For Christmas, my parents surprised us with a trip to Harry’s Wizarding World in California. Due to our hectic and crazy lives, it took us awhile to pin down a date. Six months later, we finally managed to find a week that would work!

If I’m being honest, I had low expectations for Universal Studios. I’ve been a Disneyland goer all my life, so it was hard to think anything could compare. Now Universal Studios was definitely not Disneyland but I was pleasantly surprised! While there weren’t a whole lot of rides, the attention to detail was still there! ESPECIALLY in Harry Potter World. That beautiful magical place. We were basically crying as we walked in, not knowing what to look at first! All the shops and sounds were just as I’d imagined them, and you felt like you were thrown right into the book! We just may have to move there. photo IMG_1013_zpsj1u4kn1l.jpg  photo IMG_1011_zpsiqtrjzlx.jpg  photo IMG_1025_zpsz9ftezld.jpg  photo IMG_1014_zpsrpclrf6y.jpg photo IMG_1016_zps8tv7ajnn.jpg  photo IMG_1007_zpsdgdh8zo0.jpg  photo IMG_1020_zpslhqnhbke.jpgI mean, would you just look at it!
 photo IMG_1015_zpswhr0jirw.jpg  photo IMG_1008_zpsah8v5ah7.jpgThe people responsible for our fabulous adventure ^^
 photo IMG_1033_zpsc9fbbib5.jpg photo IMG_1018_zpseradkfi0.jpg  photo IMG_1006_zpsw7tdcyzs.jpg photo IMG_1017_zpsmxa3gyra.jpg photo IMG_1030_zpszbqbmc2a.jpg photo IMG_1012_zpsfmymwusr.jpg  photo IMG_0773_zpsdh5ugzqu.jpg Yes, the butterbeer was deliiiiiiiiicious and yes we drank way too much.  photo IMG_0855_zpsneiocamb.jpg  photo IMG_0771_zpspkgfeygj.jpg  photo IMG_0774_zpshfxud51s.jpg The rest of the park wasn’t too shabby! We got SOAKED on Jurassic Park. There was not a dry spot on my jeans ha!  photo IMG_0775_zpsikp4l29z.jpgOne of the coolest things was the Universal Studio tour. It’s an hour long tour of the filming studios and sets, with lots of surprises and special effects! One unplanned surprise was getting to drive RIGHT by JJ Abrams who was doing an interview on one of the sets!!
 photo IMG_1031_zps9atx69jv.jpg Universal also had some pretty spectacular shows. Our favorite was the animal show! During which they brought out the most beautiful owls that were in some of the Harry Potter movies! photo IMG_1035_zps33ef9aur.jpgAnd while the rest of the park was awesome, we just kept coming back here…
 photo IMG_0851_zpsga7cr01i.jpg…and here. ( The Three Broomsticks)
 photo IMG_0853_zpsxwdcm3p4.jpg Can we talk about the Forbidden Journey ride for a second? Never have I been on anything just like it. Not only do you get to walk through Hogwarts castle while you wait, but you really feel like you’re flying all around the grounds, encountering all sorts of creatures along the way! It’s unreal!  photo IMG_0849_zpswjcek72v.jpg  photo IMG_0845_zpsgmp9c28w.jpg  photo IMG_0850_zpsou3dgyar.jpg Just breathtaking! ^^ photo IMG_0848_zps86lcflgt.jpg  photo IMG_0844_zps5dgkzzng.jpg It was such a magical day with my favorite people! photo IMG_1009_zpsacvcu7qt.jpgOn our way out of town, we stopped by Santa Monica Beach. June gloom was in full force, so us AZ folk were freezing. But no trip to the beach is ever wasted!!
 photo IMG_1032_zpstpzpwzzl.jpg  photo IMG_1029_zpswvy2cxpr.jpg  photo IMG_1019_zpsy3c9musm.jpg  photo IMG_0921_zps4sjnq7ac.jpgTill next time, Cali! Here’s a little video recap of our adventures:

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