On Friday night, the kids and I went with Grandpa to a Luminary Walk. We were actually supposed to go with my brother, but he ended up having to work at the last minute.
Thanks, Jim, for the tickets. I can't believe we'd never even heard of this place before! It was really quite amazing.
The weather - perfect.
The paths through the park wind around ponds, lakes, and streams, and out into the woods and back. All of the paths are lit with luminaries. Thousands of hand-lit luminaries? There were carolers and instrumentalists, and fires and warm cider throughout the walk. It really was quite magical.
And Santa was there. He was meeting with kids from 6-8pm.
Here's the stark contrast between my children. At the ripe old age of 3 years and 5 weeks, Zach took one look at a mall Santa and looked back at us and said, "That's just a guy in a costume, right?" He has never believed in Santa.
Luke ... on the other hand ... heard that Santa was meeting with kids in the visitor's center and said, "WHAT?!?! SANTA IS HERE?!?! REALLY? SANTA? WHERE????"
I explained that kids were waiting in line to talk to him, but that we could walk up near the front of the line and just look at him. It was already 6:05, so I figured he'd already have a child on his lap. However, he wasn't there yet... We came back about 15 minutes later. The line was longer, and the same people were still waiting at the front of the line - looking more displeased by the second. We'd decided that catching a glimpse of Santa just wasn't in the cards, so we headed on out to our car.
Look who we passed on the way?
Both of the boys gave cheery high-fives ... so excited, that it didn't even occur to Luke to tell him what he wanted for Christmas.
The whole evening was perfect. Awesome weather, beautiful lights, well behaved kids, Christmas carols ... and, as much as we keep the Santa hype to a minimum, it was delightful to see Luke get so excited over seeing this man in the beautiful red suit with the flowing white beard.