Monday, December 31, 2018

The Wizarding World


Diagon Alley is just as incredible as Hogsmeade.  It's definitely worth it to have the park-to-park passes to see both sides, especially because you can ride Escape From Gringott's on the Diagon Alley side.

The first thing we did when exiting King's Cross Station was to dial the Ministry of Magic from the phone booth to listen to the recorded message.  Then we visited Stan Shunpike at the Knight Bus!

After that, we entered Diagon Alley!  You can look down the street of shops to Gringott's at the end, with the dragon on top.  And every 10 minutes or so the dragon breathes fire; if you're standing close enough, you feel the heat from it.

Inside Gringott's, as you enter the ride
 We ate brunch at the Leaky Cauldron, where we ran into a bit of an issue when we found out that they weren't able to accommodate my food allergies... with anything but a very large plate of grapes.

Jamie and the kids had an amazing breakfast, and I had... a lot of grapes.
We went into all of the stores, including Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, which looks straight out of the films.

More on the parks, including The Wizarding World, in future posts!

Trish signature for blog

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Our Celebration Trip

To celebrate the end of my active treatment, we wanted to do something pretty big, so we decided to take a trip  - to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!  I'm a big Harry Potter fan, as is Gisèle.  Miles is really starting to get into it, too, and Jamie is tolerant of our obsession.

We paid for so many medical bills with our Southwest card this year that our points covered free flights for all 4 of us, and we found a combo deal for the hotel and tickets since we were going in the winter time.  We took the first half of Thanksgiving week, Friday - Tuesday, for our trip, which gave us 3 whole days at the park.

Miles hand-lettered a sign to hang so we'd see it as soon as we got home.

We stayed at the Cabana Bay Resort on Universal property, and really liked it there.  The hallways are the longest hallways I've ever seen, though, so if they ask if you want to be near the lobby, say yes.  (My "no, thank you" is the one thing I regretted about the hotel.)  They even have a Starbucks in the lobby which was really nice for a pick-me-up on the way to the park each morning as we caught the free shuttle.

Our first glimpse of The Wizarding World was Hogsmeade, and it was truly magical.  Staying at Cabana Bay gave us early access to the park, so we were able to get in before it got too crowded.  I snapped a picture of the kids right after they got their first glimpse of Hogsmeade, and Jamie got one of me.

It really does look exactly like the movies; the details are incredible.  I didn't get many pictures of the shop windows because the pictures would have been full of people's reflections, but the windows, especially, are amazing.

We went inside Ollivander's (there's a small one in Hogsmeade; the larger one is in Diagon Alley) and watched Ollivander choose a girl from the crowd and go through the wand selection ceremony.  The effects were really fun!

The first glimpse of Hogwarts itself almost made me teary.  We had beautiful weather, so the castle was framed by a clear blue sky.  You actually go inside the castle for one of the rides (The Forbidden Journey) and get to see some of the classrooms, Dumbledore's office, etc.

Since we had park-to-park passes, we were able to take the Hogwarts Express over to Diagon Alley in the next park.

(to be continued...)

Trish signature for blog

Thursday, December 27, 2018

One Year

Yesterday was one year.

One year since diagnosis.

A year ago yesterday, I was at Methodist in Katy having a mammogram and ultrasound done, and then a biopsy of my breast and lymph nodes, because the doctor there thought it best to get it done immediately after seeing the results of the scans.

Jamie and the kids were at the cats' yearly vet appointment, and I was texting Jamie about what was going on, crying while apologizing for letting him know over a text.

The "official" call from my doctor came on the 28th, but I knew on the 26th.

As the 26th grew closer this year, I had more and more anxiety, which is unusual for me.  It took me some time to realize why, but when I did, it made sense - December 26th was the first anniversary of anything to do with all of the terrible cancer stuff I had been dealing with.  December 26th was when it all started.  The mass/lump/firmness in my breast had been felt earlier, but my doctor wasn't worried about it, so I hadn't really been, either.  December 26th was it.

We decided that we needed to have family time this year, since last year was filled with pain, loneliness, anxiety, and fear.  So this year, we started off by taking the cats to the vet all together, then we shopped for our first nice dining set (our Christmas present for each other), had a wonderful sushi lunch, and some quiet time at home together.

It was a very different December 26th from last year, and I spent the day reflecting on how incredibly blessed I am, and how grateful I am to be alive and here with my family.

God is good.  All the time.

Trish signature for blog

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Done and Recovering

I can't believe it's been 2 months since I last blogged.

I finished radiation on October 19th, just before Jamie's birthday.  My radiation team was incredible, and there were some teary eyes when I rang the bell.

My skin held up really well, and I just have a little residual discoloration left at this point.  Now I'm working on regaining my strength and stamina, and finding my new "normal."

I have monthly Lupron shots and daily exemestane/Aromasin pills that have put me into early menopause.  (This is necessary since my cancer feeds on hormones.)  Menopause comes with its own issues, including achy joints and arthritis.  I'm working out a few times a week at the Y, which has helped some, and which makes me feel better overall.  I joined the LiveStrong program, free for cancer survivors.  Through the program, I have a free 12 week membership to the Y and am in a small group led by a personal trainer.  We meet twice a week to work out, and I'm getting the opportunity to try the different machines and classes at the facility, which makes it all seem less intimidating.

Our family celebrated the end of my active treatment by taking a big trip to a place I've wanted to go for a long time - The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal in Florida!  That will be its own post, though, because I have a lot of pictures.  For now, here's one to show you how much my hair has grown!

Trish signature for blog

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...