Harry Potter and the Apple of My Molars

I visited Harry Potter World last week.  Actually, I know it’s not called Harry Potter World, but I’m 29 now, so I’m too old to be bothered with remembering the real name of the subsection of the Universal Studios park dedicated to the Boy Who Lived.

But because my visit to the park was too fun to put into one post, I’m going to break it down for you.  Today’s post is about Harry and the Apple of My Molars.  Yes, I’m talking about Honeydukes, which of course is in no way sells health food such as apples, but candy is the “apple of my eye” and …. (pfft shrrrmp, something something) — I have a sweet tooth.  So that’s what you get.  Whatever.  Logic is not necessary in blog post titles.  Don’t act like it is.

So anyway.  Honeydukes is basically the Willy Wonka retail outlet of the Wizarding World.  And by that, I mean it has some uh-maze-ing noms.

The turquoise really makes the jars pop
The turquoise really makes the jars pop

 

I've always wanted a pink princess spiral staircase to nowhere
I’ve always wanted a pink princess spiral staircase to nowhere
The storefront
The storefront, which is art in itself.

If you’ve never had Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans, I highly recommend them as an experience.  I first had them over a decade ago when my husband and I started dating.  [Wow, that really makes me sound old, but I swear I’m not even eligible for social security yet.]  They give you a picture list of the types of beans, much like the Jelly Belly Beans, sort of like a National Audubon Society for jelly beans.  I readily ate them all, even the booger, dirt, and grass (I’m pretty sure I have never had a vomit-flavored one– despite the listing on the bean inventory), and none of them taste that bad.  Except for the pepper.  They really get ya on the black pepper.  Beware!

Bertie gets his own window
Bertie gets his own window
They clearly don't even care about presentation.  *eyeroll*
They clearly don’t even care about presentation. *eyeroll*
I'm sure there's at least one vomit-flavored bean in every box -- they are huge
I’m sure there’s at least one vomit-flavored bean in every box — they are huge
They also have the classic chocolate frogs, complete with a card inside
They also have the classic chocolate frogs, complete with a card inside

And they have a few of the less-common candies as well.  Things that are not as sugarcoated as the Every Flavour Beans and chocolate frogs:

Jumping Snakes.   Something tells me they're not joking.
Jumping Snakes. Something tells me they’re not joking.  Notice my lovely hand model.
U-No-Poo.  Um.  Yep.  That's what you think it is.  Like Immodium candy.
U-No-Poo. Um. Yep. That’s what you think it is. Like Imodium candy.
Treacle
Fizzing Whizzbies.  Always a favorite in the books.
Exploding Bon Bons.  Guaranteed to cause  Monty Python-type explosion in the comfort of your home.
Exploding Bon Bons. Guaranteed to cause Monty Python-type explosion in the comfort of your home.

You don’t have to change out your money at Honeydukes (they graciously take American dollars), but it might be something cool to think about in the future.  Are you listening, Universal?

Sickles Only.
Sickles Only.

The cashier at Honeydukes asked us about our day, and we started chatting.  She said that one of the strangest reactions she had ever seen in the store happened the week prior, when a teenager opened her chocolate frog and started crying.  (Out of fear?  Sadness?  Lactose intolerance?  Supreme happiness?)  Supreme happiness it was.  I feel ya, random teenager.  Life is rough.  Honeydukes makes everything a little better.

 

The Interstellar Donut Shop and the Polar Vortex

It’s funny the things you think about when you’re young — things that don’t even catch your eye as you get older.  Until one day they do, and you remember how enamored you were with that one thing so many years ago.  

I was driving home tonight, and despite the polar vortex, the sky was very clear.  It was so blue.  I could see a small, solitary light in the sky.  From the distance, it was hard to tell if it was moving at all, so it might have been a star, or a plane — or an interstellar donut shop (which would definitely have a logo with a bright pink glazed donut, complete with sprinkles).  Under the lights of the city, it’s hard to see much in the sky at all.  But where I grew up, there were stars for miles.  All you could see were stars.  There were no lights to drown them out.  

So in the days of yore, when I would see a plane flying overhead, I would always wonder what it could be — and wonder if it really was a plane, or a UFO carrying aliens from Mars, or maybe it was a shooting star (because those were always on TV and I never saw one to know how fast it would shoot)… And until today I kind of forgot those were the things I would think about… 

Now other things occupy our minds, like weekend plans, work, our families, the latest episode of Downton Abbey.  Are any of those as important as the interstellar baked goods?  Probably, but maybe not — maybe for a minute we need that small moment of wonder, especially in the bleak, banal moments of the January commute.  

*** 

This is what it looked like near my house today for the rest of you outside the Vortex:

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Pretty beautiful, and pretty frigid — I had negative digits on my car thermometer for the first time ever.

My pipes actually froze under my house, so I was under it with a hair dryer thawing them out (kudos to Vidal Sassoon), which resulted in a valve burst and subsequent replacement.  Adventures in homeownership!

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I was pretty dirty,  but it was surprisingly warm under the house.  Not something I want to repeat anytime soon, though!

 

So I’m ready for the summer thaw– the polar bears can keep their Vortex.  

How cold was it where you were today?  Any harrowing moments of near frostbite?