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I am extremely behind in blogging. Like…a year behind. Do you know how many concerts that is?! No? Okay. Well me, either…
Anyway. Hi. Sorry I am the worst blogger on the planet.
I’ve gone to a ton of one off Matt shows in the past year, so here is a huge hodgepodge blog of them all. YAAAAY procrastination! We can call this throw back…year.
Let’s go back all the way to…
NOVEMBER 2015 (I told you I was way behind!)
I couldn’t even be sad that fall tour was over, because I had two shows within a week of tour ending.
So, just 4 days after the last show on tour, I was back in my car driving to San Francisco.
The first show was a really cool event called Story, Song, & Conversation with author Kelly Corrigan. I met up with a few of the girls, and we hug out in front of the venue before the show a bit just chatting.
After waiting a bajillion hours in line over the previous few weeks, it was nice to have a seated event (even though I prefer general admission 1000% more!)
We were let in, and the venue had this cool loft feel to it. We we treated to some snacks and alcoholic beverages, which were fancy as fuck. And free!
After not even an entire drink and I realized I was tipsy so I dumped the rest, we proceeded to our seats. There, we found a makeup bag full of full sized beauty products. Okay, I love this day already.
Then it got better. Matt and Kelly began the evening by talking about a topic (which 11 months later, totally eludes me, but it was GOOD.) Matt said a bunch of things which totally stabbed me in the heart, because I could 100% relate.
Then, they switched off between Matt playing a song, and Kelly reading short stories. She made me cry. (Sorry for the crap photos. They said none were allowed so I ninja’d these.)
After the show, we were outside saying goodbye to each other, when Matt does a 3 point turn in his car right in front of the venue. “Come to my house, I have gelato!” he jokingly yelled out the window. I shake my head at his ridiculousness.
6 days later, it was back in my car, this time back down south to San Diego for another Matt show.
This show was a benefit for Rob Machado’s foundation which puts clean drinking water into Southern California schools. Brett Dennen, Grouplove’s Andrew Wessen and Timmy Curran also played.
I drove down with Yvonne, and once we arrived to San Diego, we picked up Nina from her hotel. We wandered around downtown for a bit finding food and caffeine, and sat in line in the rain and got called “dedicated” by staff. Ha.
Jane showed up after work, and we all claimed our front row spots once doors opened.
This show was kinda weird, yet fun at the same time.
I thought it was going to be my last Matt show of the year, so when I drove home the next day, I was totally bummed out.
Turns out, Matt was headlining a show in Denver. And flights were only $39. So, needless to say, a bunch of us were crazy and decided to fly in.
Yvonne and I flew in the day before the show. When we arrived to Denver, Nina was there to pick us up, and we went off to find food. Because yes. Fat kids.
Jane flew in that night. Yvonne, Nina & Caroline went to see some band play in Denver. Jane and I played lazy kids, and just stayed at the house. But Nina’s husband is amazing, and he made us tea and popcorn.
The girls came back, I think I was asleep already, and we all settled in for bed.
The next morning we woke up and listened to Matt on the morning radio.
Then we wandered out for caffeine and fun. We went to Red Rocks because it was always on my bucket list, and even if I don’t ever see a show there, at least I can say I went there and climbed all the stairs. (And holy shit, were those some steep ass stairs, plus the air?! Dead.)
We then had lunch at Whole Foods, and then headed towards the venue. Amber and Beth had flown in and we met everyone for a light dinner and drinks before the concert began. Yay to the crew!
The show was really great, and when Matt spotted me, he had the whole surprised, excited look he always gets when he’s not expecting to see me. (He should always expect to see me at this point, haha.)
Afterwards, we headed back to Nina’s, and we all stayed awake for way too long talking, considering most of us were flying out at the butt crack of dawn the next morning.
