Monday, December 08, 2014

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS WITH FRIENDS

Saturday night we headed to Garvan Gardens to see the Christmas lights with a bunch of our friends. When I say a bunch, I mean 12 adults and 21 kiddos.  I felt like a bit of a psycho when I called to reserve our room at the Purple Cow that has become a tradition.  When we walked in, it felt smaller.  However, when I looked back at old pictures - I realized the room did not change in size.  Our group did.  Here's how the night went down.

We enjoyed a beautiful sunset on our way to Hot Springs.  I guess you could say it was our heavenly light show.

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Dinner did turn out well, and the kids are getting old enough to genuinely enjoy their time together at the kids' table.  There were several times where I eavesdropped on their conversation and laughed.  It was especially hard to miss Lily waving around part of her food talking about her "Very Large Hot Dog."  The twins had many helpful admirers who gladly entertained them.

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Then we headed to the garden.  When we turned onto the road, John started saying, "No, no, no."  The line was backed up at least a mile.  You know how there are crowd calendars for Disney resorts? Garvan Gardens needs one of those.  I know it is weather related, but the number of people there was beyond anything we have dealt with in our 7 years of going.  It would have been bright red on a crowd calendar.  John let the girls hang out of the sunroof and yell to our friend behind us, which entertained them and anyone within earshot (which is probably a surprisingly large number, because the girls were really loud.  #subtletyisourspecialty)

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After about 30 minutes, we did eventually snake into the parking lot and got to use the fast track of the stroller line to gain a quicker entry.  That is one bonus to bringing 21 kids with you - you've got a lot of strollers.

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The weather was really nice for this particular outing, and the lights were beautiful, as usual.  There were simply people everywhere.  But - our children really did pretty well at staying with us, and they really enjoyed taking in the lights.  One family in our group is from Rwanda, so it was an all new experience for them and so fun to see it through their eyes.

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Garvan Gardens has continued to add more lights each year, like this little Napa Valley inspired tunnel.

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The train was a major hit with everyone.  Here's what they did when we reminded them to "touch with their eyes."

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We tried to get a picture of all the adults, and this was the best we got.  It really epitomizes the evening.  We were missing one family, and people kept walking through the picture.  Also, we are all nervous about what is happening with our children behind us.

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I love this tradition, and though we may never again go on a pleasant Saturday night, we will head back next year.  Hopefully without the rest of Central AR.  It is so beautiful.

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(I swear that Violet had on two shoes most of the chilly evening.)

Here are past years!  {2013} {2012} {2011}

1 comments:

Audrey Miller said...

This looks like fun! I had to laugh at your disclaimer regarding Violet's shoes. Iris is quick to pull off her socks and shoes, and people (particularly older women) are quick to scold me, as though my life's goal is to freeze my toddler's feet!