Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Accio Fun!

Did you know that people actually play Quidditch?

(You know...the magical sporting event from Harry Potter, played with four balls, seven players, on broomsticks?)

Yep, it's an actual collegiate sport played by several real schools. And every fall, Chestnut Hill College hosts the Brotherly Love Quidditch Tournament.

On top of that, just in case you weren't sure that magic was real, Chestnut Hill transforms itself into the wizarding village of Hogsmeade. There's costumed children (and adults...), performers, events, and the shops give themselves Harry Potter style nicknames for the weekend.

Naturally, I was psyched to spend my Saturday there with Sister.

There are our "magical faces." That was my prompt. 

We stopped by the sweetshop and bought a delightful pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese frosting (they were out of butterbeer cupcakes, so sad). 

The bakery is actually called Cake, when it's not Harry Potter weekend. 

We walked the whole avenue at least twice. 

Finally, we jumped the Knight Bus ( bus...) and took a ride down to the college to watch a Quidditch match. 

The Snitch has been spotted! (The guy in yellow). 

So (obviously) the players don't actually fly on their broomsticks, but when in play they run with them in between their legs. When they get hit with a Bludger (which is essentially a kickball) they are "out" until they sprint back and tag their goalposts. The Quaffle is tossed around, just like in the books, and thrown through the hoops to score points. The Snitch can run around the whole campus, and he's got a tennis ball in a sock tucked into his waistband, which the Seeker tries to get (like in flag football). 

There was one particularly violent Snitch who actually wounded the Penn State Seeker quite badly. Guess even in the real world Quidditch is a dangerous game. 

After the game, we finally found one place that was still selling butterbeer! I know there are a million versions out there, but this was a cider-based concoction with caramel flavoring. Sooo warm and tasty.