In case you were wondering why I had back to back TRAVEL EDITION Friday Favorites, I've spent the last two weekends traveling! :) As I explained in a previous post, travel is one of the ways I have always dealt with difficult times.
I learned the term "fernweh" a few years ago and it has always stuck with me. It so perfectly describes my nearly desperate need to travel and see other places. Describing it as a homesickness for places you've never been is PERFECT!
Lucky for me, I have many amazing friends that have a similar view. I still owe a Miami post, but the back to back weekends in Orlando and Boston prove too tempting for description! What a dichotomy of cities!!! Today, we will visit THE MOST MAGICAL PLACE ON EARTH (as the flight attendants kept telling everyone).
My friend Jess and I planned the trip to Orlando, as we are both Harry Potter nerds and wanted to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. As a bonus, I got to see my friends Stephanie and Brandon (and their adorable baby Jake!) who call Eustis, Florida home. Jess is basically the personification of the word FERNWEH. Her travel schedule is always impressive! She prioritizes travel (And responsible saving for travel!) in a way I envy deeply.
But I digress, Orlando. Orlando is some of the best people watching in the world. Throw in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and its a weekend of almost overwhelming proportions. The fast pass at Universal is 100% worth it, by the way. Jess and I spent much less time waiting in line, more time in the rides. It left us a lot of time to observe. Orlando is hot, muggy, and new. Every time I visit Orlando (which is a fair amount, due to Steph being there!), I am always in awe of how much new construction there is going on. This time, Jess and I spent a ton of time marveling at the sheer level of detail and planning that goes into a place like Universal Studios.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is incredible - even if you aren't a fan of the books (which if you aren't, we need to have a long talk about why you hate fun). The attention to detail was astounding. Jess and I kept finding ourselves mouth agape at the incredible thought put into each aspect of the World. We drank our delicious butterbeer and rode the rides and were insanely happy.
We went to a super hip restaurant called Apothecary (not on purpose, but totally fit the theme of Wizarding World of Harry Potter!) that had a cool speakeasy vibe. You entered through a secret door that looked like an elevator.
This is the essence of Orlando - building something with insane attention to detail that looks old in a totally new facility. Apothecary is in a strip mall!
We also checked out the Disney Food and Wine Festival at Epcot. Like Universal, the way Disney has made miniature cities and countries in Epcot is astounding. Probably my favorite part was the Food Lab where they had the science of champagne!
Orlando - basically it is a brand new town that has a gazillion mini places within it. The city is creating its own history and continually reinvents itself. Even the hurricane that managed to ravage Orlando didn't cause it to close its doors. In fact, Disney opened their hotel to many people that were without water and power!
Next up... Boston. Til then, XO C