Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Christmas Light Adenture

Twas the week before Christmas and all in the Mat-Su Valley were trying to see Christmas lights at the Alaska State Fairgrounds.

Sure, I could have tried to make that rhyme, but with the exception of a couple of twisted little poems I've done in my time, poetry and me...yeah...we don't get along.

Anyway, back to my tale...

Last week we went and saw the Christmas "Bright Up the Night" light display at the Alaska State Fairgrounds.  Armed with the instructions that the website provided (enter at Green Gate, wherever that was, and exit at Red Gate, admission free, hours of operation, etc) we managed to get the kids into the car, and I only put my son's shoes on the wrong feet twice in the process!  I packed the children snacks and some drinks just to be safe from temper tantrums while we were out and we set off.

We got to the Alaska State Fairgrounds without much incident, but we had no idea where Green Gate was (we don't go to the fair primarily because of my son and crowds).  The fairgrounds are of a decent size, for those who don't live around here, and are set up with roads on all sides of the Fairgrounds.  So, the first place we checked was the main fairground "gate".  Turned out that was Purple Gate and was locked, so my husband shot down the road a bit further and turned the corner, figuring we could get into the Fairgrounds a back way and then just drive around to where we needed to be. 

Nope.  All the entries were locked and we did a couple of U-Turns to find our way.

We finally turned back onto the highway and headed toward the Fairgrounds from a different way than when we started and finally saw an open gate, so we turned to go in.  Driving down the not well lit road we quickly saw a nice big orange sign with white letters that read, "Event" (or something similar) with an arrow and we figured, "Ah ha!  We have it now!" and drove in the direction that the sign pointed.  Another sign pointed us to enter through a gate and so we did, me noticing with a sense of unease that the gate we were ENTERING through was actually Red Gate. 

And so we followed a few more signs, all pointing us toward the "Event" and we could indeed see the Christmas lights off in the near distance, so we figured that the signs were pointing us the way.  And then suddenly the signs just weren't THERE anymore.

My husband and I, confused, tried to logic out what had happened and we drove around a bit in the back lot area of the Fair.  Finally my husband saw where we needed to go about 30 feet in front of us, but we were blocked from just driving to where we needed to be due to there being a large portion of grass and other "unknowns" before we could get there.

Finally my husband just decided to back track completely and see if we'd missed a sign.  By this point we were seeing the humor in our situation and laughing a bit at the signage, my husband joking that they'd put up the signs to confuse people and make them drive right back out of the fairgrounds.

When we were almost through the entrance/exit area where we'd come in, my husband looked off to the right and saw that the Christmas light area we were trying to get to might be accessible through a side street that you could barely make out and so he decided to take a chance and drive through the side street.

And sure enough suddenly we were in the Christmas lighted area.  We suddenly saw "Please Stay in Your Vehicle" signs on the road, but we'd have to crane our necks to see behind us to see what the signs were saying.  We quickly realized we were going through the event we'd been seeking backwards.

My husband drove until we were at the very beginning (or ending?) of the event and turned around so we could drive through the right way.  I took some pictures as we drove and we were relieved we were going through the event the right way this time and wouldn't have to worry about possibly running into another car going the right way through.  Suddenly signage started making sense and directions were clearer as we drove through the actually relatively small event (although the kids loved it :).

I was really starting to feel kind of stupid that we'd gotten lost so much and mentioned to my husband that I kept wondering if we'd missed some signs or something along the way. 

It was then that we noticed the cars.

We looked off into the night and there were cars EVERYWHERE around the event, but none of them driving through the actual event.  There were lines of cars that were ringing the event anywhere there were roads in the back lot area.  It was then that we started to really laugh as we started joking that this was going to be the one event that everyone would see from the outside in first.

By the way we did finally find Green Gate.  We went looking for it once my husband was sure where the entrance was, figuring that there had to be a road where the gate was.  It was marked by one little itty bitty sign that proclaimed the display and that was it.  No where to be had was a bright orange sign proclaiming "Event".

If nothing else, this gave us an adventure that my daughter will always remember as she laughed so much that night she cried *laugh*.


  1. Been there, done that...but not quite that bad! *laugh* At least you had a great time trying to find your way in. They do say life is a journey not a destination.

    My husband and I have a knack for getting lost then somehow finding our way through some really quirky luck. Awe, the memories!

    1. I tend to drive my husband nuts as I'm one of those people who can quite literally get lost in my own back yard. My husband, on the other hand, has an inborn radar or something and always knows where he is and where he's going. He can't believe that he can give me a map and I'll still make a wrong turn and have to turn around at least once before I can find the way to get some place.

      I learned a long time ago to just roll with it and figure eventually I'll find my way somewhere. At least up here eventually you'll hit the main highway (we only have like one road that goes north to south) and I'll be able to find my way home *laugh*.