Last night, in a fit of holiday cheer, I bundled up the family and braved the cold (and Highway 78) to go out to Stone Mountain to see the lights. It took ages to get here, as we set out at 6:30 – the hight of rush hour. When we FINALLY got into the park, Eleanor started to exclaim at the lights “Anoder Light! Lookey dare!” and “STARZ!”
We went over to park at their village, called Crossroads. It’s a Disneyfied attempt at a pioneer village and train station with lots of shopping and one or two attractions. At this time of year, the place is COVERED in lights, and I mean COVERED. Every inch on every board on every building in outlined in lights. Every tree. Every lamp post. Every employee that stood still too long. Lights. Everywhere.
In the past, you didn’t have to buy the $17 admission to walk through Crossroads, you could just go on in and drop your cash at any number of overpriced shops or restaurants. Imagine my surprise last night, after we drove, and parked, bundled the kids into various warm packs attached to the Mommy and the Daddy, and waked to the village from the far end of the parking lot in ass chapping cold, that the park was open for wristband (paying) customers ONLY.
I would not be denied colored lights and chintzy shopping.
The village is designed to allow patrons easy access to the lawn in front of the Stone Mountain Carving. I recalled this in the dark last night, and led Tony and the girls around the side of the village onto the lawn. We followed the path around until we saw an unguarded exit, and we slipped in the back.
The family that breaks and enters together…
We had a fine time. We looked a the lights, we bought some candy, we danced on the lawn and watched the end of the fireworks and lazer show. We actually slipped into and out of the “restricted” area more than once. Eleanor, carefully wrapped in a blanket, had a fine time riding on her daddy in the backpack, and Saralyn snoozed in my baby sling, snug as a bug in a fashionable rug. So, a good time was had by all.
On a night that is bitter cold, or any night for that matter, the park organizers should realize that the $17 per person to just go poke around at the Village is just too much. We went in and dropped money at the mostly empty general store. And they tried to keep us out. (tisk, tisk…)
I am seriously thinking about gate crashing again tonight. After all, I now have a season pass to Stone Mountain Park… Just try and stop me!!!