Posts Tagged 'Chicago'

Report on the Harry Potter Exhibit in Chicago

As I said in the previous post, I just moved back to Iowa after living in the Chicago suburbs for a year and a half.  So what did I do during my first weekend back in Iowa………….I went back to Chicago of course!!!

I went to say one last goodbye to my co-workers (full of lots of tears) and also to go to the Harry Potter exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry.  Abby and I bought our tickets ages ago, so I wasn’t going to miss this no matter how tired I was from moving.

Well, the one really disappointing part of the exhibit was that I was not allowed to take pictures.  I had a mini hissy fit when I saw the giant sign proclaiming that there was no photography.  I had promised a lot of people (including my fellow nerdgirls) that I would take pictures so that they could see what it was like, but alas, I failed them.  I honestly can’t think of any reason why we weren’t allowed to take photos except that they wanted to move us through the exhibit pretty fast.  Here is a site that does have a lot of pictures because Leaky is special and can do whatever they want.  There is also a very detailed description of the exhibit here.

After that tremendous downfall, I really did enjoy the exhibit.  The beginning part is pretty cheesy, so be prepared.  All of the staff members talk in varying degrees of fake British accents and give somewhat painful pep talks to the crowds waiting to cram inside.  But after the initial cheesiness, the awesomeness begins.

The only pic we could take because it was outside the exhibit.

The only pic we could take because it was outside the exhibit.

You are ushered into a room with video screens that show clips from all six movies (that’s right, I said six).  The montages are great and the music swells at just the right time and it totally gave me goosebumps.  Then the doors fly open and you are standing right in front of the Hogwarts Express.  That’s when I knew that I was going to be in for something great.

The exhibit itself is very “look but don’t touch,” but that was fine by me.  It is composed of costumes and props from all of the movies.  Some of the highlights include Yule Ball attire of all the major characters (hello screaming Twilight fans!), Ron’s trunk from school, Kreacher, Buckbeak, Umbridge’s office, and Oliver Wood’s quidditch robes (oh how I miss him).  There were three interactive parts of the tour.  You could shoot a quaffle, pull up a screaming mandrake, or sit in Hagrid’s chair (very uncomfortable).

I loved looking at all of the different props, but especially the costumes.  It was just really cool thinking that I was standing feet away from something that Alan Rickman or Emma Thompson had worn.  And yes, I know that makes me a giant nerd, but I don’t care.

I would recommend going to the exhibit for anyone who loves the movies because the rest of the museum is so awesome that it is completely worth the price of the ticket.  The exhibit doesn’t take very long, but make sure you allow a whole day to explore the rest of the museum.  But I will say that the exhibit is ONLY about the movies…….if someone is a fan of the books and hasn’t seen the movies, it probably wouldn’t mean much to them.

So if you are going to be in Chicago from now to September you should go and check it out.  We bought our tickets way early, but they were still selling tickets for it that morning, so I don’t think you have to worry about it selling out.


One Year Anniversary!

Well, Tuesday was my official one year anniversary of living in Illinois.  I seriously didn’t know if I would make it this long, so I am really proud of myself.  A part of me feels like this year has lasted forever, but another part of me feels like it has gone by so fast.

I remember a year ago when my parents’ car pulled out of the parking lot and I was all alone in my apartment for the first time.  I think I cried for like two whole hours.  I still feel homesick a lot and miss Iowa like crazy (the milk here just doesn’t taste the same), but I have settled in pretty well.  A lot of that has to do with how awesome my co-workers are.  Whatever anyone says about my library, it does attract some exceptionally cool people as employees.

I thought I would come up with little list of some of the things I have done in the past year.  Most of them are completely useless facts, but this is what I could come up with off the top of my head.

-I’ve been to the city 7 times

-I’ve been to one Cubs game (they won 6-1!!)

-I survived a police blockade

-I went home at least 10 times (I was too lazy to actually count)

-I went to the Sandwich Fair twice (unfortunately, it is not a fair all about sandwiches)

-I’ve been to Woodfield Mall 5 times and IKEA twice (which is hilarious because they are both literally right next to my apartment…I can actually see IKEA from the parking lot)

-I’ve ridden in a cab 5 times (twice all by myself!!)

-I played Whirlyball and didn’t die

Though not an overly impressive list, I am pretty proud of the fact that I didn’t run screaming back to Iowa after the first week.  So, happy anniversary to me!  I don’t know how many more there will be after this, but I am just taking it one day at a time.

P.S.  I am planning a blog about a book I just read that is now one of my favorite books of all time.  Here is the book trailer for a little tease.  I was going to do a video blog about it tonight but the dogs upstairs are barking and I haven’t washed my hair, so maybe tomorrow.


Additional Pop vs. Soda discussion

Ok, so in reference to Lindsay’s discussion on Jinx–Here is a super cool, interesting, fascinating map on who in the country says pop/soda/coke/other (I originally saw this on Mental Floss like a year ago, and I probably think about it once a week–it is that relevant)

Pop rules

Go Here to see @ full size.

Notice how Iowa is solidly pop country, except for a tiny little area of soda–which I’m guessing is Iowa City. This really amuses me. And I really don’t get the coke section of the country–what do they think pop is? Kleenex?

My first experiences with this whole pop vs. soda thing occurred during family vacations when I was in fifth grade. The first was a trip to Washington, D.C. where we were staying with my mom’s cousins (who had the cutest little poodles; I watched Space Jam with them). I was asked if I wanted a soda–what? They were speaking gibberish. Then later, at a restaurant in Baltimore, I asked the waitress what kinds of pop they had. “Oh! Are you all from the midwest? I haven’t heard anyone ask for pop in forever!” (we learned that she was from the midwest–and herself a pop drinker.) A few months later, I found myself on the other side of the country sitting in front of Old Faithful while some teenagers behind me thought their awful Chicago accents were hilarious: “Yo, can I get me a soda-pop?” “hahaha” “Why do they say soda-pop, so weird.” um, soda-pop?? Have they been to Chicago? If I had been a more confident 11 year old I would have calmly turned around and said “Why excuse me, I would like to correct your misconception of the people of Chicago and the Midwest. We do not say soda-pop–that is silly–we say Pop. I accept your apology, and would suggest that you actually partake in the pleasure of visiting the wonderful city of Chicago, since by your inaccurate portrayal of Chicagoans, I can safely assume you have never been.” I didn’t say that though; I just fumed over my confusion. Where did this soda issue come from??!! Was I just deaf for the first eleven years of my life?!! Because I had been out of the Midwest many times; I had lived even lived a year in California! BUT I HAD NEVER HEARD ANYONE REFER TO POP AS SODA BEFORE! Yes, I love Welch’s Grape Soda, but soda is part of the name, not what it is–Grape soda is pop. Pop just sounds so much more bubbly and friendly. Of course since these vacations I have heard soda thrown out everywhere. Some of my friends have even converted to it–to my utter dismay (Sheila, I’m scowling at you! in a best friend sort of way). And sometimes I even hear “would you like a soda?” spoken in a voice that eerily sounds like mine. Soda is like a disease that I must resist! Viva la POP! yum, cherry coke.


Adventures in Spice World

zigazaga!  Here is Amber, Lindsay and Sheila’s amazingly fabulous Spice Girls concert experience–GIRL POWER: