Tuesday, August 28, 2012

NH Vacation Day 2: Ho Ho Ho

Yesterday we spent the entire day at Santa's Village in Jefferson, NH.  I had to get over my immediate feelings of - huh Christmas in August?  a whole park devoted to it?  really?  I can't remember if I went there as a kid or not.  I have distinct memories (or at last have seen pictures of) going to Storyland, but I'm coming up blank with this one.  Mom? Dad?  Anyway - we managed to get out the door around 9:15 and drove up to Jefferson. The park was a little more crowded than I expected on a weekday, but I have a low tolerance for crowds so I suspect it was actually a pretty low-crowd day.  We had to wait in some lines, but not for very long in any one place.

The big hit with Lily was the "Elfabet" game.  They gave all the kids a tag with all the letters of the alphabet on it (in the shape of a christmas tree of course).  Then there were these little elf statues all over the park that you had to find.  Each elf's name started with a different letter and each one had a little box that would punch the right letter off the tag.  The goal was to find all the elves, punch all the holes and bring your tag back for a prize at the end of the day.  To no one's surprise Lily took this task very seriously and was somewhat laser-focused on it.

Here's a pic of Quinn getting his "J" stamp from Jelly-Belly

The kids enjoyed the park a lot but at this stage in the game amusement parks are definitely more in Lily's wheel house.  Even at Q's age, she was already somewhat of a thrill-seeker.  Most of the day was spent following Lily around from ride to ride and elf to elf while Q just came along for the ride.  He wasn't that into trying too many of them, but did enjoy the carousel.  We coaxed him on a couple of other rides.  One of my favorite was "Little Drummer Boy" - the Santa's Village version of the tea cups (you know, lots of spinning).  As the ride got going Quinn looked at us and said "I'm having a hard time!  I'm having a hard..... tiiiiiiimmee."  Then he got used to it and seemed okay.  But when we were done he wasn't in a hurry to get back on!

yeah, that's pretty much his "this isn't freaking me out too much" face

Lily, on the other hand, liked everything - the super fast Himalaya was one of her favorites.

Here's Q's favorite ride, Lily was utterly bored.

I conveniently forgot that I am terrified of heights and convinced everyone - Q included - that a family ride on the ferris wheel would be a good idea.  It was a BIG ferris wheel.  With open seats.  I'm not entirely sure I've ever been on one before and now I know why.  It was utterly terrifying.  I kept looking at the bar across my lap and the gap between the bar and Lily's legs and wondering if she could slip out from under it.  I spent the whole ride alternately saying "HOLD THE BAR!" and trying to engage in idle chatter to take my mind off how high we were.  Good times all around.

 Here I am, looking nowhere near as terrified as I felt

And of course you can't call yourselves "Santa's Village" without reindeer and Santa!  Here are some pics of the kids feeding the real reindeer and riding on some not-so-real ones.  The longest line we stood in all day was the one to visit Santa.  Quinn went over to Santa, grabbed some candy canes and got the hell out of dodge.  Lily took time to visit with him and put in a formal request for "light-up shoes".

Doesn't she kind of look too big to be sitting there?

All in all we had a great day AND the rain stayed away.   We were even able to squeeze in a ride down the flume at the very end.  I was a little wishy-washy about getting on it (Quinn and I are apparently cut from the same stuff when it comes to amusement park rides).  I also felt like we were duping Quinn.  "don't worry buddy, see that log floating gently on the water?  it's not bad!".  But I decided to go along for the family experience.  We definitely passed up buying the photo that was taken of us as it showed me with my head down pretty much between my knees behind Lily and a horrified, sort of betrayed look on Q's face.  When we got to the bottom we asked him what he thought.  He looked at us very seriously and said "I didn't really like the part when we went really fast".  At least I might have company sitting on the benches when we finally make it to places like Six Flags.

Here are some final pics of the kids hamming it up on the way out of the park.  Just after we finished standing in line to turn in the fully completed Elfabet game tages and receiving diplomas and key chains for all the hard work.  Although you can't tell from these photos the kids were exhausted and were both asleep after about 3 minutes in the car.  They were so asleep that they slept right through the part when our tire suddenly went flat as we were driving down Rt 2.  After about a half hour of slight misadventure involving trying to use the tire iron from the mazda3 (which we no longer own) to loosen the nuts on the Subaru, calling AAA, then finding the correct tool hidden in the trunk, we got back on the road and made it home for a pretty mediocre meal at Joseph's Spaghetti Shed and bedtime.

(Finishing this up on Tuesday night - already a day behind... sigh)

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