When we booked our trip to the Florida Keys at the end of January, it was sort of a surprise. We didn’t think we were going at all (it’s a timeshare/family thing), and we found out we were going less than a month before we were to leave. I have been to the Keys and to Florida a bunch of times. My family drove down from New Jersey to Florida twice when my sister and I were little. As an adult, I’ve spent many a vacation there, as my best friend has family living there, so I have even driven around the state a time or two.
It didn’t occur to me how very far DisneyWorld was from Key West. I booked our flight to and from Fort Lauderdale, made car arrangements, wrapped up my work assignment, got suitcases from family and packed them, I had interviews and was looking at an apartment.. it was such a busy, busy time in life. In the back of my mind, I thought, “Maybe it would be really great to spend last night of our trip in Disney so that we could be close to the airport and wouldn’t have to make the crazy drive through the Keys in the middle of the night.”
I popped over to the Disney/Universal website to see what the second Saturday would have in store as far as special events. I fell in love with the Simpsons’ exhibit and thought the Harry Potter world looked awesome. Which is weird, because I had never read Harry Potter.
That’s right, I said it!
I am a major bookworm. I read, read, read all the time. I was thankful that the Book Club at work did not focus on popular modern literature. I actively avoid “what everyone is reading.” I never read the Hunger Games or Game of Thrones, never joined a discussion on any Oprah’s Book Club choices. I don’t know anything about Angela’s Ashes, or what Tuesdays with Morrie entailed. I certainly do not know what even one Shade of Gray is, nevermind all 50 of them.
I picked up the first Harry Potter book in my cousin’s room while I was babysitting a long time ago. Maybe 15 years ago? Everyone was reading this book on the subway and the train, and I was curious. I didn’t like it, especially because I remember the baby fussing (screaming!) a lot that night, and put it back on the shelf after scanning a few pages. I was certain it wasn’t for me and never even regretted my decision to just ignore this section of pop culture and not care that everyone knows about and bonds over something completely foreign to me.
I knew I was bringing a favorite hardcover of mine on our trip, but I also wanted a small, paperback “beach read.” Nothing looked good as I puttered around (and around) Barnes & Noble. In an act of strange coincidence, the first Harry Potter book was being displayed as a recommendation as I searched high and low in our local store mid-way through February. So, I bought it. I thought it would be fun to try and read it, especially if we were going to visit the “Wizarding World” of the young man.
Did you know that Disneyworld is almost 7 HOURS AWAY from Key West (and three hours away from the Fort Lauderdale airport)????? I didn’t. You could drive from one end of New Jersey to the other in about 3 and a half hours! How did I not know just how insanely big Florida is? Okay, well, never mind. We’ll go ride Dumbo another time.
While I am asking questions, did you know it is illegal to name your child Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Batman, Superman, etc in Mexico? Moreover, in a lot of countries (all besides America), they prevent parents from giving their kids any pejorative name at all, whether it is a famous character or would lead to bullying, or if it is the name of an object, or an animal, or anything that has the potential to lead to any kind or harassment.
As of this writing, I’ve read the first three books. Do not tell me what happens. I completely identify with Hermione, and am really enjoying it so far. I’ll wait until I’ve read them all to start watching the movies. I repeat, no spoilers!!!