dimanche 31 janvier 2016

After All This Time: The Harry Potter Tour

Ello again, it's your girl Undesirable No. 1 aka Izzy Potter. Where were we? Ahh yes...

Back at the Rubens, we woke to the sound of glorious raindrops beating against our window. I was happy that all of the London clichés were coming true. We made our way to the bus terminal to take our tour of the Harry Potter movie sets... or shall I say we headed to Platform 9 3/4 to catch the Hogwarts Express? A little background: Even though I have been a lifelong book worm, when Pottermania swept America I was way too cool for a wizard kid with a dumb lightning bolt on his head. Like, how weird did you have to be to want to walk around in a robe and wand combo?! What the hell was a Voldemort? Dumbledore's Army? Quidditch? Bruh, WHAT? Over time, I got very familiar with the plot because I am a pop culture sponge, but I didn't actually read the books or watch the movies until I was in my 20s. Once I did (at the behest of my little sister, no less) it was over. I loved it all! I was hooked as soon as I saw the madness that popped off at 4 Privet Drive.

As a writer (can I call myself that?), I have to give my girl JK Rowling some serious props for crafting such a wonderful universe. I don't want to imagine a world without my husband Sirius Black (aka Commissioner Gordon aka Dracula), my sidepiece Viktor Krum (just kidding, I just love his coat), and last but certainly not least--the real star of this series-- Severus Snape (RIP Rickman). There are also some really wonderful villains! Can we all agree that Dudley is trash? Wendy is a day one Potter fan, so this was a tour we were both looking forward to. However, you do not have to be a super fan of the movies to enjoy this tour. Have you ever seen those videos where people cry at concerts? I never understood it til this tour. 

I'm sure the Wizarding World at Universal is amazing, but this was something else entirely. There is something to be said about seeing the actual props and sets used in the films as opposed to mere recreations. There is so much that goes into making a movie of this scale and they really did an amazing job. I am so glad they did not destroy these sets/costumes, cause it was one of the highlights of our trip for sure. While we waited in line, a familiar sight:

Harry's room! I can't believe the Dursley's did Yung Harry the gawd like this. It was soooo small! I mean, duh, right? I didn't realize just how tiny it was until I saw it in real life. This was only the beginning of what would be an unexpectedly awesome day. I am even willing to overlook that they gave me a damn mandrake ticket. Ugh!!! *Avada Kedavra*

As soon as the doors opened to the Great Hall, I was overwhelmed with a strange emotion. What was this...feeling? All jokes aside, it was really cool to see the incredible detail throughout. It was staggering, I mean wow. I could not believe I was here. I am one of those creeps that watches all of the special features on DVDs and will re-watch a movie with the director's commentary without missing a beat. I am all about behind the scenes stuff. We chose a perfect time to visit, as the Great Hall was decked out in Christmas decorations and Hogwarts was covered in snow! What a time to be alive! It was ALL HERE: Gringotts Bank, the Hogwarts Bridge, even THE KNIGHT BUS. Mind your head! The Gringotts door is actually real, no CGI. I was floored. In case you are ready 2 judge, Wendy belongs to Haus Slytherin (aka MAISON SERPENTARD) and I, like Harry, belong to Slytherin but willed the sorting hat to toss me into Gryffindor. I'm demonic. Some useless trivia from me 2 u: in french, the sorting hat is called ~le choixpeau~ which is a play on the words choix ("choice") and chapeau ("hat"). You're welcome.

Word to the wise: book this ahead of time, as it was sold out for MONTHS in advance. Harry is still dominating out here. Did you know there is a chopped and screwed remix of the Harry Potter theme on the internet? It is perfect. Harry is even wearing a durag on the cover. ANYWAY... If you don't care about the national treasure that is Harry Potter, stay tuned cause on the next episode we will leave London and head to Paris. For those of y'all with good taste, here are a zillion pictures. You have been warned! 

samedi 9 janvier 2016

The British Snoozeum (and Other Places of Interest)

Woke up bright and early to the sound of horses galloping into Buckingham Palace. No, I'm not kidding. What a world! After having the most delicious breakfast imaginable, Salisbury and I headed out for some sightseeing. First stop: the British Museum!

