Tag Archives: harry potter

Harry Potter Studio Tour, London :)

So, over the weekend Jason drove me almost two hours to go beneath London to a little town called Watford. An otherwise innocuous area, Watford is home to one of the coolest things in the history of time. That’s right. I’m talking about the Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour. It is a really popular tour, and to book our trip on the 6th, we had to schedule it mid-September!

But, boy was it worth it! 

I absolutely ADORED everything about it. I couldn’t stop smiling. After we got past the queue (taking us past the cupboard under the stairs) and into the first section of the tour, they sat us down and played a small movie about how the Harry Potter films came to be. Then, when it was over, they rolled up the giant screen and we were all directly in front of the ENORMOUS doors that lead into the great hall. Seriously, we walked through the same exact doors Harry, Ron, and Hermione did and straight into the hall. It was amazing.

We got to see the door to the Chamber of Secrets, the Mirror of Erised, the Sorcerer’s Stone and a million other important objects for the wizarding world. It was honestly like a childhood dream come true. I would’ve easily lived in there, slept in the Griffyndor boy’s dormitory, cooked in the Weasley’s kitchen, and lounged in the common room.

I took about a zillion pictures, but none of them really do it justice:


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Quote of the Day: Albus Dumbledore

Jason and I went to London over the weekend, and I just had to post these out of sheer love and awesomeness. We made a special stop at King’s Cross Station to visit Platform 9 3/4. Too bad Hogwart’s doesn’t take financial aid!

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

-Albus Dumbledore

The Wikkeling by Steven Arntson

So… regardless of the fact that I’m an adult, I just want to clear things up by saying that I’m not a “grown up.” I still like to live in the world of make-believe sometimes.

I guess you could say I’m a dreamer.

It is refreshing to pick up a book and read a fantastical story that takes place in a land unfettered by grown up worries–money problems, relationship problems, stuck in traffic, addicted to drugs, etc… (Why is being a grown up so damn negative?) In fact, some of the best stories that have ever been told are written for children. Look at Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (to name a very few.)

The Wikkeling by Steven Arntson is no different. While I’m not necessarily comparing it to the greats listed above, I will definitely say it’s new fare in the way of children’s literature. It takes place in a city called the Addition, and life is similar to our world, yet also very futuristic. Children aren’t jet-packing to school, but car horns have been replaced by Honk Ads, so irritated drivers spout product placements instead of beeps. Kids have cameras to watch them while they sleep.  They are being monitored (by both their parents and the government) at all times via tracking cell phones that live update their actions. That means no hiddren report cards, no sneaking off to be alone with friends, no ever being completely alone. PERIOD.

So imagine young heroine Henrietta Gad-fly’s surprise when she discovers a secret attic in her old decrepit house that seems to defy time and space and allows her to be alone for the first time in her young life. Imagine her surprise to find a wounded wild house cat in said attic.

Not to mention learning that her only friends have been experiencing the same “headaches” that she has.

Or the fact that they are being stalked by an unknown monstrous entity named “The Wikkeling.”

I enjoyed this book. It’s rare that I read a book with pictures, but the illustrations by Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini are silhouette in nature and definitely add to the integrity of the story.  I liked that Henrietta’s character was made out to be ugly and unpopular from the beginning, and the way Arntson pointed out that this was not going to change. It’s going against the typical notion that a girl must become beautiful and popular in order to live a good life and become a good person. Beautiful and good are not always synonymous, ladies. (Remember the Veelas from Harry Potter??) Conversely, although I liked how Henrietta’s character was shaped, I never felt particularly connected to her or her friends.

Above all, though, my favorite part was the obvious (to adult eyes) parallel to how our world is now and what it could easily become. All the constant worrying, materialism, discarding of the “out of date,” and technological upgrades make us lose sight of that which is truly important.  Al (Henrietta’s adopted grandpa) is a prime example of a juxtaposition of the old world and the new. Definitely food for thought…

3.5 of 5 stars