Most of us had different flights, so Beth went with Nina, Caroline took Amber, and again, Nina’s husband is awesome, because he drove Yvonne, Jane, and I to the airport at like 6 in the morning. #besthusbandaward
Yvonne, Jane & I continued the trip to Portland. It was Jane’s birthday, and Matt had a show, and flights were only $39 to Portland as well, so why the hell not?!
When we landed we had a free day to spend in the city. So we did what we always do when in Portland: wandered around Powell’s for hours, ate donuts (we tried Blue Star donuts this time instead of Voodoo) and got me Dutch Bros Coffee.
When we were driving past a venue, Yvonne realized 21 Pilots was playing that evening, so she bought a ticket to their show and Jane and I dropped her off later that evening.
Jane and I then wandered around some random strip mall. Ended up in IKEA. I bought a rug. (Yes, I realized I was going to have to fly home with said rug, but I made it work.)
Jane and I picked up Yvonne when her show was over, and then we headed back to our hotel.
The next morning we breakfasted at the hotel and then we made our way out to wander some more. Made our way downtown to where the show was at. We met up with Leah, and then we went into the venue. Only…it was the venue next door, which was a HOCKEY GAME. WTF?! Why did our tickets scan?!
So we had to deal with getting our tickets unscanned, and then going into the CORRECT DOORS. Oh jeezus. Here for the picks, not for the pucks!
This show was fun. Civil Twilight, Matt, Michael Franti.
The following morning Yvonne and Jane dropped me off at the airport because I had an early flight home, and they were flying out later that afternoon/evening.
Turns out I was at the airport the same time as Matt (and a guy dressed as Santa Claus!) but sadly at different gates.
HA. He’s my favorite.
It wasn’t long before we saw Matt again, either. Luckily someone had backed out of Sketchfest, so Matt was added last minute. Yes, and yes.
Janet Varney was recording a podcast about awkward teenage years, and how things haven’t really changed since then. Other guest were Charles W. “Chuck” Bryant from the podcast Stuff You Should Know, and television/internet personality Veronica Belmont. Featuring music from Matt.
This started SOOO early though. Okay, noon. So you know we like to get to places early. So we parked out front around 10 and stared at the door, then decided to make a line around 11:20ish.
I was sleepy. But this was SO funny. The podcast lives somewhere online, and you should all find it and listen to it.
They had a strict no phone rule, so no photos from me, but here are some I stole off the SketchFest website.
And then we got another show a few weeks later. #spoiled
Matt was playing a show for the Superbowl, and this may have been the day I had MATT NATHANSON FAN written on my forehead, or something.
We got to the place where the show was that evening stupid early, because we heard it got crazy with all the superbowl fans. Yeah, it wasn’t crazy at all. Oh well. Better safe than sorry. At least I had Philz in hand.
We made ourselves comfortable in front of the stage, and this guy came up and asked if we were there for Matt. When we said yes, he asked “Can I interview you for the radio?” and Nina, Caroline, and Yvonne all say “NO” while I say, “YES!” haha. So the guy is asking questions, and is blown away when he asks how many times I’ve seen Matt. When he’s done, he said, “I’m airing this on the radio tomorrow!” (I didn’t listen so I have no clue if it actually aired or not.)
We were sitting and waiting around when this marching band came and literally stood 2 feet in front of us. It was SO LOUD. Don’t mind us sitting here. Just blow our ear drums out, that’s fine.
So then I’m interviewed for the second time of the day. What even?! And this actually made it onto TV. Hi, my name is Joslyn and I am a “Matt Nathanson fan” HAHAHA.
The newscaster asked me if Matt knew who I was, and I was like..oh yup. She came back out after the interview and she told me she asked him. Of course he said yes, and he also told her, “it’s weird when she isn’t at one of my shows.” Cute.
So then Matt came out and did a soundcheck, and they played Adrenaline full band for the first time. After he was finished he looked at me and gave me a look and a thumbs up to ask, “good?” and I probably had a dumb face cause SO good, and gave him the thumbs up back.
During his actual set, it started raining. So we had a poncho party!
And then there was Pet-a-Palooza.