The British Museum was established in 1753 aka when America didn't even exist. One of the most exciting things about hanging out in Europe is that there is history just about everywhere you look. It is so cool! Y'all know I'm all about it. The British Museum has the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts in the world outside of Cairo. It sucks that so much stuff was pillaged, but it is what it is. Salisbury is a huge fan of all things Egypt, so I knew we had to visit. I was especially stoked to see the Rosetta Stone. I love languages (I am fluent in all of them, like a true king) so I absolutely could not miss this. 

What a wonderful work of art. TY, Ptolemy! The Egyptian stuff was really amazing to see as well. Here are some pics:

my nü doorframe


heart eyes emoji


scarab gang

The Egyptian rooms were really great to explore. They had it all, man. Mummies, personal effects, scarabs, jewels, etc. I would have stolen it all if I wasn't afraid of being cursed. Speaking of smiting-- to my delight, Salisbury decided to eavesdrop on a bible tour. I'm a heathen and don't know anything about that kind of stuff, so I encouraged her to listen and explain it to me later. We made our way to the Greek rooms which were also really beautiful. Once I got a closer look, I got an attitude. Why do y'all have so much of the Parthenon here?! What was I supposed to see in Greece when I (eventually, maybe) went?* 

*I ended up in Greece 6 months later (go figure) and the answer is NOT MUCH.


who tf is climbing this?! y'all are so dumb.

Dionysus about 2 bless us w some delish wine

I am not sure if I mentioned it before, but I am not really into museums. I like to go and check them out, but after a while everything starts to blend together and I lose interest. Oh hey would you look at that, there is another 1000 year old vase... wish I cared. Salisbury and I started a game where we would find the most ridiculous things in the room and make up stories about the pieces. This would continue for the duration of our trip, much to the chagrin of our Eurobros. A small sample:

When you try to sass the centaur bro...

... and end up catching a FADE!

TEARS. Who sculpted these?!

Upon closer inspection of what appeared to be a normal chess set...


There was a German exhibit going on and yall know how much ~ich liebe Deutschland~ so we went inside. One of the focuses of this exhibit was a great artist, truly a German schatz, Albrecht Dürer. WOW! There are no words. The detail in Dürer's work was absolutely astonishing (he clearly had no life). Just kidding! We love ü. We grabbed a quick coffee and headed out for some sightseeing. We visited Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, Trafalgar Square, and the National Gallery. The last time I was here, I nearly melted because it was so hot. This time, the cool temps made for a very enjoyable stroll. I was bummed that we had missed Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red by mere weeks, but I suppose I can't have it all. It would have been a sight, for sure. Anyway, the National Gallery occupies an entire floor in the condominium that is my heart because it has a Van Gogh room. I could literally spend hours in there-- I am obsessed with his paintings.

Stop calling me London Bridge, noob

Later that evening, we headed down to the GLORIOUS London Coliseum to catch the English National Ballet's Swan Lake. It was truly a magical experience. They put on such a wonderful performance! The sets and costumes were exquisite, the dancing was perfection, and the music was superb. Tchaikovsky is the man! I love Swan Lake so much. This performance nearly moved me to tears, like, way to be dramatic but I am so serious. I am used to the shortened version with 3 acts, but London was having none of it. This performance had about 5 thousand acts, so the entire thing stretched for what felt like 12 hours. Salisbury entertained me by explaining the difference between saying bravo and brava. I am such a hillbilly. All in all, it was a great way to spend the evening.

Of course, my life is the real life version of that scene in Cinderella where the clock has struck midnight and the wheels of the carriage have half-transformed and are now basically just pumpkin vines slapping the ground. In a ballet haze, we ran past the helpful man at the tube station holding the elevator open for us, stupidly deciding to take the stairs. NEVER AGAIN. The stairs seemed to go on forever, like one of those optical illusion paintings in a math class. It was then that I realized my mistake. I have avoided the stairs at this station for so long that it finally caught up to me when I wasn't paying attention. 


Don't cry for me, I'm already dead

On a positive note, I've always wondered what it would be like to have linguine for legs. Fuuuu. Back to the beautiful Ruben's for some much needed rest. Tomorrow we were headed to the Warner Brothers Studio Lot for the Harry Potter tour!