When we got our tax returns back, since Kyle was fixing up his motorcycle, I decided to treat myself to something special as well. I chose to go to the Warner Bros. Studio, home of the Harry Potter Experience in Watford, Leavesden just north of London. For 10 years, this place essentially served as "home" to the entire Harry Potter cast and crew. I don't want to give too much away (because you really have to see the tour for yourself-and I suggest the audio tour narrated by Tom Felton), but you get to see all the props, costumes, and set pieces used in the films. You learn about the green screen effects, learn closely guarded secrets about filming and the design sequences, and see places like The Burrow (home of the Weasley's), Diagon Alley, Umbridge's office, the Ministry of Magic sets, and Dumbledore's office for example. Below are HUNDREDS of pictures that I took while there. But pictures can't even begin to reveal the magic. I only wish you could touch the items, sit on the beds, try on the costumes, all that tactile stuff. But the conservationist in me knows that's irresponsible. I'm not going to lie, it was pretty difficult not to cry at various points. I've read the books since the beginning: 1997. I was 10 years old. 16 years later, I'm still just as in love with the books and films as I was originally. It might be lame to most people, but there's just something about living through an experience like this that just stays with you.
P.S Ignore the awkward faces I make and forgive some of the blurry pictures. It's difficult to take good photos when you have literally thousands of people pushing around you and bumping into you.