Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Hello Harry Potter

Today I experienced something that any Harry Potter fan would die to do.
(you will have to keep reading to find out what! how's that for an intro?)

Our day started off with Blenheim Palace. It's this huge palace in Oxfordshire, and Winston Churchill was born there. Many famous Dukes have also lived there. Just outside of the palace, there were beautiful fountains and extended grounds with a river. We took a nice little stroll around the grounds after our tour of the palace.

they made us wear our backpacks like this so we wouldn't turn and knock things over. We were very good mamas for a few short hours. I also learned how to "skinny" pose today, but I will spare you the pictures.

I forget how amazing these sights truly are because I see fabulous things every day! It was a gorgeous palace though.

Then we headed off to Oxford! Oxford is actually a small town, and the University of Oxford is within it. It was really different than I imagined it. Oxford is broken up into dozens of little colleges scattered along the town. Oxford has been in use by scholars since the 11th century, so many of the colleges are really old. It is an exciting town though, and I've never been anywhere like it before. It was cool to see college students there and to realize the similarities and differences between us and them.
Right when we got there, we walked around until we found an Oxford store. I bought an authentic Oxford crew neck sweater, and I feel very smart in it. We walked around some more, and we found this little college where some of Harry Potter was filmed (that's not the exciting part, just wait). We saw the hall where Gringotts was filmed.

my intelligent sweater

Then we went to the Covered Gardens, and we got milkshakes from Moo Moo's, the best milkshake place in England. They had every imaginable kind of milkshake, including all types of British chocolate. I got a kinder Bueno milkshake. Best milkshake ever! We also found where love began...the original Ben's cookies.

After a few hours, we met up with the whole group at Christ's Church College of Oxford. The manager of the place was this really nice mormon guy, and he gave us a tour of the whole place. He informed us there was much to learn about the college besides Harry Potter facts.

But lets get real, what's cooler than Harry Potter facts?! Does anybody recognize this place from the Harry Potter films? Various scenes from Harry Potter were filmed at this college in Oxford.

But do you want to know what's even cooler than Harry Potter facts?

Having high tea in the Great Hall! Yes, the Great Hall from the movie. I drank hot chocolate and ate little sandwiches where Harry Potter drank and ate. And Ron and Ginny. I saw the Professor's table where Dumbledore, Hagrid, and McGonagall sat. It was life-changing. We felt like VIPS because we were the only ones there! Some other tourists came in and took some pictures, but they weren't allowed to have tea. I think my professor just had a sweet connection with our tour guide and was able to arrange that for us. I have never heard of ANYONE ever getting to do that. Other study abroads have gone to that same spot, but I don't think we were allowed to drink high tea there. All was missing was the pumpkin juice and treacle tarts. It was a memory that I will never forget!

We had lots of fun pretending like we were students who went to Hogwarts, especially with Anna's stick wand.

Then a master's student from Oxford came and answered questions for us. She graduated from BYU, and she told us about her experiences. Then we got on the bus and came home! What a wonderful day.

Now we're sitting in the classroom watching Harry Potter 1! I just saw this same staircase today that's on the movie (it's at the beginning right before the sorting hat gives them a house). The movie is also the legit version of Harry Potter. It's called Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone instead of the Sorcerer's Stone (the name was changed later on).

I'm so happy to be living my dreams!! Life is so great. Thanks to everyone who makes my life feel like a dream.

"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live"
-Albus Dumbledore


  1. jenny.. i am so jealous of you! haha you look like you are having so much fun! and harry potter? that is soooo cool!

  2. What goes better with Harry Potter than a gorgeous American having high tea at Hogwarts?! Love your blog!