Thursday, December 22, 2011

A bit of sad news during Christmas week...

Had I known about Santa Land, I would've visited it.  Sadly, it was not to be a part of my Road Trip.  And now it never will.

Oh, how I hate reading things like this, but I'm heartened by the fact that there are other parks very similar (Santa's North Pole Workshop in CO and Santa's Village Azoosment Park here in IL) that are still hopping.

Rest in Peace, wee little Santa Land in Vermont.  I'm sure you made many a child very happy...

Blessed Christmas, Happy Yule, and a Wonderful 2012!

I wanted to take a few moments out of my busy week (gifts bought and still needing wrapping, beauty items bought so I look schmancy for the next week or so, lebkuchen baked) to wish everyone the brightest of holidays!

For those of you playing along, I'm now at the editing down, proofing and clean-up stage of the book writing process.  I'll be working on the acknowledgements very soon, then adding photos.

Then the book goes off to the publishing house.

Then the real magic begins. 

I was hoping to have "book in hand" by January 1, but now it's looking more like February 1, in time for my birthday.

Stay tuned folks.  And may your holidays be bright and shiny.  And may 2012 be full of brass rings.

Monday, December 19, 2011

When Im not visiting vintage amusement parks, I often visit vintage restaurants!

Shazam!  I'm now a contributing blogger for Channel 11 - WTTW's "Check, Please!" show blog!  I wrote about my favorite mid-century place to dine, Merichka's!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A St. Nicholas Day Treat: visits to Santa-related vintage parks!

Thinking of St. Nick brings me to a couple of my Cotton Candy parks, winds me down the road to their entrances, and lets me recall their gingerbread goodness - even though some were visited in the deep, dark Summer.

Santa's North Pole Workshop, right at the foot of Pike's Peak in Colorado, is the quintessential Christmas park year 'round, 24/7, through and through...

And nowhere else, as far as I know, can one ride an actual reindeer-go-'round!  That's me and Rudolph.

You can sidle up to the actual North Pole...

And then there's the candy cane slide, the same one I slid down as a pipsqueak back in the late 60s...

still thrilling taller pipsqueaks in the present day.

More recently, Ben and I had the immense pleasure of visiting Storybook Land in Egg Harbor County, NJ.  This versatile playground of a park includes fairytale scenes, rides and a sugar plum fairyland of a Christmas section.  I also learned they have a holiday festival complete with the jolly old elf, reindeer, and thousands of twinkling lights.  But on this sweltering August day...

Wwwhat?  Another North Pole?  Will the real North Pole please stand up... oh, wait.  You ARE standing...

Like the Queen of England, I'm inspecting the troops.

But what delighted me the most was the display of holiday animated characters.  Could these little snowbabies be the same ones who adorned the Marshall Fields windows back in the day? 

Back home, Santa's Village has been resurrected as Santa's Village Azoosment Park; the classic structures still stand.

Check in with my post tomorrow and perhaps Santa will leave a few images you haven't seen since you were a tot, ready to pull apart your Christmas stocking with glee.