Pet-a-palooza was a long day. Considering that “doors” opened at 10am and it was a general admission show, I drove part way and stayed in Walnut Creek the night before so I didn’t have to get up and drive 3 and a half hours at 5am. No one wants to deal with me when I have to get up that early. #grumpy
I had to drive through Davis, which meant one thing: DUTCH BROS COFFEE. And of course I got the one the size of my head, because caffeine was needed. I mean, look at how tired I was. Gross.
And of course, Jane, Yvonne and I were the first ones there. That’s how we roll. We hung out on the grass and chilled, and convinced Yvonne not to steal all the small dogs.
I was pretty stoked about this show because Ben Rector was also playing. I have seen him on 3 boats, and this show reminded me of how much I need to get to an actual show of his.
Matt had the flu this day, but he still trucked out to Sacramento and performed like nothing was wrong. He is just amazing, puking or not.
AND THEN THERE WAS SUMMER TOUR.
So. Many. Shows.
Which you’ll get blogs about, eventually. Maybe. Next year. HA.
Oh, and I’m not counting it as a Matt concert, but a few weeks ago he did this awesome thing at his library (YES. MATT IN A LIBRARY. BE STILL MY HEART.) and I don’t know where to put this other than this blog so here you go!
The event was called Photographic Memory. It’s a podcast where people come and discuss a song that has had some sort of impact on them, and what it means to them. And then they play the song on vinyl for everyone. It was cool. They posted that podcast somewhere on the internet as well, so you should find it.
I knew it’d like like 5 minutes of Matt, but I still drove up anyway because LIBRARY. Plus, I ubered on the way to and from SF, which more than paid my way there and I got Philz so…thanks for an excuse to drive to the city, drink my favorite coffee, go to a library, and get paid for it, Matt! 😉
So there you have it. A year in the life of a California and one off Matt shows!
*off to write the other 2 billion blog posts I’m behind*
YES! It’s my favorite time of year (December, because I love all things Christmas) but also the end of the year because I get to talk about what music I loved the most. So let’s get right into it, for the fifth straight year! Hooray.
5. Kelly Clarkson – Piece By Piece
I won’t lie. When this album first came out, I gave it a listen, was kinda “eh” about it, and then didn’t listen to it again until a few months later. When I came back to it, I was like “What is wrong with me, there are some amazing tracks on here!”
It’s not my favorite Kelly album (Breakaway and Stronger forever) but I think that’s because this album took a different approach than what her others have sounded like. But has any Kelly album ever sounded the same? No. And I love that about her.
4. Rachel Platten – Fight Song EP
I was waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting for Rachel’s album to come out all year. It kept getting pushed back further and further, and finally it had a release date: January 1, 2016. ARGH!
I still wanted to include the Fight Song EP on this year’s list though, because I listened to the EP a billion times on repeat and it is gold. If the rest of the album is as good as these tracks, you know that it’ll make 2016’s list (and there’s a duet with Andy Grammer and I am anticipating! Is it Friday yet?!)
Personal Favorite Tracks: Lone Ranger, Congratulations, Beating Me Up
3. Andy Grammer – Magazines or Novels (Deluxe)
Okay, this is kind of a total cheat because this was on my list last year as well. This time last year I had only had the album for a few short weeks though (oh what a difference a year and 19 shows later makes…) and the album got re-released a few weeks ago as a deluxe album with bonus tracks so…obviously it had to make the list, right?!
A year later, and my favorite songs are still my favorites, but the bonus songs are JAM!
You all know how much I love the Grammer, so I’ll just leave this as is. FAVE.
Personal Favorite Tracks: Back Home, Remind You, Kiss You Slow, Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah)
2. Lifehouse – Out Of The Wasteland
LIFEHOUSE IS BAAAACK!!!!
