Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Garden, storm

We got the garden started. We decided to move it inside the pen since it would already be fenced for deer. Big job! But it's not hard to get help when the ATV's involved. :)
Then another storm rolled in so we hunkered down again. 
There was some crazy lightning. Check out the video! 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


This was the first of some crazy storm systems rolling through. I was out taking pictures (because duh) when my phone beeped and said tornado warning, take cover now. Good to know!  All was fine though, it passed us by, just leaving lots of pretty pics.
The panoramic pics are really skewed, but pretty cool. 

Monday, March 23, 2015


Springtime is so fun here. Lots of babies, the trees are budding, seeds are started in the greenhouse... but that also means a lot of work. I told Matt and Lizzy they could start work when they came back inside. Their answer was to stay outside all day. Works for us!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Back to Arkansas

After our fill of the Florida sunshine, we headed back to Lundy Mountain in Arkansas. We're looking forward to getting back to our slower pace and wide open space. For a while at least. It was great to let the dog and cat free. We're SUPER glad to be rid of the cat, who is never coming inside the RV again!  She's happy too.  Which she shows by eating my leg.
And she got right back to her normal sleep in odd places routine, this time on the things piled on the water container.
We got our rabbits back from our neighbor and few of them came with babies! These were still in the ew stage. 
But these were cute and fluffy! 
And Gypsy's babies are probably the prettiest we have! 
It's nice to be getting fresh eggs from neighbors again! 
I don't know. He walked around like this all day. It happens. 
Florida usually has the market on sunsets, but this one wasn't bad for Arkansas. Over the farm & feed store. :)
It's good to be back. I'd say it's good to be home, but we're always home. :)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

WWoHP: Details

The amazing details of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter absolutely make the experience. They missed nothing.  No mistakes.  Seriously, I spent days looking for them!  They went to great lengths to be sure you are IN Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley and Florida is some distant memory.  Check these out. In line for Hogwarts Castle, you walk through the greenhouse. You can hear music, but there are no speakers in sight. Just these cool flowering vines, with music coming out of them.  They also hide electrical cords.
Sneaking around Taking photos of the castle, I noticed this walkway, which has to be a back door to the Journey ride, but it just ended. It's just like any castle walkway. You know, because I've seen so many.
The owl poo is the best! It's silly, but it's so authentic. Also, it's everywhere the owls are. Because owls have to poo. And magical owls that deliver mail are real.
Because Hogsmeade is so cold (obviously, with snow and icicles on the rooftops!), the water in the fountain is also frozen. What a fun touch in the middle of the main road.
So I peeked in most every window in the place. Hush up. There was one window (on a camera-less day) where I thought Oh, this is it! This place will have storage or props or something out of place (because you can just barely get a peek through a slight crack in closed curtains of a storefront). But no. It just had a small table. With pretty flowers on it. Sheesh, they're good!
The quill store had quills and ink and rolls of parchment. And even a magical self-writing quill.
A tea shop had a huge pile of dirty cups waiting to be washed.
There's even laundry hanging out to dry if you look up.
The staff members were amazing too. I'm pretty sure they actually live there. It's truly just a world of its own and impossible to find any evidence otherwise. This is the "worst" spot I could find in either place. It's the end of the road and just a wall, but look at what a wall! Staff come and go, but there's someone nearby in case you need any help. (Elsewhere you might call that security, but not here. Here, they answer questions and point you in the right direction.) I assume they may cast a spell on you if you try to snoop, so I acted casual. You can't see through the windows either, not that I tried. I totally tried. Really though, on my "find some mistake somewhere quest" this is the best I could come up with. A cute, funky wall with a door that fit right in.
Man, they're so good. Maybe Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure are just magical mirages that help protect the Wizarding World of Harry Potter from muggles. That just might be easier to believe.

See all our posts about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter or individual ones here:
Diagon Alley (Universal Studios) 
Gringotts Bank 
Leaky Cauldron 
Knockturn Alley 
Hogwarts Express  
Hogsmeade  (Islands of Adventure) 
Three Broomsticks and Hog's Head
Hogwarts Castle

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

WWoHP: Diagon Alley

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was truly amazing. It felt like walking into the books.  Not just seeing familiar sights, but being IN the books.  It was way beyond "theme park" and just absolute perfection.  True to form, none of the magical world is visible to the muggle world.  You just see the London waterfront, though you do get to see the Knight Bus (though muggles might not know it's a magic bus, until they see it from the Hogwarts Express).
You can also see Grimmauld Place, though only the magically minded notice #12.  (We seriously saw people talking pictures in front of 13!)  Most didn't even notice Kreacher the house elf peeking out of the window every so often.
As it should be, there are no signs for Diagon Alley.  Just a small  opening you duck into to find the bricks already magically opened up. 
But then. Then you cry. Or maybe that was just me. (No, we later totally made a game of watching for criers!)  You see this glorious view of Diagon Alley and all of its magical awesomeness.  Magical stores and people and animals and food and just awesomeness.  
Of course the dragon over Gringotts Bank breathes fire. See our Gringotts pictures and videos here
Here are some panoramic pics of Diagon Alley so you can get an idea of the hugeness. And because I just got a phone with a panoramic feature. 
Here's a quick spin-around video of the magic.

Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes. 
It was so colorful and fun. There were even fireworks on the ceiling. 
Ollivander's Wand Shop.  They have a ceremony where the wand picks the wizard and Matt was chosen a few times. He eerily got similar wands with similar traits by different staff members!  There are stacks of wands in boxes all over the store, upstairs and downstairs.
All of the shops were interesting.  
Video of the self-knitting needles:

They had self-stirring cauldrons too. 
Video of those:

Quidditch supplies and banners for your favorite teams. 
And the pictures move of course. 
The pictures on the book covers move too. Lockhart was funny as you'd expect.  
All around every road there were cool storefronts. I peeked in all the curtains too, and only saw inside magical shops. So much attention to detail!
There wasn't a detail missed, as evidenced by the owl poo.  
Seriously, owl poo everywhere!  And you weirdly love it. 
There were wizards everywhere doing magic, so sometimes a light fixture might rain on you. 
We watched a very cool puppet show skit of The Tale of the Three Brothers from Tales of Beedle the Bard.
In Diagon Alley are great places needing their own posts: Gringotts Bank, Leaky Cauldron, and Knockturn Alley.  There was so much more, but pictures just don't do it justice. You simply must go!
See the rest of the photos:

See all our posts about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter or individual ones here:
Diagon Alley (Universal Studios) 
Gringotts Bank 
Leaky Cauldron 
Knockturn Alley 
Hogwarts Express  
Hogsmeade  (Islands of Adventure) 
Three Broomsticks and Hog's Head
Hogwarts Castle 
And don't miss the Sugar Bean Bakers tips, prices, & walkthrough guides for Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley.