Hogwarts’ Owl

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…waiting for my reply.

Photo by Elisabeth Crisp, taken in San Antonio, TX with an iPhone 6. Filtered using Snapseed.


HP Marathon

HP Marathon1HP Marathon2Spring break. The time to sleep in, eat junk food, and binge on Harry Potter movies.

Coco begs at the beginning of every school vacation for a Harry Potter marathon. She’s always wanted to watch all eight movies back-to-back without sleep. No sleep makes all of us supreme grouches. I’m way past all-nighters, especially the self-inflicted kind, but my teenagers are persistent.

We started Saturday night with movies one, two, and three. At the end of Azkaban, Coco was the only one awake. She hates the fourth movie because Cedric dies. She wasn’t up to watching that all alone, so at one in the morning, she turned it off.

We were back in front of the television on Sunday afternoon with four, five, and six. Leaving seven, the film I call “Let’s Go Camping” and eight, for Monday. I love that we’re all watching in the same room. With individual phones and computers, that doesn’t happen as often as it used to. And I love that we can all quote the dialogue, sometimes in unison. Cherry’s rendition of Ron Weasley’s howler is classic.

Notice in the photo above, even the dog watches Harry Potter.

How did you spend your spring break?

Day 6: The Wand Chooses the Wizard

**Several weeks ago, my family visited Walt Disney World and Universal Studio’s Islands of Adventure. I started blogging the trip, but after a few days of a less than stellar internet connection, I put the posts on hold. Now that we’re home, I’m alternating them with regular blog posts.

HarryPotter11At Universal Studio’s Islands of Adventure, better known as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, we gawked at a snow-covered Hogsmead, glowing in the 90° Florida sun. The replication of the movie set was nothing short of amazing. Well, except for Ollivander’s Wand Shop. Every Potterphile knows Ollivander’s is in London’s Diagon Alley. A cast member informed us that Ollivander had a branch store in the Hogwarts outpost. You know. In case a student lost a wand or needed to repair a unicorn hair core. The girls nodded politely. Cherry, a walking Wikipedia of Potter-lore, bit her tongue and got in the queue. We weren’t sure what we were in line for, but after two days at Disney World, we’d learned not to evaluate. It’s better to charge ahead than to spend all day debating the ride.

When it was our turn, a cast member took forty of us into a dark room and shut the door. Minutes later, we were greeted by Ollivander.


Dirty, old, and according to Coco, “A little creepy.” Ollivander was a real man wearing a latex facial appendage and lit in a dim theatrical style, not a robotic Jack Sparrow like in the Magic Kingdom’s Pirates of the Caribbean.

We all know the scene. Heck. I can do it word-for-word. Harry’s experience in the wand shop. Ollivander looked over his audience before he walked up to Coco and asked her age.

“Twelve,” she said.

I couldn’t believe my ears.

“Perfect,” he said.

The first wand was made of oak with a phoenix feather core. Coco waved it and killed a potted plant.

The second was willow. Flexibly beautiful and oh-so-appropriate. Every audience member sighed. With a wave of Coco’s hand, the wind blew and thunder crashed.

“Put it down. Carefully.”

Then, came the famous line.

“I wonder . . .”

The winner was made of ash. The core, dragonheart string.

“Point the wand, and repeat after me. Lumos.”


A gentle light halo-ed all around.

Ollivander predicted Coco would be a great healer of the wizarding world. Then she was ushered through a door by the old geezer’s assistant, a little scary for Mom and Dad. We were reunited in the gift shop a few minutes later where we were informed we could buy the wand for $32.50.

Bacon forked over the cash, and more for a wand for Cherry–also made of ash, but with a phoenix feather core. Like Harry’s. What can I say? They had us at the door. The wand chooses the wizard.

That’s right. Bacon is wearing a Slytherin cap. What can I say? Like Meekakitty, I fell for a bad boy.