Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone

Posted in books on January 8th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I did it.  I’ve finished reading the first book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  And I really enjoyed it; I think I can officially call myself a Harry Potter fan!  The book was very fast-moving, and because it’s kind of a kids’ fantasy book (but don’t get the wrong idea – MANY adults like it too!), I was able to finish the entire 300 pages on my limited reading schedule without even having to renew it at the library once!

Tonight, I’m going to start the second book in the series, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and if I can convince my husband, we’ll be watching the movie of the first book this weekend.  And now I am REALLY excited to see the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando.  They are being kinda secretive about the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey attraction, but it promises to use “entirely new technology” to bring the Harry Potter series to life “in a way never before experienced”!  Maybe something like The Mummy ride or The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman 3D?  How cool would that be for Harry Potter!!  And the shops and restaurants are all going to keep in the tradition of the boy wizard’s world.  Chocolate frogs, anyone?  The world doesn’t open until spring, and it doesn’t look like we’re going to get to Florida before the fall or next winter anyway, so if that becomes a reality, we will have to make sure we get to Universal – I really liked Islands of Adventure anyway, and now it’s going to be even better!  I just have to make sure I read all the Potter books by then.  And I almost don’t want to read too much about the new world on the internet for fear that it would be spoilers about things I haven’t discovered yet.

As much as I’m enjoying the Harry Potter series, I’m not usually one to stick to one type of book.  If I need a break from Hogwart’s before I get through all 7 stories, I might try The Zookeeper’s Wife, a story about a zoo in Poland in the 1930’s and how it’s destroyed during the holocaust – as long as it’s not too depressing of a read.

Rides Jamiahsh Broke

Posted in Travel on November 27th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This is the long-awaited post (by some anyway) that details the uncanny coincidences of ride break-downs we encountered while in Orlando, Florida.  Here is a list of the following rides that stalled or broke down while fellow blogger jamiahsh was along.  Not to blame him, but…   😉

Epcot:  Spaceship Earth, the boat ride in Mexico, the boat ride in Norway – not only did the boat stall during the ride, but also, after we exited the boat, the doors at the end of the ride failed to open, trapping us and the 4-5 boat-fulls after us!

Universal Studios – The Mummy – got stuck where the ride gets “hot”, the Simpsons ride, Cat in the Hat ride

Magic Kingdom – Carousel of Progress glitched, Peter Pan’s Flight, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean (multiple times), Snow White

 We’ve been to Disney World lots of times, and although we’ve been involved in rides stalling and getting backed up, it’s never happened with the frequency of this year when jamiahsh was with us.  Therefore, the phenomonon of him “breaking the rides” is a running joke of sorts, and that’s why I had to make a post of it.  Break-downs aside, a fun trip was had by all, and the uncanny ride luck jamiahsh had is now merely blog fodder – and that’s always fun.

Vacation Diary – Chapter Three

Posted in Travel on October 31st, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, Oct 21 – We visited Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and the Out of Control Magic Show at Wonderworks.  Universal and Islands are right next to each other, but there is a lot of walking between the two.  A lot of walking and not so much for the kids.  But they did have fun, especially Disney who got to see Barney Live.  I missed the Animal Actors show this year, but I was more in the mood for rides, and we got to ride plenty.  The new Simpsons ride is actually better than I expected.  It’s the old Back to the Future ride except you are now riding through Springfield.  The waiting area is themed well, and you get to watch little Simpsons snippets while you wait – talk about making the time go by fast!  The ride is very cool, and you actually feel like you’re riding around Springfield.  The Mummy ride is still my favorite thing in both parks, and it’s as cool as I remember.  I especially like sitting near people who haven’t been on it before – it’s a blast to see the reactions to the haunted house meets roller coaster.  Over at Islands, we got positively soaked to the core riding the Bluto boat ride, but that was expected because I rode it twice – those huge raft rides are my favorite type of water ride.  My 4-year-old Sammie hated it, much to my surprise because she was just playing in the sprinklers at Epcot the night before.  But she felt better after going on one of the kids’ favorites, the Cat in The Hat ride.  Our two-year-old loved that one too.  We were a bit strapped for time and didn’t get to try some of the coasters and other rides I’ve never been on over at Islands, but oh well, we still had fun.  And my husband got chosen again (4th time now) to be an “actor” in the skit they do before the Earthquake ride which is now known as “Disaster”.  They redid it and added a cool hologram of Christopher Walken.  And they chose my husband to be the “hunky” lead actor – but then, I always knew that 🙂

The magic show was a lot of fun and it made me want to produce something like it locally for our community theater.  It’s kind of like stand-up comedy AND magic in one, with lots of audience participation.  My husband, daughter, and our friend were all chosen to go on stage, and I filled up the camera’s memory card trying to record everything.  And a note to Jamiahsh – you really don’t know me well enough by now to not point at me when they’re asking for volunteers?!?  You are so lucky he didn’t pick me – I would have blamed you and had your head!  Just kidding…  well, kind of, but don’t do that again!

Archaeology Is A Dangerous Job

Posted in Movies, Travel on August 10th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

…according to the movies, anyway.  Not one but two well-known movie franchises have plots revolving around adventure-seeking archaeologists, Indiana Jones and The Mummy.  I couldn’t resist the hype of the new Indiana Jones movie and made that my first experience with Indiana Jones earlier this year.  It was entertaining, though I still don’t really get what all the fuss is about, although I’m told the latest (and last, supposedly) Indiana Jones movie is not the best one by far.  So for date night last week, we decided to give the latest Mummy movie, Tomb of the Dragon Emperor a try, and again, I don’t see what all the fuss is about.  I did like it better than Hellboy 2, but I really think that has more to do with how sick I was when I saw Hellboy 2 because I just wanted to leave the theater.  My husband liked Hellboy 2 better.  I’m comparing the two because they are somewhat similiar movies; both action-fantasies involving the raising of ancient asian things.  But anyway, back to the latest Mummy movie…  Archaeology is dangerous in the movies!

Brendan Fraser plays an archaeologist who is hired to guard a precious artifact as it makes its journey to become a gift.  There’s a guy who is trying to raise this emperor from the dead; it has something to do with a curse.  So the emperor is raised, and that’s what I really liked about the movie.  The emperor was made out of what looked like metal and fire, and I really enjoyed these special effects.  When they were coupled with the emperor’s voice, it made for a nice scary villian – I hope you appreciate the oxymoron of nice scary villian 😉  The one thing I didn’t understand about the movie is why they threw in the random yetis.  You’ll have to see it to know what I’m talking about, I guess, but let’s just say that there were some yetis all of a sudden and they didn’t seem to have much to do with the rest of the plot.  As far as the plot goes, it wasn’t really my kind of movie, but it was a $3 matinee, buy one get one free, so for that price, I was thoroughly entertained.  Three random notes I have are:  1.  I didn’t realize the Mummy movies take place in the past, in the 1940’s.  2.  Is it a requirement for sequels to have extremely cheesy references to the original movie?  This movie is no exception.  3.  Anyone visiting Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida should definitely try the Mummy ride.  It is a thrill ride with special effects; a haunted house roller coaster, and it’s unlike any other roller coaster I’ve ever experienced – totally awesome!