Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Visiting Hogwarts

My last couple of days in England were marked by, what for them, was a lot of snow. Just like in the US, when snow hits places that usually don't get snow, it shuts the place down.
My plans for Saturday were to attend a quilt guild meeting and lecture by UK quilt artist, Barbara Weeks. I was really bummed when the meeting was cancelled due to the snow and ice because Barbara Weeks does some really interesting modern art quilts. I like her work because the quilting is really what makes the pieces work. As the saying goes 'the quilting makes the quilt' and it really does with her pieces. I can't get the link button to work on this ipad app, so if you'd like to see her work, just google 'Barbara Weeks, quilter'. She has a great gallery feature that shows all of her work by year.
Luckily on Friday Matt and I got to our adventure for the day prior to the snow starting. We went to the Warner Brothers studio where all of the Harry Potter movies were filmed! Anne told me "You and Matt are going to the Harry Potter thing, I'm going to work." She's not a fan.
Matt and I had a really lovely time. It's so interesting to see the props, the special effects and all the work and detail that went into the movies. They even had the dying Dobby there. It was the animatronic Dobby in his blood stained tea towel. So sad, and so real looking! They also had the giant Aragog spider hanging from the ceiling. I got out of that room fast. Between the model Dementor and Aragog, I have chills just thinking about them!
Matt and I had Butter Beer at the concession stand. It was awesome. It was like a cream soda with butterscotch in it. The foam on top was like whipped butterscotch, yum!
By the time we got to the outside area, it was really snowing. I have to say though, that it added to the feeling of being there because in the movies, the Hogwarts bridge and Potter cottage are in snowy winter scenes. We had to hurry through the last few exhibits because Anne had called and said they sent everyone home because of the snow. We could have easily spent a few more hours there taking it all in.
The second to last room was the model of Hogwarts that they used for overall aerial shots. It stopped us both in our tracks. It's really impressive in person. After the castle they send you through the inside of Olivander's Wand Shop. There are 17,000 wand boxes, and they are all hand lettered with people's names. The girl in that room pointed out some of the actor's and film maker's names on the boxes.
And finally, just like Disney, they dump you in the gift shop, where I found Hogwarts parchment and a Gryfindor sealing wax set for DiscoJen's daughter! She is going to be over the moon about them!
I won't bother naming the photos, if you've seen the movies and read the books, you know what they are. If you haven't you don't really care! Plus I totally have to get to bed because I'm going to go skiing tomorrow! I haven't really skied in about 20 years, other than a trip to a hill 2 years ago where I spent the whole time falling down. I'm going to take lessons again tomorrow though. Wish me luck!


Jason Meiner said...

You went to Hogwarts and didn't get a wand?

Julie said...

The dementor looks less scary when you can see the string holding him up.