harry Potter bookshelf. I'd been dying to buy Hedwig since the first time I'd visited the parks years back but previously it hadn't been as fat and fluffy because it was a puppet and not a filled up plush toy. This year too it was a puppet but they'd made him plushier and fatter. "I'll have you," I jokingly said, mimicking the girl from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, as I picked up a clean Hedwig from the back rows. With Hedwig in a bag hanging from my wrist, we made our way to Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment where I tried to convince Abbie into buying lots of stuff but she didn't give in. She wanted to buy the Monster Book of Monsters but since the one in that shop had a dent in the packaging we decided we'd delay it and find it in another shop in Hogsmeade later.

After Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment Abbie and I began walking in the exit's direction, stopping to check out Madam Malkin's on our way. We took a picture in the mirror that complimented you when you stepped in front of it and then headed out. We had planned on skipping ice cream today so that we could enjoy the Sticky Toffee Pudding at The Leaky Cauldron with our lunch. The Leaky Cauldron welcomed us with familiar cozy feels and air that tasted delicious with the mixed scent of all the yummy stuff that was being served inside. "Hi! We'll take a Fishermen's Pie please and a Sticky Toffee Pudding!" Abbie placed the order after which we were given the number fifty five and directed to our table. We got one of the long tables this time that reminded me of the seating in The Great Hall from the movies and we sat Hedwig down carefully before making ourselves comfortable and taking pictures. The food arrived within a few minutes, steaming hot, and smelling like heaven. As our ice cream on top of the pudding gradually melted we shared our pie and salad and then dived into the pudding. My knees were falling weak under the table thanks to how delicious the pudding was. The sticky toffee sauce was killing me, the warm and cold feels of the pudding and ice cream were going down my throat in the deadliest of combinations ever, and the taste was making me melt away out of focus. Abbie had a similar reaction plastered on her face as she shared the pudding with me! Mmmm mmmm .... mmmmmm ........................ mm.

Today was truly about all things new. Last year there had been too many people and I'd missed out on stepping up the back entrance of The Knight Bus. Bro pointed it out when we were on our way back home and he told me it was a photo spot so I had in mind that that was one thing I'd totally do before leaving the park this year. When I stepped up inside the bus to get my picture taken I gasped in amazement. The bus was actually created from the insides too and I'd never known that. Heart break. There were beds and trunks and all kinds of those things that made it look exactly as if people had slept inside. I called Abbie up inside as well and we peeked inside together before we took each others' photos one by one and then stepped outside to let other fans enjoy the show.

We boarded The Hogwarts Express from Platform Nine and Three Quarters then and got off at Hogsmeade station where we proceeded to Dervish and Banges to find Abbie her Monster Book of Monsters. Shopping felt so good! We sat in the back courtyard of The Three Broomsticks to rest a little bit once we were done for the day before we headed for the exit. It had been another Potterful day with my Bestie and even though the vacation was coming to an end soon, I couldn't have been more thankful for everything I had enjoyed!

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