The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Back in July when I was in Orlando for work, I spent one night at the Hard Rock Hotel on Universal’s property and visited both parks. I already posted about Universal Studios, and it’s time for me to post about Islands of Adventure, specifically Harry potter (you can read abut the read of Islands of Adventure here).

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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is in the back of the Islands of Adventure park. I got there super early before it got crowded and took a bunch of photos. my husband is a huge Harry Potter fan so I watched all the movies with him right before I left so I would understand everything. Even for a non-superfan, it was really neat to see all the detail that went into this section of the park. I really enjoyed myself!

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harry potter universal

hogwarts castle

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The first thing I did was walk to Hogwart’s and get in line for the Forbidden Journey ride. It was a VERY cool ride, very well done and a lot of fun. I rode single rider and had no wait, so I hopped back in line and midway through the second time…I got very nauseated. I closed my eyes for the rest of the ride hoping I could make it until it was over. Luckily I was ok, but my stomach was upset for the rest of the day. So, if you get motion sickness on rides, keep that in mind for this one. Apparently my stomach could handle once but not twice. Such a shame because now I am scared to ride it.

So, I went back out onto the “street” to go in some shops and take some pictures.

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harry potter stage

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HP shop

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harry potter shop

harry potter candy

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I decided it was high time to try a frozen butterbeer, and oh my goodness it did NOT disappoint. You MUST try this if you visit!

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I hung around, drank my butterbeer, and took photos just enjoying the scenery. I bought some grapes from a cart on the “street” and then noticed it was getting VERY crowded so I high tailed it out of there.

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The above ride is:

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I came back a little later and some of the crowd had died down. I walked through the restaurant the Three Broomsticks and took some photos.

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Then I noticed a gathering at the stage. The choir was performing!

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Followed by some fun and games.

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Everyone was so in character and did a great job.

If Harry Potter merchandise is what you are after, you will not be disappointed. So. much. to. choose. from. They have everything from clothing to stuffed animals to candy and movie replicas.

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I had a great time exploring and can’t wait to go back and bring my husband! These photos just scratch the surface, there is so much more to see and do.

QOTD: Are you a Harry Potter fan? Favorite book or movie? Have you been to this park?

I would love to book your Universal vacation or tickets for you! Email heather@travelwiththemagic.com for a free quote. I can book for you at NO extra cost added to your vacation.

An Under Armour Visit

I was given quite the surprise last night ….

I’m going to BALTIMORE! In TWO WEEKS! The amazing folks at Under Armour have invited me and three other lovely ladies that were a part of the #WhatsBeautiful campaign up to their headquarters for two days of fun. That’s pretty much all I know, just know I am SUPER stoked, honored, and humbled.

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I did a lot of this when I found out.

If you will remember, Under Armour’s What’s Beautiful is a competition to redefine the female athlete. It’s a great initiative to make women feel strong and self confident. My goal was to reach other women and help them to become better versions of themselves. In the process, I truly hope I touch some of you, even if just a few, then my hard work was totally WORTH IT!

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Never fear, you all know I won’t let you miss out on the fun. I will be live tweeting, instagraming, facebook posting, blogging, you name it. It’s going to be epic. Be sure you follow me on all my social media sites (see the icons on the right sidebar up towards the top)

Now to go pinch myself. Is this really happening? Thanks Under Armour and Fitfluential!

QOTD: Have you ever been to the headquarters of a brand like this before? Did you enjoy the What’s Beautiful competition?

RWS Features #48

 

It’s race day! Today is the first of two races I will complete this weekend. Today is a half marathon and tomorrow is a full marathon, to complete Goofy’s challenge here in Disney World. Please say a prayer for me, and check out Twitter and instagram, (both @runningwithsass) I will be posting! While I am out running my booty off, you can sit comfortably at home and read about sweet Emily from Travel With Emily!

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1.) How/Why did you start blogging?

