Some of my fondest memories of the Christmas Season are viewing the outdoor decorations and Christmas lights. Christmas lights have always captured the child lurking in my soul. As a child we searched out Christmas lights on the way to visit relatives during the Christmas Season taking different routes each trip to ensure we saw as many different light displays as possible.
My Grandfather and father handmade a life size Christmas display one Christmas of Santa, his sleigh loaded with Christmas packages and reindeer. It was mounted with lights glowing on the roof of my Grandparents house. Each year Santa returned to my Grandparents house for many years and then upon our house eventually on my parents house. I wish I had pictures to see the display but it remains intact in my memory. As a child I loved this magical time of year.
I still do wander different roads today in search of unique lighting displays. It is one way I relive the magic of Christmas's past. I believe there have not been as many light displays as years past.
Coeur d Alene Lake has lights that light up around on the North end of the Lake. There is a boat cruise that we have taken in the past.. This year I went a on a driving tour around the lights of the lake with some of the other sisters. The Boardwalk around the Marina has many displays and others only available from the boat tour.
The boardwalk as viewed on the internet
A holiday dinner with Sisters on the Fly at the Cedars Floating Restaurant
This year the Gaiser Conservatory in Manito Park was remodeled and decked out for Christmas with lights, poinsettias and other Christmas Blooms. I have visited the park many times in the past but never when it was lit with Christmas lights. There are two wings, one for tropical plants, one for desert plants and the center main entry section which contains a waterfall and pond with benches for sitting on a quiet day. This night there were hundreds of festive participants waited their turn in line to view this free Christmas lighting extravaganza. Auntie, Hailey and I were able to find a handicapped parking space right in front and were met by an display elf assistant who moved us to the front of the line.
Even the lines and crowds of people do not dampen my spirits as I take in the beautiful display and I was able to get some decent photos without all the onlookers.
Probably one of my favorite views was outside the observatory. One of the inside helpers from "Friends of Manito Park" suggested that I take a picture of the observatory outside before we leave. I am so glad she did. In my rush to leave all the people and congestion I might have missed the glorious sight.
What a beautiful gift to the citizens of Spokane this lighting display has been. How wonderful if it were to be open more days to allow more to view its wonder.
James King is up for national honors for Best Private Holiday Light Display in USAToday.com's annual contest. James and his wife Karrie painted and cut out some 55 Disney characters to complement the 9,000 lights on their Spokane, Wash. home.
The couple, both Disney lovers who met in the fourth grade, spend over 40 hours on their display in an effort to give a Disneyland-like experience to those who many never get to visit the California theme park. I have seen many fabulous displays showcased on television from around the country but this home displays the love and and Christmas spirit one family has to offer. People come from miles around to view its festive lights.
Hope your Holiday was Merry!!