Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Carriage Rides and Countdowns

On Sunday, my in-laws and I drove to a nearby town, Fountain Inn. Greenville is a big, sprawling city, but there are lots of little towns around here that are sort of melted into where Greenville begins and where it ends. I don't really notice the difference, only that suddenly we are on a whole new area's little main street place... an area that is a lot more like the small-town main streets I am used to.

Sunday was a cold night; we all bundled up in coats and scarves. I must admit I had to wear my gloves.

It was a hard blow to my pride, but these things happen.

We parked behind a furniture store called Kimbrell's, and walked down the street a little bit.

You have to forgive my photo quality... it was pitch black at night.

The store-fronts were all full of Christmas:

The little street's trees were full of lights:

Also children.

But mostly lights.

Fountain Inn had a little ice-skating rink set up, with people skating around gleefully and other people watching from the sidelines:

The speakers set up nearby were, meanwhile, blaring our Christmas music as loud as they could. This was great, except that the rotation was something like eight songs, so I kept feeling like I had deja vu.

We waited patiently in line for our turn to get up into the carriage, watching the horses come and go, huddling around a little torch that the town had set up where the line was.

Our group included my mother-in-law and father-in-law Robin and Rusty, my sister-in-law Hunter and her boyfriend Michael, my aunt-in-law (that is so fun to say; I love making up new terms for relatives-in-law) Gena and of course Jason. I only got a single halfway decent picture, and that is of Hunter and Michael.

Look at them in that blanket trying not to freeze. It's heartwarming, really.

Also, I had no idea Hunter's gloves were purple until later that night? Because I only saw them in the night's darkness and the yellow-y light from all the lit up trees, and I thought they were navy or black.

Shows what I know.

After a few minutes of trying very hard not to become icicles, it was our turn! We boarded a carriage pulled by a nice Percheron named Dakota, who was kind of sick of the whole thing and ambled his way through the ride, but all in all he was in a pretty good mood.

I have not one single photo of the actual ride. We were driven past houses who had decorated, occasionally with an obscene amount of lights and wreaths, for the Christmas season. They were beautiful houses, covered in lights and Santa. One house had a Grinch theme, one house had reindeer and Santa chillin' out on the porch, one house had Santa climbing a ladder slightly behind the house, so you didn't see it at first, only when you were almost past.

And so this is Christmas?

I tried, folks. All I have are twenty-eight photos of blur and dancing lights.

I did my best.

This week is full of frantic activity; finishing up all the things that must be done for Christmas, packing, working, packing, working some more... my car's alternator died so we spent one of the days we meant to finish Christmas getting the car fixed. Now the car works, but uh, our Christmas present to ourselves this year is kind of a working car.

Merry Christmas to us?

It's only a little over three days until I fly to Illinois!

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