By the grace of God, my aunt and uncle received the call yesterday that all residents of their street were clear to return home. Praise the Lord! No serious damage, just a thick blanket of black ash over everything outside (they had a BEAUTIFUL backyard oasis) that can be cleaned up. Again, praise God!
For my parents’ home, the mandatory evacuation was downgraded to pre-evacuation status this morning. There’s still a serious threat to the area, but we’re all thankful that those that make Woodland Park their primary residence can no longer be cut-off from the comforts the city offers. The highway reopened to the public about an hour ago. Yay!!! We’re cautiously optimistic…and very, very thankful.
BACK ON TRACK – The North Pole & Santa’s Workshop!
Julie was so pumped about taking the kids to The North Pole, an amusement park in between the Springs and Woodland Park at the base of Pike’s Peak and entirely Christmas themed. I kept saying that I was “curious” for sure, having not remembered much from my only other trip as a 7-8 year old. The men were NOT excited about the trip but, as usual, were along for the ride.
It was actually pretty darn fun! Again, cheap-o me rolled my eyes at the $18 per person (including 2 year olds!), but after finding some good coupons and Julie being shady and passing the girls off as a little younger than they are (I know, I know…that was bad!) I was able to not care as much about the cost. We got there as the gates opened and look who was seated right inside the entrance! My Bridget ran right up to him, sat in his lap, and started chatting about what she wanted for Christmas. YES!!
We saw some silly things right away, and it was pretty obvious that this place had been here awhile (almost 60 years!). Think Sandy Lake Park age, but way bigger and a little nicer. We didn’t adventure into their food fare, because they allow picnic baskets. Score!
Up first: a ride! When I saw the one Abby chose, my stomach dropped a little. Not only was it pretty much a “big-kid” ride, it went high in the air and in circles (the latter two are strikes for ME). We suffered another blow when the attendant assured Julie that the girls were tall enough to ride it with an adult present. Blah. I put on my happy, excited face because I figured it would be better to be brave for B than let her smell my fear . She ended up liking it (though she got a little nervous when we went up high! that’s were we practiced our roller coaster scream as a distraction)! Me? umm…
I’m a good actress.
We learned quick to scope out a nearby ride before the girls saw it so we’d have time to block their view, just in case. It worked swimmingly! We had many more ride opportunities:
This ride went up in the air if the kid pushed a button near the steering wheel (also went around in circles). This adorable girl sat alone in front of B and Abby and when she heard some distressed calls, she turned around to comfort her little passengers. It was so cute!
We found the famous “ice pole” in the middle of the park. It stays frozen all year long, and the park map makes it look like its going to be about 100 feet tall. Giggle, giggle…
Next up was ringing the church bell in Santa’s Chapel (don’t go in there while the bell is ringing! you’ll swear the building is going to collapse around you!):
Then the Magic Show (a hilariously adorable 80 year old man does the show – and he wasn’t bad!):
Then even more rides!
Before grabbing our lunch, we hopped the train and rode around the park. The girls even got to toot the trainhorn while we waited in line. Cute!
Seeing Santa’s friends:
A quick and yummy lunch:
Then it was finally time! Santa, too, had taken his lunch break, so we were all ready to see him again!
Bridget seemed to really hit it off with this Santa. Hopefully it will continue through this holiday season of 2012!
I think Abby has learned about “stranger danger” at school (obviously, B has not…oops!), so she was a little bit more cautious with the Big Man. But still looked so cute!
It was time to make our way to the exit:
But we stopped at a few more rides on the way out:
On our way out of the park, we stopped at the last gift shop and got a few postcards. They are stamped “North Pole” and sent straight from the park. A great token to add to B’s keepsake box!
All in all, it was a pretty fun trip! Can’t wait to take the girls to more fun parks like this in the future.
Thanks, Julie for suggesting it!