|Sardines. I brought my blanket because |
I hide so well I had time for a nap.
Again. A very late post, but now I am finally catching up.
The last several weeks at uni were filled with birthday parties, club disasters, colds, and homework. Probably the most exciting thing was when I vacuumed my room and realized my carpet was more blue than brown. What a revelation! To be honest, the only reason I vacuumed was because Mom was staying with me one night in halls. If she wasn't coming, I probably would have done it eventually... Maybe. Not.
A couple days later, it was time to go meet Mother in London. Yay! Mumsey! I met her at the bus station and we went to meet my previous CouchSurfing hosts Claudine and Paul for a tasty Korean dinner. It was so good! Paul always knows the best places for food. Claudine even invited Mom to CouchSurf with her when she returned to London and Mom did, but anyway, after eating and great conversation, Mom and I headed off to our hotel (at 1 AM) and after much calamity, we made it to our rooms and delved into dreamland.
|Hey look. I found my Haggis/Black Pudding picture.|
Insert excited shrieks here:
WE WERE GOING TO HARRY POTTER STUDIOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm sorry but there is literally NO WAY I can hide my excitement. I should also mention how awesome my mother is for buying these tickets. And me a VIP pass. I don't know where to begin. I'm scrambling for things to say.
|HOGWARTS. I can't look. I just can't. Too emotional.|
I think I will try and add an album especially of Harry Potter pictures to this post, but I'm not quite sure how to so I'll fiddle around with it later.
I figured out how to do it. Click here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/67735967@N08/
To start off the tour, my mom bought me a Ravenclaw jacket because it was kind of cold and also because I am a Ravenclaw (take the test via pottermore.com in Chapter 7 part 2).
The tour started with the cupboard-under-the-stairs and led into a room with movie posters and another room with a movie about how HP impacted the world. Then there were these HUGE doors from the movie that led into the Great Hall! I can't go on. I have to take a break before I keep writing about this. I'm going to write the end of the post first because I am getting way too emotional. In fact I may make you Google it. Breathe. I shall return after a while.
Hello. It is five days later. I can’t tell you details on here, but I saw SO MUCH. There was the Gryffindor Common Room, The Potion’s Classroom, The Burrow, Dumbledore’s Office, The Ministry of Magic, Umbridge's Office, Privet Drive, the Potter House, Diagon Alley, and a huge scale model of Hogwarts. All of these are in the pictures. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take a look. It’s beautiful. The woman at the check in desk said the tour would last about three hours; I took six…
|Gross pizza. Beans and corn. SERIOUSLY ENGLAND?!|
WHY ARE YOU SO WEIRD?!
At this point, I should tell you that we were planning on going the day after, but for some reason, that was the only day that was completely booked months in advance. Now we know why. The next day in the news I saw that the Royals, several actors from Harry Potter, several others who worked on the films, and JK FREAKING ROWLING VISITED THE STUDIO. WHAT THE ACTUAL TRUCK?!?!!? That’s some bullshit right there. The only thing that makes this okay is the fact that I’d probably not have paid as much attention to the actual tour as I did if they were there the whole time. But still. DAG BLAST IT!
At the souvenir shop, I bought Laura a Crookshanks teddy as promised. This wasn't easy though. I went through the whole dang store and there wasn't a single one until I went back to where I started and somehow there was miraculously ONE left. Crazy stuff. So I bought that and in addition to the jacket Mom had bought earlier, she also bought me a box of Bertie Bott's Every-Flavour Beans and a Ravenclaw keychain. I wanted to go insane and buy a lot, but I was good and didn't. Sadly though, this meant it was time to go.
|That fluff on her legs is Crookshanks. And hey.|
After that amazingly and utterly perfect day, Mother and I managed to make it to the correct buses necessary to take us to Birmingham! If you follow my blog regularly, you know this is a miracle. I took Mom up to my room to deposit her things and then swiftly introduced her to as many people as I could find about. Laura came back to my room with me where I promptly gave her the Pistol Pete shirt Mom brought and forced her to try it on. Super cute. With that sorted, Laura and I forced Mom to take the Pottermore test an discovered that she, like Laura, is a Hufflepuff! (I knew it. I mean come on. So did you). Immediately after she was sorted, Mom fell asleep while Laura and I delved into My Bertie Bott's Every-Flavour Beans. "They mean every flavor." Seriously. There were some normal flavors as well as Black Pepper, Bogey, Dirt, Earwax, Earthworm, Grass, Soap, Sausage, Vomit, and Rotten Egg. I tried them all, and all of them tasted like what they said. Vomit and Rotten Egg were by far the worst, but the others sucked as well. If I am in a generous mood, I will post the expressions that went with each flavor. I mean really. I didn't know my face contorted this way. So after we each tried every flavor, we heard Max outside and casually offered him a Rotten Egg bean which he chewed several times while speaking to us before he paused and said, “WHAT THE bleep did you FEED me?!” This moment is recorded. Score.
