Colorado and Harry Potter!

After such a busy summer Wade and I gave ourselves two vacations this August!  I think we deserved it!

First, we traveled to one of our favorite places; Breckenridge, Colorado.  We've been there a bunch of times before and it never gets old.  The summer and winter are totally different experiences and we love them both.  This year our friends organized a long weekend trip so we eagerly joined in on the fun!  I love friend trips, they're the best.

The whole crew is pictured above and the guys being weird below.

The first day we took the lifts to the top of the mountain and went hiking.  It was strange to be on a ski lift in the summer, I don't think I'd ever been on one when everything wasn't covered in snow before. It was still serene and beautiful, just in a whole different way.

The first hiking trail was pretty easy, it was kind of like walking around a meadow with a great view.

The second trail we took was a little more difficult and those of us who apparently need a little more cardio in our lives (ahem, myself) were huffing and puffing.

This is when Wade decided he'd climb the bowl. It might not look that bad, but trust me it was steep. Can you spot him on the mountain?

And then Zach joined in on the fun. See the two little dots at the top?  That would be Wade and Zach.

We only had two full days in Breckenridge so on the second (and last) day some of us decided to go white water rafting!  It was awesome and we had a great time!  Most of the people had never been before and we did a class 4+ (out of 5), so if we can do it anyone can!

Now doesn't that look like fun? Just look at everyone's smiling faces.

And then sadly, the weekend was over just as fast as it began!

Don't be too sad though, 2 weeks later Wade and I went on another vacation!  This time to Orlando, and most importantly, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  I just love Harry Potter; I started reading the books back in middle school and have been obsessed ever since.  So naturally, as a late 20 something year old, I absolutely had to visit the theme parks.

I definitely nerd-ed out while at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter so if you haven't read the books or seen the movies then sorry, you probably won't understand many pictures I'm about to show you.  Better yet, you should just watch all the movies then come back to the blog.  You'll get it then. :)

A little quick explanation: we did do other things besides just visit Harry, I just didn't feel the need to photograph most of it.  The Harry Potter parks are inside the two Universal Studios parks so there are tons of other rides and things as well.  It definitely did not take up the full 3 days we were there just to see the Harry Potter parks.  We did lots and lots of other things too!

Now on to the good stuff, the Harry Potter pictures!

We started off at the new park, Diagon Alley. It's a fantastic replica and I was just so happy being there.  I felt like a giddy 12 year old.

First thing we rode the Escape From Gringotts then we strolled around Diagon Alley.

I made Wade take a picture with me on Hagrid's motorcycle.
 My smile is real, his is probably fake because he wasn't too excited about this, haha.

Then it was time for Butterbeer!  Wade had the regular and I had the frozen. I can still taste it, it was so yummy! (Imagine cream soda with a hint of butterscotch)

Next we walked around "London" outside of Diagon Alley...

...just calling the ministry and such...

...and we found Number 12 Grimmauld Place!

Then it was time for the Leaky Cauldron for lunch. I was still really excited to be there if you can't tell.

After lunch we did some other Universal stuff like Transformers, Shrek, Minion Mayhem, The Mummy, etc.

On the second day we started out at Hogmeade, the other Harry Potter park.  I absolutely loved it.  It was exactly how I would have pictured it.

We had early park admission if you're wondering why the place looks deserted.  It was so awesome practically having the place to ourselves!

And there she is, Hogwarts! Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (the ride inside the castle) was my favorite ride by far; I think we rode it like 7 or 8 times.

Then we did some shopping around the town.

First stop was Honeydukes.  We bought 5 packages of candy for around $50.  Darn theme park prices.  We got some Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans, a Chocolate Frog, some Fizzing Wizbees, Exploding Bon Bons, and some Peppermint Frogs. Loved it.

Then we did a little wand shopping and Grindelwald's.

We had lunch at the Three Broomsticks and some more butterbeer.

After lunch we did other park stuff including one of the only pictures I took anywhere other than Harry Potter...Jurassic Park! Ah!

The last day we started off at Diagon Alley again in the morning and had our breakfast Butterbeer and Pumpkin Juices, yummm.

We scoped out the Knight Bus...

...then I bought the most powerful wand in existence, the Elder Wand, because I'm cool like that.

And that was the end of our Diagon Alley experience.  Next, we ventured through platform 9 3/4 and took the Hogwarts Express back over to Hogsmeade.

We got to see the castle one last time and rode the Forbidden Journey like 3 more times.

I was so happy we decided to do this trip (1) as adults and (2) pre-kiddos.  We had so much fun being kids ourselves, I love love loved it!!

Whew this was a long post.  Now it's back to work, boo!