Out Of The Wasteland is a total comeback from their last release, Almeria, which did not go over with most fans and critics. There are multiple songs on this album that welcome back sounds from previous albums; most tracks make me reminisce to No Name Face (aka my favorite album of all time.) I watched an interview that Lifehouse did for Guitar Center and Jason had said that they had passed on some “radio friendly” tracks to really make sure they were creating an album with dept, and I am so happy with the outcome.
There were a few different versions of the album that were released (deluxe, Target addition, iTunes addition) which I ended up purchasing all three versions of for the additional bonus tracks (do it, worth every penny!)
I have been a fan of this band for half of my life, and this album just reminds me exactly why. Now, I’ll continue to patiently wait for a headlining US Tour for this album…
1. Matt Nathanson – Show Me Your Fangs
YOU GUYS. NEW MATT ALBUM.
So, there’s multiple reasons this is number one. 1. It’s Matt. Duh. 2. This album blows me away. Seriously. When it was first released back in October, I was so crazy about it I thought that it had bumped 2007’s Some Mad Hope out of first place of all time favorite Matt albums (I calmed down and realized that SMH will always be #1 in my heart, but this is pretty much like #1.25; that’s how much I love it.)
There are so many great tracks on this album, it’s hard to choose a favorite. With lines like, “I just wanna for once feel love, I just wanna be done with lonely” to “I’m done trying to fit in and be half forgiven for things that I never did” to “I won’t only love you when you’re winning” UGH MY HEART. The first time I heard Bill Murray I was sitting at my desk at work, and I was just CRYING my eyes out. And Disappear just pulls every single heart string.
I went to 16 shows on the Show Me Your Fangs Tour (blogs soon, I promise!) and the songs execute live so well. Favorite tour I’ve ever attended. Favorite dude ever. Favorite, favorite, favorite.
My friend Kelly was going to the show as well, and she is halfway along the drive to SF, so we decided to carpool it into the city together. We also both decided to also purchased the “VIP” upgrade, which allowed early entry, a performance of an acoustic song by the band, and a meet and greet.
When the band walked out, Nate saw me almost instantly and came over and grabbed my hand as they walked by. Which was basically like grabbing an icicle, because it was freezing outside that day. Sorry, Nate.
They performed “Overnight” acoustic, and then we were allowed to say hi and take pictures with the band.
A knew a few friends who went to Matt’s Chicago show. While having dinner, they “checked in” on Facebook, and I commented that I knew almost everyone together.
One friend commented back, “We just talked about you! We’re all going to the Nashville show, come!”
I jokingly looked at flights. Yeah, jokingly. Why were flights extremely cheap? Why did Nashville sound amazing? Why was I PURCHASING a flight?
So, a few weeks later, I was on a plane. To Tennessee. Three days after driving home from Arizona, and the day after Parachute in San Francisco. What the.
At least I got to fly out of the new SFO terminal. I may have had Pinkberry for breakfast, because at 7am it was the only thing that sounded appealing to me, and which didn’t cost an arm and a leg. Just an arm. Paired with a bottle of water I still forked out $9. Lame. But hello, pumpkin fro-yo.
I arrived in Nashville on a Friday night, and took a taxi to the hotel. My friend Amanda, and her friend Mark arrived a few hours later after driving in from Illinois and Michigan. I had spent my first few hours in Nashville alone. I may have caused a commotion in a Waffle House (ew) eating dinner solo, just because I was “pretty” and some crazy dude thought the waitress was paying more attention to me for it. Ummm…
Saturday morning we woke up and enjoyed free breakfast. Yes, this marked the third weekend in a row at a Holiday Inn Express. Yeah, buddy. Amanda’s friend who lives in Nashville joined us, and we had fun conversations.
Some really fun gals, Beth and Samantha, met up with us at our hotel after breakfast. We hung out for a bit, and then started to get ready for our day.
