Last Saturday following 24 hours of girl time (my annual holiday cookie party + a friend's Christmas tea), I headed to the lake cabin to meet Andi and the kids. Andi had taken Tory and Aden to the cabin the previous afternoon so I could do my girl thing in the Twin Cities and it all worked out so perfectly, I think we'll plan more of those weekends in the future! Love how Tory and Aden are now at ages where they're not so dependent on Mama.
Determined to make the most of the remainder of the weekend, Andi and I agreed to stay at the lake until Monday morning. Since we drove separately, he'd be able to drive straight to work Monday morning and I'd be able to take the kids back with me. Leaving Monday AM essentially gave us one extra day at the lake -- instead of driving home Sunday afternoon, we were able to spend the whole day doing something fun together.
I'd previously researched fun holiday happenings around the lake cabin and came across the annual Holiday Stroll in Amery, WI. The event touted sleigh rides, an appearance from Santa Claus and refreshments ... which sounded like the perfect low-key event for our advent calendar activity that day.
I always feel so lucky to have a small-town place like the cabin to off-set the hustle and bustle of the Twin Cities. We pulled into Amery and Andi said, "Are you sure there's an event today?" There were only a small handful of people milling around mainstreet. We parked our car and noticed a craft and vendor fair happening in a nearby health & wellness center. There were also baked goods for sale with proceeds going to a fundraiser of some sort. No long lines or crazy entrance fees; just several dozen people gathered together to celebrate the Christmas holiday.
Shortly thereafter, a mens chorus began to sing Christmas carols and we listened while enjoying free hot chocolate and hot dogs. Tory, in particular, was awe-struck by the carolers. She's captivated by Christmas music this season, and sings "Jingle Bells" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" all day, everyday.
A bit later, a beautiful team of Clydesdale horses approached us pulling a "sleigh" of people. We hopped on for a trip around downtown Amery. The kids were absolutely thrilled by the horses and the ride altogether. Andi reminded Tory of her first sleigh ride at a similar event two years ago. It was bitterly cold that day; much different than this unseasonably warm December day.
Afterwards, we stopped by Ellie's Ice Cream and Coffee for a sweet treat. This little shop was so cute! I loved the old-fashioned bar stools perfectly sized for the kids. The four of us sat at the counter, ate ice cream, colored pictures and listened to the men's chorus sing once again as they caroled at downtown area businesses.
What a perfect way to spend a holiday afternoon!