I like to travel and found myself sending out lots of emails to friends and family describing my various trips.  I started my blog as a concise way to share my travels.  Along the way it has grown from recording my travels to sharing my journey to find my inner athlete, albeit a slow one. 🙂

2.) Sum up your blog in a couple sentences:

My adventures and misadventures as I travel, train, race and take photos along the way.

3.)What do you wish to accomplish/achieve by blogging?

Blogging is a way for me to be creative, and a place for me to document my life.  An added benefit has been the connections I’ve made along the way.

4.) What is your biggest healthy living accomplishment?

I would say my biggest healthy living accomplishment so far was completing my first half marathon.  I discovered the joy of crossing the finish line and realization that you can do anything you put your mind to.  Since then I have gone on to cross the finish line many times.

5.) What is your blog URL and twitter handle

Blog: http://travelwithemily.wordpress.com

Twitter: @em425

Thanks for sharing Emily! Everyone be sure to go visit her blog and say hello!

QOTD: What is your favorite part about traveling?

RWS Features #30

 

Happy weekend! We are at my parents this weekend because we have a wedding to go to tonight! My college friend Christy is getting hitched in NOLA and Bobby and I are going to go celebrate with the happy couple at their nuptials tonight. We also have a long run planned for tomorrow morning, as well as a 4th of July party at my cousin’s house! Stay tuned for lots of fun photos!

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I heart the 4th of July!

I want to introduce you to Mellissa! She blogs at www.afitandspicylife.com and you can also find her on Twitter at @fitnspicy. Mellissa started blogging as a way to document her trip to Italy, and then she got hooked. Oh, she also happens to be a dog lover!

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1.) How/Why did you start blogging?  I was heading on a big trip to Italy and really wanted to write about all the experiences on that trip.

2.) Sum up your blog in a couple sentences: A Midwestern girl and her love of fitness, food ,travel and wine.

3.)What do you wish to accomplish/achieve by blogging? I love being a part of the community and hope to continue to blog because I love it. Sharing my passions makes me so happy.

4.)What is your biggest healthy living accomplishment? Working out 3-4 times a week for 10+ years!

Thanks Mellissa! Please be sure to stop by her blog and say hello!

QOTD: If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation where would you go?

Visitors

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Hi everyone! I am currently on my way home from a little road trip, (by the time you read this) but am posting Tuesday night. Bobby and I had to go up to the place we moved from 6 months go to take care of some business. Can I just say its totally weird to get a hotel room in a city you lived in for years? For a good part of the day I was alone, so I used the opportunity to go running in my favorite neighborhood, eat Lunch a McAlisters, and drive by our old house (so weird!)
If you have never driven by an old home its hard to explain the strange feeling! Out of habit, I almost pulled into the driveway! Ha! Anyway, we were supposed to be home Tuesday night but due to some unforseen things, we spent another night. No problem. More eating at my favorite places, shopping at my old favorite stores, ice cream for dessert, etc.
We have only been Gone 6 months but it felt strange to be visitors the past Couple days.  Those of you that prayed for us yesterday thank you so much, please keep praying, some things still could/need to happen, its not over.
I apologize for the boring post, but like I said, I was expecting to be home Tuesday night. Tomorrow we will be back to normal at RWS!
I took some pics with my phone but the wifi sucks here and its not uploading anything! So, here is what I could get, pictures of our hotel room and view. Did I mention I miss living here?

QOTD: have you ever driven by an old home of yours? How did it make you feel?

The Scary Hotel Story

 

Hi! Still in OOOOOOAAAAAAK-lahoma today! Had two appointments today, three tomorrow then we start heading back down to Louisiana with two on Friday before going home. All the driving is starting to hit me and I got really sleep driving back to Tulsa this afternoon from Oklahoma City (which I love by the way!)

Anyway, as promised….the scary hotel story.