We headed over to the venue and met up with even more awesome people. Amber and Becky, what up! Some ladies I had met a few years prior at a Lifehouse & Matt show in Texas were there, too. It quickly became a large, fun group. We’ve dubbed everyone the “Nashville Crew”. They are honestly some of the best Matt fans out there, and I’m glad we all met! The funny thing about this entire group: none of us even LIVE in Tennessee! Talk about a dedicated group of Matt fans, huh? Or crazy. Hmmmm. I obviously came the furthest, so I still win the title of Queen Crazy Pants.
We got in line a few hours before doors, (which is so not like me) so we had awhile to wait around. Having a few hours to kill, we ended up with multiple inside jokes of totally random things that happened. Sushi dance! Meat Popsicle! Organic cleaning supplies! Don’t go around the corner alone! We ordered the pizza…no really, we did! You probably had to be there for any of those to be funny… OH, and John f’n Oates walked by us multiple times! Only in Nashville…
Eventually the doors opened, and we claimed our well deserved front row spots.
The show was amazing, as always.
Being the last show on this leg of the All Night Noise tour, both bands played well. Every show always felt like it was the first. I can’t believe how long you wait for tour to begin, and then how much more quickly its over! Waaah. The venue was PACKED (sold out, that’s my boy!) but Matt is really good at drawing you in to feel like he’s performing for you alone.
I had made a sign that said “hit me!” with an arrow after my face was abused by his pick throwing in Phoenix, that I thought was totally hilarious, but then I didn’t feel like being a jerk so it never quite left my bag. I think Matt felt guilty enough, so it’s cool. I think I gave him enough shit in Arizona 😉
Once the show was over (sad), I went to say what I thought would be goodbye to Scars on 45. Aimee was asking me where I was flying into the next day to go home and I told her SFO. I knew they had a show in San Francisco on Monday, so I asked when they were flying out. They told me they were flying the next morning, and I joked around that I’d probably see them in the airport. Danny jumped in,
“What are you flying?”
“US TOO! What time?”
“Layover in Denver?”
“Um…I guess we’re on the same flight. I’ll see you guys in the morning, then.”
Hahahaha. Only me. Only me…
Afterwards the Nashville Crew all hung for a bit in the parking lot, then we headed back to the hotel. I didn’t see a whole lot of Nashville, but that just means I need to get back out there ASAP for a proper visit!
Sunday morning I woke up to what felt like 4am. (Oh wait, it was daylight savings time, my body never adjusted to CST, and I still had West Coast brain…) and stumbled into the lobby for breakfast and as many ounces of coffee I could chug without burning my mouth. I groggily made my way back to the hotel room to wake up Amanda and Mark, who graciously took me to the airport so I wouldn’t have to pay $20 for a cab.
Inside the airport, I dodged Matt crew members because it was far too early to be seen, plus I don’t look all that cute at eight AM, plus I just needed a nap and was probably had my grouchy face on. Eventually saw the Scars kids. Glad to see I wasn’t the only one sans-makeup and “cozy pants.” Thanks, Aimee. Girl after my own heart.
I sat next to an older couple on the plane who sweetly held hands the entire flight. I’m pretty sure I want that to happen in my life. I wanted to squeeze them, they were so cute. They even recognized my text notification ring on my cell as Harry Potter. Squeeze!
During the layover, we didn’t have to deplane, and Danny came to talk to me for a moment as he walked the aisle. His accent is so adorable and I just wanted him to sit and talk to me forever. Oh, Brits. I love you.
Once in SF, I called Megan to come pick me up, and I went over to say goodbye to the band. I got multiple hugs and cheek kisses, and I’m sure I just had a goofy grin on my face when I was picked up.
A quick trip to Starbucks, then a two hour drive home, and I promptly threw myself into my bed and cuddled with my cat. The not knowing of when I’d see Matt or any of my crew next was sad, but I was sure glad to be home after 5 straight weekends of weddings and concerts!
Oh life. I wouldn’t change you for a thing.
The morning after San Diego I was supposed to go home. I woke up, and decided, “It’s Halloween. I have the next 2 days off. I don’t want to go home.” So…I drove to Phoenix for Matt’s show. I KNOW. I’m crazy. You don’t have to tell me!
