Category Archives: Travel

I Went to Hogwarts!

The last week I spent on vacation with my family and my best friend, Becky. My parents own a time share down in Daytona Beach, Florida, and it’s really been a lovely, relaxing week. The weather’s been a bit crummy as it’s rained almost every days, but there’s been enough time for us to plop our butt’s in the sand and soak up some sun. But my favorite part of the week:

I went to Hogwarts.

Universal’s Islands of Adventures has the Wizarding World of Harry Potter which was literally everything I imagined from the books/movies right before me so that I could experience it. As you enter that area of the park, you step right into Hogsmeade and the Hogwarts Express is right before you, as are all of the shops and Hogwarts itself.

I mean, I ate at the Three Broomsticks and drank butterbeer (and took home a souvenir mug! :D). It really doesn’t get better than that! It was the first time I had butterbeer and it was delicious. It almost tastes like a cream soda, or at least that’s the only way I can think of to describe it. It has this really thick foam on top that I thought was a little weird, but Becky liked it so I guess I’m just picky. :P We also went to Honeydukes and I bought some of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Bean, though I haven’t tried them yet. We really wanted to go into Ollivander’s, but there was a line just to get into the wand shop so we passed on it. :/

Because it was so crowded, the lines for the rides were really long. They seemed to move really fast though because the lines wove through scenes from the books. For example, the line for the roller coaster Dragon Challenge wound through the fourth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It showed the Goblet and the different champions from each school and then you went through the tent and through the dungeons to see the dragons. It was awesome.

My favorite was by far the Hogwarts ride (can’t be bothered to remember the name :P). That line was the longest – 90 minutes – but it was incredible. About half of the lines was outside so that was a little boring, but you had an amazing view of Hogwarts right in front of you so I took a ton of pictures. The inside took you right through Hogwarts and the characters in the portraits on the walls actually moved just like in the books! We went through Dumbledore’s office and he imparted some of his invaluable wisdom upon us -“We must choose between what is easy and what is right.” The ride itself was ridiculous. It was in 4D and I thought my dad was going to be sick, haha.

The rest of the park was kind of ehhh. I guess now that I’m getting older amusement parks aren’t as fun as they used to be when I was like ten. This fact saddens me! :( Growing up sucks!

The last few weeks I have been obsessed with the Olympics. Normally I’m not real into them, I’ll just happen to turn it on and watch it for a little bit, but this year I watched them every night that I was able to. I really loved watching beach volleyball, swimming, and gymnastics. Not gonna lie, during some of the performances of the athletes, seeing them so happy after their hard work and victories made me tear up a little bit! Ah, I’m such a loser. :P

As I’m writing this post, I’m watching the closing ceremony and eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I’m not going to know what to do with my nights now that I don’t have the Olympics to watch! :P Though I’m leaving for college on Thursday – a fact both exciting and nervewracking, so I suppose that will be occupying a lot of my time just packing and getting ready. :O


Mission Accomplished

Hello everyone! :) I arrived back from my mission trip to Huntsville, Alabama on Saturday around four but I’ve been a little lazy and haven’t blogged about it until now. Overall, it was a wonderful experience (as they all are) and I made some new friends and experienced personal growth all around.

At the project, there were about 300 students (give or take a few) divided into eighteen crews. Each person is paired with at least one other person from their church and assigned to a crew. Each crew has a crew chief and a crew encourager and is assigned a house to work on over the week.

I was with three other people from my church: a middle school girl and then two youth group leaders. One of the leaders, Joe, was my crew chief. It’s not that we don’t get along, but he’s one of those people that just mess with you and like to push your buttons. -.- So I wasn’t exactly jumping for joy.

It’s also a bit of an ongoing joke in my youth group because no matter what, I always get a painting site. Two years ago, out of around 20 sites there was one painting site, I got it. So this year there were only two painting sites and whaddaya know! I got it! :P But it’s okay, because it’s not about me and what I want to do. So it really didn’t even bother me that much. :3

My crew was alright. I say that because, outside of working and if I were just hanging out with them, I would’ve liked them. They were fun and had unique personalities, but I’ve never – in my six years with World Changers – had such a lazy crew. I mean it was ridiculous.

Our house was a nice house and really did not need work, but we had to paint the trim. Normally we are assigned pretty run-down houses where the work is apparent. Nonetheless, we had a job to do. At the most, we had four people working at one time. Me, my two youth leaders, and the other girl from my church. Of a crew with twelve people, four would be working. You’ve no idea how frustrating that was for me.

I just don’t understand how you sign up for a mission trip where you will be doing construction work, from 7:30 AM to 4 PM every day for a week, out in the hot sun, and don’t work. That just baffles me.There was one point during the week that two girls were like, “Becca! We haven’t talked all week!” And I wanted to say in reply “Maybe because I actually work and you all just sit around!” I held my tongue though. Let me tell you, God was working on my patience.

So what should have taken us a day to complete took us three. So they moved our crew to another site that was working on a roof. I absolutely loved their crew. They were all really hard workers and were cracking me up. I also got to get on the roof for the first time and rip off shingles, put down tar paper, and then put the new shingles on. It was fun. :D

One of our construction supervisors I really bonded with as well. He had a handful of houses that he supervised to make sure that everything was being done correctly and in a timely manner. His name was Ron and he always made fun of my “baby hammer.” It was a cheaper one my mom had bought because we always tend to lose our tools so it was smaller and lighter. At the end of the week he introduced me to his wife and told me that he was really proud of how hard I worked all week despite having a painting job and a lazy crew. He was so sweet. :love:

I also forgot to mention that I had a really creepy crew encourager. She was an older lady that had everyone in the crew call her “Mama.” Uhm, excuse me? I’ve known you for less than a day and you want me to call you Mama? Yeah, no. My mama’s name is Karen and she is not here right now. :| Creeeepy.

Speaking of my mama, she’s having a hysterectomy on Thursday. She’s really nervouse. :/ I’m telling you, my family has just had all kinds of stuff going on, huh! :P My dad had his port put in today for his chemotherapy. It was an outpatient surgery that did not take long and he seems to be doing just fine. He say’s he gets a little dizzy and he’s not allowed to be left alone for 24 hours. His doctors also think that the colostomy bag can be reversed, which is so good to hear!

Tomorrow is the 4th of July, which is exciting for all of you Americans! It’s one of my favorite holidays since my family would always grill and have fireworks and friends over. Though things never stay the same do they? My parent have been going to a different church than me, so they’re doing some shin-dig with them, and I have to work 3-11. Urgh. I just want to shove my face in BBQ and watch fireworks! Dx

Ah well, work will be slow so I can just read. :)