Tuesday, August 28, 2012

22 years ago.....

22 years ago....
*it was an F5, the worst kind,
*winds were over 300 mph,
*it's path was 300 feet wide,
*it took 8 minutes to destroy everything,
*the damage it left behind were in the millions
*it took 29 brave souls,
*it came without warning.












I remember it like yesterday.  The sights, the sounds, the smells, I will never forget. 
It was the scariest day of my life.
I was lucky.  I am here. 
God bless the 29 heroes who are not.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Santa's Village!

Do you have memories of places you've been as a child and loved? I have many but one of them is going to Santa's Village! We used to go when we were little. I remember some of the rides like this sleigh that this horse pulls you in, the swings that the ponies pulled you on, and the big Christmas tree where you rode in an ornament.  We LOVED that place!  Of course we haven't been there in years.  I thought they closed and indeed they did but they have been open now for 3 years and so we took a little family trip there today.  It was so much fun!
This place is perfect for the younger crowd.  Like it's not really for bigger kids at all. All the rides are for little kids and if they aren't big enough to ride, they can with an adult.  It was a drive because it's in East Dundee but we made it and got there when they opened. Don't the kids look thrilled to be here?

I thought by feeding them donuts before we left would have helped.
First up, we found this fire truck ride.

With its sirens on, it takes to this house that's on fire.
And then the water hoses come on and you have to put out the fire! Now really, how cool is that? 
My kids were in love with the fire truck right off the bat.  We rode again before we left.
Next up, we drove the antique cars.  Again, loved this ride as a kid.  Now my kids got to experience it.




They thought they were pretty hot stuff being able to drive and all.
Then we went to the rocket ships.
When you pull the bar, it goes up.

Gracie and I spent most of our time up in the air.
Next,Gracie and Amy rode the dragon roller coaster.  She is going to be a roller coaster junkie I think.
She held on pretty tight but overall liked it.
While Gracie was doing that, the little ones went on another space ship ride.
It was one that was more their speed. 
Gracie was also excited to ride the ferris wheel.  No one else wanted to go with her so she rode with another little girl. She is in the blue car at the top.

She waved at us from high up.
After that, we went and drove some big rigs.

Then it was a spin on the merry-go-round.
I also had another set of twins with me today.....Daddy and Presley!
When we got off the ride, guess who we saw?
Rudolph!
And then Gracie and I did the bravest thing of the day....we rode the viking ship.  You know that one that rocks back and forth?  I don't think I have ever been on it actually and you know what?  It was scary! Gracie did good.  She didn't cry or scream. I did.  But she said she wouldn't go on it again.  I won't either.
After that it was time for lunch.
One of the things that changed with this place is that they added all these animals.  They call it Santa's Village and Azoosment park.  Zoo for the animal appeal.  So we saw this, don't remember what it's called.
They have a lizard house with some pythons and even a baby alligator.
We ran into this penguin dude.
We even rode Santa's sleigh.  Totally remember this ride. 
Although it was pulled by horses, you circled around the reindeer.
See?  There's Dasher.
Then we went into the barn and saw all kinds of chickens, tortoises, and even some porcupines!

But what my kids wanted to do was go on a pony ride.  So that's what we did. They all got to ride and had a blast. In fact, this was one of their favorite things.


We stopped at the petting zoo and petted some sheep and goats.
And then found the treehouse slide.  My mom has pictures of me going down this when I was little.  Some of the rides are newer here.  Only a couple of the old ones are still there. The buildings are there and still look the same though.


Evie and Presley tried driving the racecars.

While Gracie and I went for a balloon ride.
Then the last ride of the day was driving some boats.
On our way out, we stopped at Santa's house.
He called us in and asked everyone if they had been good.  He told the kids that they have to be good by sharing and not fighting and listening to mommy and daddy.  He also thanked them for the cookies last Christmas.
Gracie and Evie told Santa that they wanted Barbie stuff for Christmas.  It was nice that he only brings one family in at a time and that he actually sits and listens to what you have to tell him.  The other people wait outside.
Then he let us take a picture with him.  I can't believe all 3 of them stood there. This just might be our Christmas card picture this year. 

We had a great time and definately will be going back next summer!  It is perfect for my kids and they loved it!  You pay an admission price and you can ride all the rides you want, as many times as you want.  Better than any carnival.  The employees were friendly, the place was clean, and the food was decent too. 
Merry Christmas!  Only 127 days because Santa told us!