|Don't cry! This blog took so long you're actually with me now!|
As Lara and I were about to put away the beans, someone *cough*(KRIS)*cough* set off the fire alarm and woke up Mom who then bolted out of bed like a wild animal. I was terrified. She was scary. We proceeded downstairs with the others and then finally went back in and fell asleep.
|Free flowers. BAM.|
The next day, the three of us headed into town to meet up with Linda, Laura’s mother, only to find out she wouldn't be joining us due to a friend being in the hospital. Linda was upset to miss my mom, but we all agreed that she should totes stay with her buddy. After a nice, ridiculously spicy salad, it was time to walk Mom to the bus station. She kept it together until it was time to load her bags, at which point she burst into tears and Laura almost did too. It did suck she was in Birmingham less than 24 hours, but what can you do? Mom left and ended up CouchSurfing with Claudine in London the night before her flight and then made it safely back to the US. I however, was not safe. It was finals time. UGH. I don’t even want to talk about it. What’s important is that I got it all done and have now finally caught up on my sleep.
The semester was winding down and people slowly began leaving and heading back home. We had a few going away parties, a failed barbecue an awesome rave, and I got free flowers from Tesco. On the last bar night, we watched Rocky Horror and I ripped Laura’s underwear. I’ll not elaborate on that one.
A few days before we moved out, it was Loni’s birthday and graduation, so Laura and I made an awesome (if I do say so myself) video and sent it to her as a gift.
Yeah! Cool video, right? What? You didn't watch it? Well watch it you cretin. Seriously. People these days…
|Titus Andronicus was pretty much Sweeney Todd with stubble.|
Flash forward a few days. It’s time to move out of halls and into Laura’s house. Can I just say, her family welcomed me like their own and I love them like they are? I can? Good because fabuloso, me gusta, oui oui. (Side note, oui oui sounds like wee wee. Snigger.) I stayed for about a week, traveling to Stratford-Upon-Avon twice to see Hamlet one night and Titus Andronicus the next. Hamlet was meh, but TA was BRILLIANT. My new favorite Shakespeare. And Linda and Wayne (Laura’s parents), the dears, picked me up both nights. Way too good to me. The point is that family is fantastic. Even Thomas seemed to like me and talked to me quite a bit before Laura told me not to talk back. The pets, Alfie, Maisy, and Jess enjoyed my company too as my clothes sported their fur like a badge of friendship.
|Ello Poppet. Will you date me? No because |
I don't date toothless, mangy pirates. Duh.
Two completely off topic side notes: We were in the park when some kids heard my American accent and then began taunting me by yelling “Twin Towers” at me. The little bastards. And also, I had twitter interactions with Nolan Gould (Luke Dunphee from Modern Family), Harry Shum Jr. (Mike Chang from Glee), Chris Lankin (Percy Weasley from Harry Potter), and Lee Arenberg (Ello Poppet from Pirates of the Caribbean). Score. Lee even follows me back and chats with me through direct message. Yeah. I know you don’t care, but I felt like bragging a bit so shove off.
|Farewell Newman UK. It was real.|
When my 2 month Eurail pass finally arrived (thanks Mom), I headed off to England a day late. I missed my bus (fifth time now) and stayed an extra night with Laura watching The Breakfast Club, The Hunger Games, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. All great films I have to say. But the next day, I actually made it to my bus early and the early bus to London let me ride with them. This bus had WiFi. Oh hhhheck yes. WiFi and Huck Finn. Good trip. That night, I stayed with Paul and Claudine again and Paul made a lovely dinner and I brought dessert. It was a short stay, though, because the next morning I was off to Brussels on another WiFi bus! Also, buses fit in trains that go under the English channel. Who knew!?
Stay tuned for my Brussels, Stuttgart, and Munich adventures with the family in a couple days!
Russell Merlot x