I can't remember the first time I heard that Portland is just like Austin—I just remember rolling my eyes. Psh, what? How could any other city even compare to my beloved ATX? Then when I discovered their slogan was the same as ours, I knew I had no other choice but to go and see for myself. I can now confirm that, yes, we are twin cities at heart (in regards to culture). Hipsters, funky thrift shops, coffee, craft beer, beards, tattoos, public art, people asking if their pizza is gluten-free, or waiting way too long in line for donuts... There were so many times I'd catch myself thinking, That's so Austin. It felt like home.
I first went to Harry Potter World back in 2011, and it genuinely took my breath away! I remember thinking, They'll never be able to top this. Then a short while later it was announced that they would be expanding the park into Diagon Alley, so now you have to buy two separate tickets if you want to go to both parks; those clever jerks. My favorite part about these HP theme parks is seeing both kids and adults sporting what House they believe they belong in; we may each identify differently, but together we're all just a bunch of Harry Potter obsessed geeks—my kinda people, basically. Anyway, Diagon Alley was amazing (as I knew it would be); here are the photos that don't do it justice.