We have family visiting for the entire last half of July. Between Ken's kids and mine and all their kids, it's family time at it's best! Having grown up an only child with not even any cousins around, I love making up for it with our extended family.
A while ago, Pikko and I had a discussion about Santa & where he lives in the winter. Yesterday we decided to visit with Santa at his summer cottage, located very definitely in Bracebridge Canada at the 45th parallel or halfway between the north pole and the equator. Apparently it runs right through the middle of this tree. We were made to feel extremely welcome
Here half of our gang, introduced themselves to Smokey the Bearwho has long kept a watchful eye out for forest fires in Canada. ...but then there's always one guy in the group who feels the need to get overly friendly.
Even here, thanks to our new "and expanded" value added tax, money must be tight; Mrs Claus apparently felt the need to open her own business, a bake shop. I presume that profits are used to buy toy making supplies for the elves. At the same time, she still finds time for a bit of color coordinated flower gardening ...as long as you don't look too closely at the fence. You don't supposed that Santa came home one night having over imbibed a little!
The property is quite large so we took the train to explore a portion of it. Everywhere elves were busy at work ...some even looked strangely familiarThe reindeer appeared quite well fed which is just as well since some of Santa's horses seemed rather wooden from turning too many circles Little Izzy must have sensed this; she hung on white knuckled the entire time but gamely decided to stay for several extended rides before switching to the swan boats and even taking a test flight on one of the available planes. Everything definitely met with her approval!
In the meantime, I tried out one of the latest couturier hat designs but decided that antlers just weren't meFinally we got to the reason for our visit; Mrs Claus welcomed all of us into her home, finding the time for individual chats.
Before we left, I had a private word with him regarding what I considered an oversight on his part. After mentioning that I considered myself most definitely on the "nice" list, I boldly asked why I hadn't gotten the one gift I'd craved for the past number of years. Surely it wouldn't have taken up much room in the sleigh! All Santa would have had to do is make up my million dollars in large denominations.
Before leaving, some of us older kids managed to stake out the first and then the last seats on the roller coaster, where during one particular curve, I suddenly remembered why I haven't been on a ride for so long.
Not sure who had more fun: the 4 kids or I and at least I wasn't the only one who fell asleep on the drive home.