Monday, we were to spend the night in Monroe, Louisiana. Let me preface by saying if you live in or like Monroe LA, I am NOT bashing you. I am sure there are nice areas of the city….but not where we were! So I didn’t make hotel reservations, because well, I figured I didn’t need to. We pull up to the Hampton Inn….oh. my. gosh. Old, dirty, run down, and with outside corridors (which I hate esp. when just traveling with my mom, just not safe!) there were so SCARY looking people coming in and out of there, so we decided to Google hotels and found a decent area of town by a mall with a new hotel. We walk in and ask for a room…and they are BOOKED SOLID! Not only that, but she said every hotel in the area that she would deem safe for two ladies was booked! I freaked a little, I had an appointment in town at 9 am the next morning.

SO I call the running store and tell them my predicament….trying to hold it together. They tell me about a hotel (not a chain) an old one that was redone that was nice and that is right by the store. They said if they had family come in town that is where they would have them stay. Trusting their word, we called and booked and headed over.

You could tell it was really old and was probably nice once, it had a fountain in the lobby and a pretty chandelier….but that’s where the niceness stopped. It had outer buildings with outside corridors. They put us in a “remodeled” room. It had an air conditioner in the window HELP UP BY 2X4’S!!! I wish I was kidding. It had ONE LAMP in the whole room not counting the bathroom light. The paint was coming off everywhere, there as a hole in the shower where the faucet was, and had a crappy little lock on the door and a chain. We felt REAL safe…Not in a great neighborhood either.

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We laughed about it but were also PETRIFIED at the same time! This was not good.

We went out and got a pizza and brought it back to the room and ate in the near dark and watched tv. The walls were so thin we heard the TV blaring next door. I was afraid to touch anything and we checked the beds for bed bugs.

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a scary ominous cloud didn’t make things any better…

Anyway, we hardly slept, it was so loud and when people walked by the door it sounded like they were in the room. I slept with my million volt tazer next to me. No lie. Don’t mess with me yall, I will taze your butt! Anyway, I have never been so happy to leave a hotel. I kept waiting for someone to kick in the door or someone to grab us and pull us into a room when we walked by. Good thing I am a trained ninja.

heh.

Anyway, NOW we are VERY happy to be in a nice hotel, never thought I would be so happy to walk into a Hampton Inn!

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Here is my skirt outfit for yesterday:

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mums pinkalicious RS, White Strappy Tank, black swift sox

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Layered with a black run love long sleeve top.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering, I DO own regular clothes!

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Last night we went to dinner at Olive Garden and we walked around the mall. I was on the hunt for fro yo, and I found some!

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Welcome to PeachWave! I had never heard of this particular one before, but it was pretty good. Not as good as my beloved Menchies but really, what is?

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Hello Tiramasu and Blueberry Fro Yo!

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aaannddd just in case you were wondering….it’s still hot!

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Have a great day! I go home tomorrow, yay!

QOTD: Favorite Fro Yo topping? Go!

Road Trippin’

 

Hi friends! Today starts a fun but busy week for me! But first let’s catch up.

Beach Trip Part 2

Beach Trip Part 3

Beach Trip Part 4

I will be doing quite a bit of traveling this week. I am headed out this morning on a week long road trip to visit some stores selling Running Skirts. My mom is tagging along with me to keep me company. I am hitting 13 stores in 5 days in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma! Let’s just say there will be lots of driving! I am hoping to have free WiFi in the hotels so I can still blog about my adventures.

Fingers crossed Bobby keeps the dogs alive and doesn’t burn the house down!

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wwweeee I like to play in the waves. I won’t burn the house down!

Yesterday, we went to church and lunch with our Sunday School class. bobby had a board meeting for work, and I packed up and then headed to my mom and dad’s for the night before the road trip. I wore one of the dresses I got from Ann Taylor LOFT to church. it’s so comfy!

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Good news! I think my knee is getting better. It was a tiny bit stiff when I woke up this morning but I can walk normally today. I am so excited that it’s not getting worse or staying the same. Hopefully in a couple more days I can try and easy run at a hotel gym and won’t have any problems. I am really hoping this is the case, because I want to chat with yall about my half marathon training plans and hopefully get some feedback.