The night before, in San Diego, I had met Leah. I may or may not have persuaded her to bring a friend and to come to the show, also. I have that affect on people. I’m easily everyone’s bad influence. Or best idea influencer. I’ll take either title. Winner.
San Diego to Phoenix is a little less than 5 hours. It was extremely hot, and I was extremely exhausted. Why didn’t I just go home? Insanity.
I eventually made it to Arizona, and it was over 90 degrees! In October! Friggin’ desert…
Luckily I had an extra dress packed, so I was able to keep cool. I met up with Leah and Alicia, and later Monica met up with us. Monica lives in Phoenix and was letting me crash her couch that night. It’s good having friends everywhere.
Sadly, it being Halloween and all, no one in either band dressed up. Well, Matt came out with a Elmo head on which lasted for half a song. It stayed on the stage for the remainder of his set and freaked me out by staring at me. I don’t do clowns or fuzzy things. Nope.
Now, onto what may be the most hilarious thing that has ever happened at a Matt Nathanson show…or painful?
After Matt rocked “Faster” he threw his guitar pick into the crowd. Into the crowd it flew…and hit me in the EYE. I was oblivious of flying pick headed towards my face, otherwise I would have ducked, or held my hands up for protection, or something to divert the sting of plastic!
When the band left the stage for the encore, it took them a really long time to come back out. Once they finally did, Matt almost slinked across the stage, with his back towards the crowd. He then turned around slowly and looked at me. He had this shocked looked on his face and then slowly pointed to his eye. Oh, he knew. I just nodded while giving him the stink eye.
After the show was over, Matt was doing his little m&g deal, so we stayed around to say hi. Or in my case, give him shit for nearly blinding me. 😉
While waiting in the forever long line, I finally met James. James plays keyboard for Matt. Obviously, I’ve been to a ton of shows since he started playing with Matt earlier in the year, so he knew who I was even though we’ve never talked. I had friends who even asked him at other shows if he knew me. Wow, that’s not embarrassing or anything. Ha. We’ve exchanged smiles and such from across the stage, but I guess our paths hadn’t crossed since that night. We chatted for a good while the line shortened. He’s a good kid. Hi, James! 🙂
When it was finally our turn to say hello to Matt, I let my girls go before me. Matt kept glancing at me while talking. I think he was scared. Hahaha.
When it was my turn to say hi, I just stood there with my arms crossed, giving him A LOOK.
“Come here, come here, come here, come here, come here” Matt says, arms opened.
I’m pretty sure he just walked up to me and embraced me, because I just stood there and didn’t budge. I was totally joking around, but as soon as his arms were around me, he just started blabbing. I was saying, “Matthew. After all I do for you; all the years I put in; all the miles I drive. You just go and throw shit at my face.”
While Matt’s going, “Oh my God. I didn’t even know I hit you. When we went back for the encore Shiben told me I missed hitting you in the face. Oh my god. I could have aimed at your face two hunded times and missed. I feel so bad!”
This is the most hilarious story ever. He hit me in the face and MISSED it? His band members had to tell him? No wonder he slinked back onstage!
“Did you get the pick at least?” he asked. Another funny story, we couldn’t find the pick after it hit me. (Leah found it in her purse a few days later. I guess it bounced off my face and into her bag.)
“NO. I think it disintegrated.”
“It’s just IN your fucking eye.”
“I’ll cry it out later, or something.”
Matt digs in his pocket and pulls out a pick.
“Here. I have a pick. I’ll hand it to you gently.”
Hahahaha. Oh Matthew. You are my favorite for a reason.
We said goodbye, and then we headed out in search for food. Food was side tracked, as we ended up talking to James outside the venue. I just remember the conversation being hilarious and totally random.”My front back. It’s connected to my lower back.” Um…don’t ask. You know if you know. We also planned the armor I should wear for the next show. HA.
