After a lot of cheering and merrymaking we finally stepped into Hogsmeade. The first thing you come upon is the Hogwarts Express. We got a picture with the conductor who prepared for the picture by saying, “1... 2... 3... Hogsmeeeaade!” Luggage was set up on the platform and steam blasted out of the bottom of the train intermittently.
To the left were two of the main shops, Zonko’s and Honeydukes. Zonko’s joke shop had a bunch of toys: rubber chickens, Jacob’s ladders, color-changing hair brushes and funny hats. They also had some fun items out of reach (and therefore not for sale) like Filibuster’s Wet-Start No-Heat fireworks as well as Portable Swamps. Nothing was very “Harry Potter” so we didn’t buy anything there. Apparently they also sold Pygmy puffs, though we never saw any; they sold out the first day.
Honeydukes was attached to Zonko’s making it one big store. (Good thing too as we had to wait in line for 45 minutes to actually get into the store. The shops were all very small, and after complaining about it to Kelley, a store employee explained that J.K. Rowling wanted the village to be as authentic as possible. Apparently this meant small stores.) Honeydukes didn’t disappoint though. They had everything you could want – Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, Pepper Imps, Chocolate Wands, Dark-Mark Lollipops, Chocolate Cauldrons, Canary Creams, Lemon Drops, Chocolate Frogs, and more! There was also a wall between the two store that read, “Shhh... the walls have ears” with a hand pointing up. When you looked up there were extendable ears hanging down from above. Why weren’t those for sale!?
Just past Honeydukes was The Three Broomsticks, the only restaurant in town. We had lunch there (after waiting an hour to get it!) – I had the shepherd’s pie and Kelley had the chicken and ribs. We both had a mug of butterbeer! The butterbeer was very sweet. The cream was like vanilla ice cream and the drink itself was like very sweet cream soda. Truthfully I could only drink about half of it, but it was fun to try! There was also an outdoor seating area in the back, which is where Kelley and I would hide from the heat - and then the rain - on the next two days. Not too many people knew about it so it was a nice hideaway. To get to the back you had to pass by the ATM machine, which had a sign that read, “Gringotts Bank: Automatted Teller Machine” plastered above it. The Three Broomsticks also had fun signs that read, “Please do not feed the birds or other winged creatures” and “Notice from the Department of Intoxicating Substances: Underaged wizards will not be served alcohol.” The Hogshead was connected to The Three Broomsticks, and it was just a bar for buying the above mentioned intoxicating substances.
There were other cool shop fronts with fun window displays, but you couldn’t go into any of them. They had Gladrag’s Wizard Wear, Potages Cauldrons, Dogweed and Deathcap and Wiseacres Wizarding Equipment. The window fronts had moving quills, stacks of cauldrons, flying papers, rustling plants, heaps of books, owls, and even a broomstick and a Quidditch chest complete with rattling bludgers.
On the other side of the street was the Owl Post, which was just a covered sitting area with (fake) owls on the rafters above. The Owl Post was connected to Dervish & Banges and Ollivander’s Wand Shop. I was most excited to go to Ollivander’s! Of course, before we got in we had to wait in another line. While we were waiting the Hogwarts Express conductor walked by and paused to look at the red headed girl in front of us and said,“Ah, another Weasley! You can’t degnome a garden without hitting a Weasley!” then he kept on walking. How could you not love it there?
We finally got into the shop to have the “Ollivander’s experience.” It went down similar to the movie scene. About 12 of us were shuffled into a small room where the walls were stacked to the ceiling with wand boxes. Mr. Ollivander called a girl to the front and measured her arms, asked for her wand arm, and presented her with different wands. He asked her to point at a bell over head or swish it a certain way. The bell clanged and crashing sounds emitted when she had the wrong wand. Finally of course she got the right one, and we were moved into the very crowded Dervish & Banges where Kelley and I got our very own wands!