We went with our kids and grand-kids to Santa's Wonderland this past Friday evening.
Santa's Wonderland is located on the southern edge of College Station, TX so it's an hour and a bit from us here in Cat Spring. This was our second visit. We went two years ago with our son and his wonderful family. Our daughter wasn't able to get the time off at that time but she managed to make it work this year. We had a full compliment - Ron and I with both our children, their spouses and all four grandchildren. Christmas lights by the millions that make a fabulous view from the hay ride and a chance to sit on Santa's lap are at the top of the list but there is also a petting zoo, a bouncy house and slides, carriage rides and lots of food options along with all manor of Christmas decorations and presents for sale.
I was tardy in buying our parking permit so we didn't get to park in front of the doors but the walk from the second closest parking lot wasn't bad at all. The parking attendants made sure we were all parked as close together as possible so getting out of the car and getting organized for the evening was a complicated dance with the drivers parked on either side of us. All this meant I wasn't paying as much attention as I should have as we walked up to the entrance. We met the kids and grand-kids and stood in line to be let into the park. We had taken the hay ride and walked around looking at lights when they all went in to see Santa. Ron and I waited outside where we could sit and watch the world go by. It was at that point that I realized I didn't have my car keys. Oh, crap.
No car keys in my pocket or purse meant my car wasn't locked and the keys were in it. I scampered (and scampering is NOT my first choice of speed in general) to the front doors and told the guards what was happening. In general, people are not allowed to leave and come back in but they said not to worry about that, they would let me back in. I dashed out to my car. Would it still be there? I remembered where I was parked but how far would I go down that aisle if my car wasn't were I thought it was?
No worries. My car was right where I had left it. It was completely unlocked and my keys were sitting in the cup holder between the front seats. And Ron's iPad was right where he left it under the front seat. Whew!
Now that I know my car is safe and sound, here are some thoughts. The parking lot was very dark so it was difficult to see the keys sitting in the cup holder in my car. Of course, that also means it's easier for a thief to be casing the cars without being noticed. But most everyone who comes to Santa's Wonderland has lots of kids in tow so even if you are a car thief it's not the best time to do that. And there was a police presence at the parking lot entrances. Not that they would have recognized that any specific car was being driven by a car thief rather than by an owner. The moral of this story is to pay attention, lock your car, remember to take your keys, pay attention! Oh, yeah - and PAY ATTENTION!
So here is my bottom line. Santa's Wonderland is a great place to take the kids with lots of lights and fun. Just be prepared to stand in line for pretty much everything. Bless all the people who were there on Friday night for not being car thieves. Thanks to the staff for being very understanding of my plight and in general for being happy and helpful and friendly.
Last Friday the most recent cold front hadn't arrived yet so it was unseasonably warm and very humid. Somehow 72 degrees is just a bit too warm for Christmas celebrations - at least to those of us raised in the north - but we had a bright breeze and a totally wonderful time. My car didn't get stolen and the driving to and from home was totally uneventful.
If the grand-kids want to go back next year I'll be up for it.