We left from Bradley International Airport early Friday morning. On the way, a motorbike overtakes us, and Vernon I complain about them. Harry Jackson explains that he had a dream about a flying motorbike, and
Vernon I snappily reminds him that motorbikes do not fly…
“You’re the weak one. And you’ll never know love, or friendship. And I feel sorry for you.” –Harry Potter Seeing friends for the first time in months is not something that can be explained easily. It is not something to be taken lightly either, because the time you get to spend with the people that mean the most to you comes and goes quicker as you get older, sadly we don’t often tell people how we feel. I was excited for Steph to be able to see Ashley again, I was elated to see Trevor, but I was more excited to have Jax meet two more amazing friends with who he can grow up with, even if it is from the other side of the country.
“Yeah, Mum’s always wishing we had a house-elf to do the ironing,” said George. “But all we’ve got is a lousy old ghoul in the attic and gnomes all over the garden. House-elves come with big old manors and castles and places like that; you wouldn’t catch one in our house. . . .” –George Weasley So arrival at Ash and Trav’s new house was a sight for sore eyes after three hours in the air (two hours and 45 minutes of which were spent occupying a baby) and another 45 minutes in the car with a hungry baby. It was literally a whirlwind of bags, clothes, diapers, bottles, presents and drinks. Brand new house + a one and a half year old + a new born + a seven month old + four adults = Absolute craziness! The mama’s hugged and Trav and I carried in 756 lbs of luggage (for three days mind you) and the children made messes- balls from the ball pit where flying everywhere! I’m not sure who felt worse… Ash and Trav who’s brand new house was being transformed into a day care facility or us trying to keep the house as clean as we found it… sure could have used a house elf!
“And now they’re calling you ‘the Chosen One’ – well, come on, can’t you see why people are fascinated by you?” -Hermione Granger Something interesting occurred on Thursday… Somehow, someway, Travis and I become the primary care givers of three little humans. The mama’s walked slowly behind as we wheeled 3/5 of a basketball team through the streets of Lake Worth. People slowly formed rows on the side of the street to watch two of the manliest, most handsome men saunter down Main Street pushing Britax finest. The “ohhhs” and “ahhhhs” were deafening. I heard whispers of, “How could these two roman gods have such a sensitive side?” There was even a shout of, “You guys are bringing sexy back!” My response… “No we’re not… IT NEVER LEFT!”
“Ahem — just a few more words now that we are all fed and watered. I have a few start-of-term notices to give you. I must tell you that this year, the third-floor corridor on the right-hand side is out of bounds to everyone who does not wish to die a very painful death” –Albus Dumbledore Here’s the thing about vacations… when you are single they are tiring and event filled… when you are married with no kids they are relaxing… when you have a little one with you on vacation you don’t sleep… you move from one activity to the next without thinking and you squeeze in some food and maybe a nap if you’re lucky somewhere in your day. From parades, to friends, to take out, to in-laws, to avoiding being eaten by swamp creatures, crocodiles and wild “ebberts” in the backyard… this vacation was a sleep-free trip and we loved every second of it!
“Three up…two across…” Diagon Alley was waiting for us just behind the brick wall. Diagon Alley spread out before us. Everywhere you looked was something familiar. Jackson “wished he had eight more eyes…. There were shops selling robes, shops selling telescopes and strange silver instruments Jackson had never seen before, windows stacked with barrels of bat spleens and eels’ eyes, tottering piles of spell books, quills, and rolls of parchment, potion bottles, globes of the moon….” A quick stop at the leaky cauldron for some Butterbeer and a traditional British lunch was first (is a chicken sandwich a traditional British lunch?).
Although Muggle devices do not work in the magical world, we were able to (with the help of a charm from a nice witch outside of Flourish and Blotts) communicate through text messaging. I assume this was probably a normal conversation during Vold… Volde… He Who Must Not Be Named’s reign:
A wrong turn took us down Knockturn Alley… according to Hagrid this is not a place anyone wants to visit, “Skulkin’ around Knockturn Alley, I dunno — dodgy place.” We wound up passing a few shady looking wizards and found ourselves in Borgin and Burkes. As we walked by an antique looking cabinet we heard a bird chirping… quite an odd sound for such a dark and gloomy place… Luckily, however, we were able to make it out alive to continue our journey.
After barely surviving Knockturn Alley and a fly by attack from some Cornish Pixies we were on our way! …and by the way, I don’t care what you say… professor Lockhart was right… “Freshly caught Cornish Pixies Jackson, Pixies can be very mischievous, devilish blighters!”
In order to reach our final destination of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry we needed to make quick stop at Gringotts to replenish our sickles and knots. As we approached the bank was “Towering over the other shops” and etched plainly into the silver doors were the words:
Enter, stranger, but take heed
Of what awaits the sin of greed,
For those who take, but do not earn,
Must pay most dearly in their turn.
So if you seek beneath our floors
A treasure that was never yours,
Thief, you have been warned, beware
Of finding more than treasure there.
The trip in and through Gringotts was marked by goblins hard at work until an appearance by Voldemort and Bellatrix almost brought our family trip to a screeching hault. Luckily we were able to ride safely though vaults and out of the bank by a dragon which was ridden by The trio (surprising to see them in Orlando considering they are supposed to be filming elsewhere…) But none-the-less, thank the (dark) lord we made it out alive, because I hadn’t set my fantasy football line-up for the weekend yet.
With our pockets full of wizard money we made our way to King’s Cross Station with a quick stop at the Muggle entrance to the Ministry of Magic (62442).
The steam from the great Hogwarts Express billowed in the distance as we entered the platform. “Funny way to get to a wizards’ school, the train. Magic carpets all got punctures, do they?” -Vernon Dursley.
“Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” -JK Rowling