Oh boy - yesterday afternoon and evening cemented a new Peeler Family Christmas tradition: enjoying the Carolina Christmas events at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
While eating lunch yesterday, I told the boys that we were going to pick up Daddy from work, have a special dinner out, and then see hundreds and hundreds of Christmas lights. Grady Lee, in complete seriousness, looked at me and said, "I sure better take a nap, Mom! That sounds like a lot of fun and I'll need to have a lot of energy for our busy night!" And, an hour later he was sound asleep.
That afternoon, the kids and I drove to Uptown to pick up Grady from his office. The boys are always excited when we drive by all "the tall buildings" and they ask question after question:
- "Is Jesus taller than these buildings?"
- "What would happen if one of these buildings fell over?"
- "How did the crane get way up in the sky to put the windows on the building?"
- "Which building is the one that belongs to Daddy?"
Note to self: next time we need to get out of the house and do something free and fun, I'm taking the boys for a drive in Uptown. Apparently looking at tall buildings and city buses are all they need for entertainment.
Grady was outside waiting for us promptly at 4:30 and we headed a few miles north of the city for a fast food dinner. Grady asked the boys where they wanted to go, and the standard answer of "a place with hamburgers and french fries" was given.
By 6:00, dinner was done, the sky was dark, and we were off for a drive through Carolina Christmas. The boys couldn't wait. "Will there be millions and millions of lights, Daddy?" "We can't touch the lights, right? We don't want to break one and make them all go out, right?" "Will Santa be there too?"
As we entered the Speedway, we drove through a flashing tunnel of lights and tuned our radio to Christmas music that was timed to the light show happening throughout the drive
Okay, don't judge. Yes, this is a picture of Annalyse on my lap in a moving car. I promise we were only going 15ish MPH and she was crying. It's hard to enjoy beautiful music and a light show with a wailing infant.
The interesting (and terrifying) thing, however, is that seemingly out of no where the light show ended we were directed up onto the actual race track. Grady guns it - meaning, zero to 55 in as little time as the old Dodge Caravan could do it.
He was smiling and laughing and saying how cool it was to be driving on the racetrack. I, however, was clutching the door with one hand and clutching Annalyse with the other hand and yelling that we were about to tip over. I'm serious. Until you drive on the severe slant of a racetrack curve you don't understand. It really and truly felt like we were going to tip over.
Ordinarily I would have enjoyed the adventure, just not while holding my baby and not while in the family minivan. Micah was giddy and laughed the whole time saying, "We're going super fast Daddy!" Grady Lee piped up from the backseat and asked if we went "as fast as Lighting McQueen drives."
The boys toured lots of "super fast race cars that go faster than even Daddy can drive!"
The boys also got to sit on Santa's lap. Grady Lee had no hesitation and climbed right on jabbering away about what he wanted for Christmas. Micah would only sit on Santa's lap if Grady promised to hold his hand the whole time. Annalyse was sound asleep so it wasn't worth the hassle to get her out of the stroller and propped on Santa's lap too.
Lots of beautiful trees, yummy smells of hot cocoa and baked goods, and festive Christmas music. I love how the simple sight of lights makes my boys squeal with delight. The simple things of Christmas are still very fun for them - and I hope it stays that way for several more years.
A soldier met us at the entryway and fake fire was burning in the lanterns. Grady Lee was captivated!
I have no idea who this lady is, but I watched her repeatedly try to kiss - yes kiss- the camel. After several tries, the camel reached out and puckered up. My boys haven't stopped talking about her since. "Remember the lady who kissed the camel? That was very dangerous, right Mom?"