One of the things l used to love to do as a kid, hell as an adult, was go on a tour of all the Christmas lights. When I was young, we’d stuff ourselves into our Austin 1800, a car that never quite seemed to work right, pack a few blankets, a mug of hot chocolate and off we’d go. In Victoria, even today, there were plenty of lights to see, including the semi-famous Cherry Road/Ponderosa extravaganza where EVERY house on a huge cul-du-sac had an amazing display.
So this year, we were excited to take the boys on a tour. The Prettiest-girl-in-the-world spent an afternoon online doing research, mapping out a tour and even printing out pictures of the houses we’d see. In all honesty, it was impressive. Like a google treasure hunt.
Now with the internet and TV, it’s hard to see something new. I mean, hey, somewhere there’s a Griswald house the size of Bieber’s 3rd mansion that’s sucking the energy it takes to run a small city. But we still felt it could be a bit of fun.
The Oldest was doubtful. How do I know this? He said he was doubtful. He said it wouldn’t be any fun. But once we told him part of the tour would be to rate the houses and their displays, he was on board. He loves nothing better than judging things. Movies. Houses. His stepdad. Whatever. Rocky 1 got an 8.1 out of 10. The top house, spoiler alert, got a 9.2. I usually get 2.4. On a good day, 3.4.
The Youngest we put in charge of assisting the navigator, aka the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world. You might think, wouldn’t having a 9-year-old help navigate be, like, the worst idea ever? But no, he’s got an amazing sense of direction and, his real secret, (as he revealed to us), was that he reads the signs. “Joe, did you know that’s how you find, stuff,” he told me.
So off we went. The night was cold. It was raining a little but not so much as to make the trip terrible. We first went to see a well-known display in William’s Park. No walking needed. You simply drive around. It wasn’t bad, but as our critic, The-Oldest pointed out, many of the blow up displays were dirty (and I mean caked in mud dirty) and not all the displays were lit up.
We explained it’s a hell of a job even putting up the displays, and keeping them maintained, well, that’s a ton of work, too. All done by volunteers – who ambush you at a checkpoint out of the park looking for donations. Not that we hate having to donate, but it was funny pulling up on something that looked like you’d see in Iraq, minus the guns and tanks. So, it may not be perfect, but it was big and impressive.
The Oldest gave it 7.9. I gave it about a 6, being a mean critic in my own right. The Youngest gave it 9/10. He liked the drunk Santa. The Prettiest-girl-in-the-world gave it a solid 8.
We went on to see a great display with a castle (and a Santa inside the castle), a house that had synced their lights with music (a 9.2/10 from both the Oldest and I), and several houses well decked out with massive displays of lights. One even had reindeer pulling a sleigh that flew across the front yard (or to quote the Youngest, “Joe, did you know they’re not actually flying? They’re on a cable.”)
One of the coolest displays we saw though had less lights than most, but had synced singing trees to the music. That was a 9.3/10 for the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world.
We bought hot chocolate and popcorn at the house with the castle display, managed to survive with the spazadoodle (our dog) thinking every stop was a chance for her to go for a walk and going all, well, spazadoodlie, and we didn’t have to go outside in the cold and wet too much.
Was it a success?
I had fun. I love looking at lights. Plus, we didn’t get lost once. Always a plus in my books. The Oldest shrugged and said it wasn’t so bad. The Youngest gave the singing tree display a whooping 10.92874/10 and wanted to see more, so I think he had a good time. And the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world, well she seems at her happiest when we’re off doing stuff as a family.
In Langley, there were no streets like Cherry Lane, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some great displays to see. (The list is posted below if you’re interested, plus one on our own block!)
And now, for your viewing pleasure, a link to the BEST house in the world! Be warned, I think I had a seizure watching it.
Happy Holidays everyone! And thanks for reading my blogs!!!