Natalie’s Trip to Florida!

I started writing this MONTHS ago but was so frantic and busy between school and work that I never had enough time to get it fully fleshed out until now! Thank goodness for summer breaks off from school.

I’m super excited for this post and I wanted to make sure I had the time to get it out, and so much has been going on that I haven’t really had much of an opportunity to give it the attention it deserves. But here it is, with all its pic-spammy glory!

Over the course of my blog, I’ve mentioned a few times that I am currently, and have been since I was about 15, part of an online community of some fabulous women. While the core values, the members and the content of the groups and communities have changed over the decade that it has existed in its various incarnations, a handful of really awesome ladies have kept in touch and have stayed connected.

Among these women is my awesome friend Natalie, who has been more supportive and a better friend to me over our ten years of knowing each other online than some of the people I have known for even as long in person. She’s been there for ups and downs, trials and tribulations, emergencies and excited exclamations of good or bad news. We share daily minutia, funny stories, Sims mods and fandoms  – namely, our deep adoration of Harry Potter, and she’s actually the one that recommended Veronica Mars to me — I am now proud to identify as a true Marshmallow through and through — while I begged her into loving all things Buffy.

With the expansion of the newest addition to Universal Studios, Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley, Natalie decided she had to finally come visit and we spent months looking forward to the trip! We have an extra bedroom in our apartment and Nick and I took time off of work to make sure we could do as much as possible during her visit.

We spent our first day playing with puppies, shopping at the mall (my new purse holds ALL THE THINGS!) and having dinner with another friend of ours and her husband — Daphne and J used to live in Canada near Natalie, but they moved down to Florida and it was a lot of fun getting together – I’m so glad we could all coordinate it during the visit! 😀

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Our next day was spent at the theme park! I was so excited to introduce Natalie to Butterbeer, Ollivander’s Wand Shop (and Gregorovitch’s, too!), the rides and all the fun details they put into the park. I hadn’t yet been to Diagon Alley, so we started there and it was SO COOL!

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We also visited the little Simpsons section of the theme park, which they’ve added to since I last went and it’s pretty great and has so many true-to-the-show stuff that it blows my mind!

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WHOO! So many pictures!!! 😀 I think some of those are actually from the second day at the theme parks too! We spent two days (one at Universal and one at Islands of Adventure) visiting the theme parks and Harry Potter Land(s), and then we spent a day recuperating in the apartment watching the Buffy series finale and the Veronica Mars movie – tears were shed and many lines were quoted!

It was so much fun having her here! We usually get to fangirl about things online or through text/chat/email, but to be able to do it in person was extra special and I wish we could do the whole trip again! Oh, maybe it could end on a better note though – being the accident prone asshole that I am, as we were leaving to drive Natalie to the airport on her last morning with us, I fell down some stairs and nearly broke my elbow! How is that for a final “thank you for coming, please visit again soon!”? 😄

Natalie will be one of my  bridesmaids for my wedding next January (along with  a few other girls mentioned in my blog – announcement will be posted eventually, I am so far behind on events and posts it isn’t even funny!) and I can’t wait to see her again!

PS – You can check out Natalie’s blog, The Tasty Hallows, here! It’s food and Harry Potter themed! 😀

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