Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A Visit to Hogsmeade

The Saturday before Halloween a town in our area hosted a Hogsmeade event. All the stores on the main street, and a few on the surrounding streets, became various locations from Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. They had a little passport for the kids to fill out, which meant they had to go into each and every store to get it stamped. A brilliant marketing move, since it meant lots and lots of people went into each and every store. Even if they didn't purchase anything, people now know what's available and can return when it's less crowded and crazy.

And make no mistake, it was very crowded and crazy. It took us 45 minutes to go about a mile to enter town and get to the parking area. If we go again, we'll go right at the beginning in an effort to avoid the crowds. We went to most of the stores, but missed Ollivander's and Honeyduke's because the lines were hours long. It was also hot and we were wearing long robes- there was no way I was standing around in line for an hour or two, sweating, while trying to keep the kiddos happy. Everything else was fun, though :)

super bright afternoon sun made it hard to take good pictures, but check out the Owl Post window!

an inflatable dragon on top of Gringotts :)

aren't the store signs great? 
I didn't get pictures of all of them, but there was definitely effort put into them

There were lots of Hogwarts students, but there were a few costumes that stood out. Ocean and I were one of those- we got so many comments about how awesome we looked and requests to take our picture. Honestly, it was super-gratifying :) Jen from Epbot has talked about similar feelings. (if you've never checked out her site, you really should!) She and her husband make elaborate costumes and wear them at cons. If any cons are ever held in our area I'd love to go in costume.

Moaning Myrtle had a hard time not smiling :)

this Dobby had such a great costume! and her parents were with her as Prof Trelawney and Prof Slughorn (I think- he had a trail of batting from his head to the tip of his wand, catching a memory)

I thought this was a creative way of making a Knight Bus

this Deatheater's scarf even has skulls on it (though she had to be sweltering in that outfit)

The lawn outside a church became the cemetery where the Potter's were buried

and we ran into the ghosts of the four founders of Hogwarts in that same cemetery
(they requested a picture with us!)

the library fittingly transformed into Flourish and Blotts

where we also found Gilderoy Lockhart

who naturally wanted a picture with us- just like Harry :)
the picture on the front of his book actually moved!

Lockhart was doing a reading, but we left- Ocean's face shows how thrilled he wasn't. We were all hot and tired, so we headed home. It was a fun experience, though, and coincided very nicely with this year's costumes.

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