Ripley's contest trip: Orlando and California! P1

Short throwback: DA and Ripley's (museum for super weird stuff, including art) organised this contest last year, where deviants had to make art in an odd way or with odd materials. Winner would fly to Orlando and LA to meet the Ripley team and visit one of the museums. That lucky bastard was me. Since I don't go to the US that often, the boyfriend (yes, he could come with me ) and I added a little three week holiday in California, driving around the country with a campervan. It was so awesome! This journal is waaaay too short to describe how awesome it was! but I'll try to summarise it. It's still a huge post. You have been warned. First couple of days were spent in Orlando, which is famous for its huge theme parks. What I didn't expect is that it looks like a theme park outside of the theme parks as well! You know, how all buildings in such parks look a little over the top? Add random ferris wheels and palm trees and you get what the area around our hotel looked like (I'll admit, it was the most touristic area of Orlando). And my goodness, the weather! the evil weather! It was >25 C (go ask google what that is in Freedomheit, I still don't get that temperature scale) and it was only the end of February! Those Orlandians (is that a word?) must all fall dead in summer. Day 1 was focused on visiting Ripley's HQ, which included a tour through their workshop and storage. Just... wow. I don't think I have seen so much awesomeness per square meter. Think of a huuuuuge Millennium Falcon made of matchsticks, bigger-than-life animals statues made of car tires, taxidermy animals with too many body parts, a Marilyn Monroe dress, meteorites, bone motorcycles and more wax heads/statues than I could count. Just wow. Ripley's makes those wax statues and costumes themselves, and after all that wowness of their pieces, we made something of our own: shrunken heads. Not real ones, obviously; we casted them, painted them, and gave them fancy hairdos. Super fun, I had such a great time!

Next day was something we added to the schedule: a visit to Universal Studios. Main reason: I'm a Harry Potter fan, and Universal Orlando has two big Harry Potter themed areas (Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley).

I'm a real witch now. I got a wand, and did some magic There are these special spots where something happens when you wave a wand in a certain way, you see. Like, a feather in a quill shop's window will start to fly upwards when you use 'wingardium leviosa'. There aren't even that many rides (but a lot of shops) but the way the place was decorated, especially the waiting lines, was just amazing. Though I'm glad I didn't go there on a busy day. It was crowded enough in certain areas already (especially at the not-so-spaciously-setup lockers, where you have to dump your backpack as it can't go with you on a ride). I'm now also addicted to the foam layer of butterbeer, which has this sweet caramel taste.

#travel #ripleys #deviantart #unitedstates #contest

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