But there are those moments in life when you find yourself living another kind of fantasy...a different kind of dreamy Christmas....one with Palmetto trees, bright sunlight, and a walk through the park. We had just such a day yesterday, and it was more than I could hope for....especially since the weather here has turned surprisingly chilly, adding a certain festive quality to the experience. Needless to say, I got to break out my scarf, gloves, and heavy coat. I bundled the kids up in their heaviest jackets and sweaters and tucked them in the stroller under a nice warm blanket, all of which made the day seem a little more like Christmas.
Doug, the kids and I piled into our little car, and headed down to Marion Square Park, Charleston's answer to Central Park if you shrunk it down to 1 giant city block and took out the ice skating, runners, carriage rides, restaurants, etc. We were in search of three things; Santa Claus, the Budweiser Clydesdales, and the building of our first Christmas memories as a family.
Now here's the thing about living in a small city and being married to someone who's job allows him to have days off on weekdays. There was NO ONE there but a few other moms with strollers, a few brave tourists (despite the cold temp's), and some chattering employees. Everyone else was at work or unwilling to come out in the cold. That of course left things WIDE open for us to enjoy, and hey, we're used to winters MUCH colder than this anyway, so it all worked out. If this same event had taken place in NYC, first of all, it probably would've cost about $25.00 just to see the horses, then another $25.00 to see Santa...per kid, and at least $30.00 in parking fees. The same trip in Charleston....FREE!!!!! Aaah, the joys of small city life.
So, we've OFFICIALLY begun celebrating our first Christmas here in South Cackalackie. So far, it's surprisingly lovely. The kids had a great time. I'll admit, I was pretty impressed with the horses, but then I'm an animal nut so it doesn't take much to impress me in that regard. And we all got to take photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus (who was exceptionally warm and friendly this year). Emma, for the second year in a row, wouldn't sit on his lap by herself, but at least she held his hand and talked to him this time. Progress people....progress.
Anyway...see for yourself....and I hope you are busy creating some of your own holiday memories with your family.
Once again, I had to sit with Emma as she visited with Santa...but if you look really closely, you'll see that she's holding his hand. Next year, this kid's flying solo!
The Budweiser Clydesdales were visiting Charleston this week, and since Emma is big into animals, we thought she'd enjoy. You'll notice that there is a chain around the stalls to keep visitors back a few feet and give the horses some personal space. We were there for all of 30 seconds before Emma dove under the chains and went right up to stick her hands inside the stall of a 1,000 lb. horse . Gotta' love her courage. I wish she was that brave with Santa....or at the portrait studio for that matter (but that's a post for another time - I'm still bitter about that one).
Our two "little roosters" all bundled up for their walk in the park (those of you that know our last name will get the rooster reference).
Emma, me, and "Donny". Emma wanted to pet the horse so badly, but as soon as he turned his head to smell her, she clutched me. This kid is a baffling mix of fearless courage and bashful reserve. Now, if I could only turn one off and the other on according to the situation (again, like in the portrait studio....I'll be sure to post about this experience as soon as I can get passed the disappointment of it all and focus on the hillarity).
Finally, this one's for you Darren.