Some of you were asking where on my knee it hurts, so here is a picture to give you an idea. It’s right in the bend and sometimes feels behind and in front of my knee when I straighten or bend my knee and tuck it up into my chest. Where my thumb is, that is the general area of pain. It is tender to the touch if I push hard on that bone there I guess? (Is it a bone? This shows my incompetence.)

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gotta drive!

QOTD: What is your favorite road trip snack?

-Don’t forget to check out my Running skirt’s page, and if you don’t follow me on Twitter or my Facebook fan page you can do so on the right sidebar. You can also subscribe to my blog from there!

Slow Down? No Way!

 

Hello from Mississippi! I am FINALLY HOME!!! Don’t get me wrong, I love to travel, but once I am ready to go home I miss it so much. I am exhausted, happy, and overwhelmed all at the same time right now. I have so much to do I don’t know where to begin!

I have decided since so many of you are waiting to hear about the cruise, and also so many waiting to hear about running skirts and my trip to Cali, I would break it up. One day a post about Disney, the next a post about Running skirts. I think that’s fair, right? But first things first, My final leg of my journey home!

I last blogged to you from the Houston Airport. I boarded my final flight home, and was so thankful none of my flights the whole trip were delayed or too terribly turbulent. The last flight was a quick one, only about 45 minutes. I got to NOLA and headed out to find my driver….I mean my mom, who was picking me up.

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I found her, and we finally made it back to their house where I promptly fell asleep and slept like a rock! I woke up this morning to this crazy girl:

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This is my sisters 8 week old puppy, NOLA. My sister was gone for the morning so I helped puppy sit. Don’t let this cute face fool you, she is INSANE!

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The beast does not sit still. I don’t know HOW I finally got this picture. She is quite the little biter, and she is incredibly spastic. She runs into walls, can’t walk straight, and will eat your hair, your face, your clothes, anything she can put in her mouth.

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what is that thing in your hand?

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is it for me? what does it taste like?! I must find out!

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rraaawwwrrr!!!

I played with puppy, chatted with my mom and sister, and decided to head home. I drove the hour 15 minutes home, so excited to see my puppies. I had not seen them since Tuesday the 24th of MAY!!!

As soon as I opened the door they attacked me, and we just laid on the floor freaking out and snuggling for about ten minutes. I found this on the refrigerator:

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How sweet is that?!? Not to mention, the house is spotless! SPOTLESS! I have the best hubby. I can’t wait to see him when he gets home from work!

Ok, I am off to unpack, organize pictures, do some vacation quotes, and maybe even nap. I am zonked! Looking forward to posting about all of my travels! No slowing down for me anytime soon! Stay tuned!

QOTD: Would you rather pack or unpack? I would rather pack, it usually means I am going somewhere fun and exciting!

Time Zone Madness

 

Hello from Houston! Can I just say I am EXHAUSTED! I had a FABULOUS time in California, but I am ready to be home with my family and out of airports, train stations, and cars. My body is so confused on what time it is, should be, etc.

This morning the sales reps enjoyed a relaxing breakfast before heading to the airport. My flight out of San Diego left at 11:20.

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I had a snack while I waited to board.

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It was so sad to say goodbye to all my new Running Skirts family. I know I will see them soon though! The flight was fine, a little bumpy on the descent, but I survived. Now, I am sitting in the Houston airport for my 3 hour layover before I can board a plane to NOLA.

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My mom is picking me up, and I am staying at their house tonight, and then tomorrow, FINALLY, I get to go home tomorrow morning and see my puppies! (and my husband of course.) I am so ready to see my girls. 16 days is way too long. I don’t know how some people do it.

I can’t wait to get home and sleep, and then share all of my pictures not only from California and all the Running Skirts fun, but from my cruise! I know it sounds weird but I almost FORGOT I went on a cruise before all of this madness! So, please stay with me, thank you for your patience and support! I promise you lots of stories and pictures from Disney and Running Skirts!