The Weekend of Themes 

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Well – obviously Monday was insane – because it’s Tuesday and I’m just now getting around to this… Any who – onward to the recapping of the past weekend; because it was filled with things and almost all those things were themed!

Also – prepare yourself for picture overload – because I took just a few…

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Friday night – the sunset was breathtaking; I mean, there is no filter on that picture and would you look at the colors? Before the spectacular sunset, I joined my parents for dinner at a new Mexican restaurant that; no kidding, had a salsa bar! The food was delicious and what’s not to love about being able to go pick and choose from fourteen different kinds of salsa? I mean – it obviously takes very little to please me, ha-ha!

We made a stop into Lowe’s (because who doesn’t love Lowe’s on a Friday night, right?) and I had to pose dramatically with all the Halloween blow-ups…ha! I helped Watson perfect his selfie taking skills and we watched Wonder Woman – still such an excellent movie, just as good as it was in the theater!

Saturday was the beginning of all things themed – we headed to Staunton; a small town that’s about an hour and fifteen minutes from our home for the Queen City Potter Party. The event came about in 2016 as a celebration of the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child; two friends who own businesses in the town recalled the parties that used to take place when a new Potter book would be released and wanted to recreate some of that “magic” in their town. Well – it’s safe to say they succeeded!

Staunton is the perfect place for the Potter Party – the town is built on the side of a hill, the streets curve and twist between storefronts that have been around for at least a century (the town was first settled in 1732) and I feel certain even without hundreds of little witches and wizards wandering the streets, the town would have a magic all it’s own. After finding parking, we made our way over to the train station to glimpse the “Hogwarts Express”, peer over the train tracks from atop the bridge and get our tickets for the train, before perusing some of the shops alongside the railroad…

We stopped in at a quilting shop that had all sorts of fantastic beasts (if you will) that had been felted by hand; rows of owls, dragons, Dobbys, golden snitches and freshly caught Cornish pixies! They also had mugs that were made by a local potter that were emblazoned with the phrase “Always” and I was informed as I was checking out that this would be the last set of mugs that could use the word Potter; next year the festival cannot use that magical name. *sigh* The festival will still be magical, I’m sure!

There were so many people at the festival that by the time we thought about lunch at 12:30, every restaurant had at least an hour wait. We put our names on a list, grabbed a buzzer and headed for Hogsmeade (the main street) to peruse some shops while we waited. We passed Hagrid as we made our way toward the street; pink umbrella in hand, wandering off to…no doubt…care for some magical creature he had. We perused Borgin & Burkes (a candle & home decor shop) and Flourish & Blotts (a book store, naturally) before spying the sign outside Florean Fortescue’s saying they were sold out of Butterbeer…

People were being sorted here and there…posters were pasted to the door lintels offering rewards for the capture of certain dark witches and wizards and there were even an abundance of Hogwarts letters “floating” above the entrance to one store. Magical I tell you – magical! I met and posed for a picture with Gilderoy Lockhart, who assured me I had no need to be nervous…although everyone was always nervous meeting him, ha-ha! I also met Dumbledore and McGonagall and finally received my Hogwarts letter, complete with a list of books I’d need. McGonagall immediately knew me as a Hufflepuff (I wore my House colors y’all) and also spied my owl earrings and asked if I’d been to the Owlery yet. Love!

Our buzzer squawked then and so we headed back to have a late lunch at the Be-Stro (very yummy)! One of the waiters was dressed as an escaped Azkaban prisoner and after mentioning I needed a picture…my Dad disappeared “to the bathroom” and on his return was smirking…because he’d found the guy and asked him to come take a picture with me. *blush* After our photo session, we found our car and made a quick stop at Honeydukes (a local bakery) for some treats before heading on our way. I found the Mirror of Erised outside Honeydukes and snapped a picture…and we also caught a golden snitch while we waited in line! What are the odds?

Also – I have no clue what either of us are doing in the picture I got with the escaped prisoner. Awkward or what?

We decided to take Skyline Drive through the mountains on our way home – the leaves haven’t quite started to turn yet, but the views were gorgeous nonetheless. We stopped about halfway through the drive to have blackberry ice cream and enjoy the cooler weather at the top of the mountain before grabbing some chicken to take home for dinner. We watched a pretty dismal Mississippi State football game and of course, ate some of our cupcakes from Honeydukes!

Our cupcakes were: a Mandrake cupcake (remember HP & the Chamber of Secrets?), a Butterbeer cupcake and a House cupcake…complete with a wee sorting hat! And they were all delicious!

Sunday morning afforded plenty of time to sip coffee and just relax; I even managed to get in watching the new episode of Outlander before I had to get ready to meet some friends for brunch! Not just any old brunch; mind you, I did say this weekend was filled with themes! We headed to a local pub called Union Jack for a Game of Thrones themed brunch – three hours of food, drinks and all things Game of Thrones!

Union Jack always has amazing food and nothing about the brunch disappointed on that level! Everyone was allotted a starter, an entree and a dessert…and you could have as many make your own bloody mary’s or mimosas as you wanted! I decided to make my starter the Casterly “Red” Rock Bisque (tomato bisque), my entree was Hot Pie’s Pigeon Pie (chicken pot pie) and my dessert was The Wall French Toast (duh guys…) It was all so good! The soup and pot pie had the absolute best flavor and the french toast…oh my goodness! If only I could have that every day! (I may or may not have embellished on the names a bit – they needed a wee bit of naming help…)

The first season of Game of Thrones was playing on the big screen and we discussed all sorts of things – surprisingly – not all related to Game of Thrones; although a lot of the conversation did revolve around that. Surprising – right? There was a long table down the middle decorated to theme and it had fresh fruits and fruit juices and all the mix-ins for your mimosa or bloody mary – definitely a new experience! I made my first mimosa with peach juice, strawberries and blueberries and my second with cranberry juice and pineapples! Both were yummy…but the cranberry might have been my favorite!

Some other dishes tried in our group of four included a Bowl of Brown (french onion soup) and the Arbor Red Poached Pear Salad…Danielle dove into The Steak that was Promised as her meal and we managed to sample all the desserts – Jennie got Sansa’s Lemon Scones and Danielle got the Wolves Last Cake. Everything was delicious and I have never been so full in all my life!

I struggled not to take a nap when I got home…ha-ha…I was so full and satisfied! I dug deep and found some inner desire to clean my bathroom and dust my house while watching the Nationals win their game in NY. I finished out the evening having dinner on the deck with my Mom and then visiting with some friends before the evening was over!

Weekends always pass too quickly but I love knowing that I can look back on this themed weekend with so many wonderful memories!

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