|Hogwarts Castle, from down in Hogsmeade Village|
The first thing we did in Hogsmeade Village was try the Butterbeer and the Pumpkin juice. Pumpkin juice tastes like liquid pumpkin pie and is delicious. The Butterbeer is reminiscent of cream soda with more buttery than vanilla flavor and a creamy, mustache making foam. Mmmmm.
The second thing on our list was Ollivander's, making fine wands since 382 BC. They herd you in a group of 20 or so and we all had the expectation that everyone would get a chance to have a wand "choose the wizard" but this was not the case. Only two people were chosen and then we were shuffled into Dervish and Banges in order to choose our own wands. The store was packed with folks buying entire outfits of robes, scarves, wands and other HP paraphernalia. The boys were a bit disappointed after waiting so long in line but Ollivander was kind enough to pose for a photo.
|The entrance to The Three Broomsticks (look carefully for a triangle of brooms over the door)|
|Looking up, in The Three Broomsticks|
|My menfolk around their food|
|The Feast: salad, chicken, ribs, roasted potatoes, carrots, broccoli, and corn.|
|At the beginning of the Forbidden Journey|
|The porch of The Three Broomsticks|
|Wands at the ready, Hogwarts in the background|
We spent some time wandering in the Hogsmeade shops and trying to warm up in the sun. Honeydukes Sweet Shop and Zonkos Joke Shop are well worth the experience. #1 bought Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans (he deemed the sausage flavour the worst) and #2 purchased a Chocolate Frog. Both were ridiculously overpriced but they had allowance money burning holes in their pockets so what can you do? By this time we had exhausted all that Harry Potter had to offer so we decided to check out the rest of the park.
The best part of the rest was definitely the Marvel Superhero Area. It looks like a cartoon version of Gotham. #2 got to meet some of his favorite Superheroes. Cyclops told #2 that he wanted to be him because he gets to travel the country in an RV. That made #2's eyes shine! My thrill seeker and I went on the Hulk roller coaster and rated it as the second best ride ever for its sheer speed, drops and the way the cars roar, sounding just like the Hulk himself. The Jurassic Park area was a bit of a let down but I did manage to take this photo of a T-Rex trying to eat my children.
And, of course, what would Florida be if we didn't end our day with a little surfing? We drove home, cold and exhausted but exhilarated. We have talked about this day for months and even though there was no real magic, the day provided its own and was everything we imagined, but better. How often does life give you that kind of day?