While talking to Mr. Farrell, Matt walked past our group. I heard a sad sounding, “Joslyn…” I looked up, said “What up?” and Matt walks over while saying, “I just feel so bad I hit you in the FACE.” Buhahaha. Guilty, guilty conscience. We talked for a few more minutes, then actually headed out for food.
Monica took us to this 24 hour diner that was adorable. All I wanted was cheese fries, and by golly geez, I got ’em.
Alicia and I also may have embraced our inner child and played with hula hoops…
After dinner we parted ways with Leah and Alicia, and Monica and I headed to her house. I slept like a rock on her couch which I’m grateful for, seeing as I woke up the next morning with the dreaded 12 hour drive looming ahead of me. Oh, dear.
I seriously almost lost my shit driving home. After the eighth hour I was on my last straw. I started talking to myself. Like, legit conversations. I just wanted to be home and out of the car, and there was no other way to get there then to just drive.
Finally! my body screamed pulling into my parking spot, I was home in one piece. I promptly laid on the floor for an hour or so talking to friends that were at my apartment until I couldn’t keep my eye open any longer and crawled into bed. I don’t know how I went to work the next day. Or how just two days later I was back in my car…
A few months ago, I accomplished a goal on my bucket list: I visited Hogwarts. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, to be exact. I had been dying to go ever since it opened last summer, and on May 3, that day finally came!
HP is located in Universal Studios “Islands of Adventures” in Orlando, Florida. Along with HP, with your ticket price ($82) you get to go to other “lands” such as Dr. Seuss, Jurassic Park, & Marvel Comics. Stepping foot in, I knew I was headed straight towards Potter-land. (If I had a Nimbus 2000, I would have flown over the other lands to get there quicker.) I could hardly wait!
Halfway into the park, I could see the Hogwarts castle appearing in the distance. This is when it finally hit me. I WAS AT THE HARRY POTTER THEME PARK. I was with my friend Lisa, also a HP fan, who kept laughing at me because I was starting to make non-comprehensive words because I was so full of excitement.
Then, we turned a corner. “Oh my gosh. Are we here?” Lisa asked.
There, right in front of me, was the entrance. “Welcome to Hogsmeade” a sign read.
I am not ashamed to admit, that even though I am 26 years old, I cried.
Harry Potter was a huge part of my growing up years. I have been a fan for a decade of my life. I started reading the books when I was in high school, and continued reading until it ended, at age 22.
Now, years later, I still feel just as attached and mesmerized by them, as I was as a young teen. And here it was, something I had loved for so long, right in front of me.
I could LIVE it
TASTE it. Also a big fan of the movies, walking into the park is almost like stepping foot onto the set!
After gaining my composure, I nearly ran in. As soon as you step in, the Hogwarts Express is on your right in all of its glory. Zonko’s & Honeydukes greets you to your left, and as far as you can see (well, not really, HP is comparable to being the size of Toon Town in Disneyland) is the Hogsmeade village adorned in snow topped roofs.
Everything you could wish for in such a small space is there: Olivander’s Wand Shop, The Owl Post, Dervish & Banges, Hogs Heads Pub, The Three Broomsticks Tavern, (where you can order a glass of the famous butterbeer, frozen or regular: go for frozen!) And of course, probably the most important thing: Hogwarts Castle.
So, lets start with Hogwarts. Words cannot express how amazing it is. The ride inside the castle, “The Forbidden Journey” honestly makes you feel like a student on the grounds of the school. From Professor Sprout’s greenhouse, to The Dining Hall & the Sorting Hat, to Dumbledor’s office…walking through the line is an adventure itself. (Note: No cameras or bags are allowed on the ride, but you can take a “walking tour” of the castle if you want to take photos and not ride.)
The next ride I went on was “The Flight of the Hippogriff”. In line you walk through Hagrid’s garden (complete with his hut!) and there is a life-sized Hippogriff (you know, if Hippogriff’s were real…)
The ride is extrememly short (I feel like its a rollercoaster for the little-fans.) I still had fun.