Thoughts from a tree

typed – 654/42607
nanowrimo avg words needed – 8333/35000 – Not Met / MET
personal goal – ?

Unsurprisingly, I have not had much time in the last five days to work on this. Hopefully I’ll have a few hours to get some work in today and tomorrow; I’ll also have all of monday and tuesday of next week to finish, if needed. I’m not sure what to set my personal goal for at this point; with 9 days left, if I average 822 each day, that would be enough to finish on time. Some days will be busier than others though…

We went to the Universal Studios – Islands of Adventure theme park on Friday – which contains a new Harry Potter section; it was pretty cool! We spent almost all of our time in the Harry Potter area, but we bought annual passes (FL residents get a big discount) so that we can go back several times and see everything else later. The last time I had gone to Universal (or Disney – they’re both in Orlando), I was pretty young. I don’t think they even had “rides” back then at Universal, and it was only one park (2 now); I think it was just a bunch of “behind the scenes” kind of shows. I remember watching the Indiana Jones live-action show several times because it was one of the more entertaining things available. Also, for some reason, my family kept getting picked as volunteers at all the things we went to. For instance, my brother and I got to ride the “Honey, I shrunk the kids” bee, with a blue screen setup, and I got chosen both to eat slime and get slimed in the Nickelodeon section. For those who know my eating habits, no, I did not know what I was volunteering for, but none of it tasted very bad, some of it was just colored applesauce; I “gifted” the getting slimed honor to my brother, whose birthday it was. Nowadays, there are lots of roller-coasters and other types of rides and I didn’t see any of the “behind the scenes” kind of thing I expected, although it might still exist in the other Universal park, which is the original one. In HP-land, there was a pretty cool ride that combined movie screens and animatronics to show you all the exciting bits of the HP world: doing stuff like dodging a dragon and running away from giant spiders (who also spit on you). I think there were 3 rides total, and 2 short shows; most of the rest of the HP section was spent on shops. They emulated several stores and restaurants from Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade and have all kinds of HP items that you can buy, including wands, extendable ears, the monster book of magic (animated), and school robes. Since I’m low on money, the shops didn’t thrill me quite as much as they might have otherwise, but it was still fun to walk through and look at things.

Visiting the HP park put us in the right mindframe (at least, that was the theory) to watch the latest movie that night (opening night) at the Universal IMAX theatre. I was pretty happy about the movie; there are always things you wish they hadn’t skipped or glossed over, but it seemed really good overall. It ends right after they escape from the Malfoy mansion, which is father than I expected, but not by much. They make the whole wandering-around-being-miserable parts go by fairly quickly, which is good, and they still manage to get the *mood* across enough that you understand *why* Ron leaves and stuff like that. There is a dancing scene I think they could have skipped, but ah well…I look forward to the next/final movie!

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