Earlier this week, my uncle posted something on Facebook for an event called Shawhaven Farms Holiday Lights. Their website says they have more than 40,000. They actually have around 65,000 and let me tell you, it’s awesome!
My daughter and I decided we were going to go around six o’clock this evening but it had been a long day and on about four hours sleep, I said I needed a nap first. So we arrived at 9:15 … forty-five minutes before they close for the night … but with plenty of time to catch the last wagon ride around the huge display.
I was impressed to see that they had comfortable chairs – covered with blankets – for passengers, as well as bales of hay to kick your feet up and get comfortable with. The way it was set up, it felt kind of like sitting inside a puppeteer’s box looking out at the crowd, except we were looking at all of the festive lights.
It was also very cool to discover that after the Hallelujah Chorus, the synchronized lights were set to a couple of Straight No Chaser tunes (and you probably figured out a long time ago that I love this group).
This was one of the songs we got to enjoy during one of the stops along the way, one of my favorites.
I think it was the last song we heard before things got a little exciting…
We were enjoying the lights and the music when the wagon started to tilt … and then to tilt sharply. I thought it was just part of the experience. But it wasn’t.
By the time we hit what felt like a twenty-degree angle (like a capital V on its side), I realized the wagon was really tipping over, but it happened slowly. And when I say that, I mean it happened slowly. It wasn’t one of those ‘it felt like it happened in slow motion’ kind of things.
And then we just kind of hung there for a little while. Maybe a full minute. You can’t see much of anything in this view because at this point we were staring at the sky above us, but you can hear everyone on the wagon laughing, and my daughter giggling beside me…
You can tell we all thought it was hilarious.
I don’t think anyone really knew what to do because at that angle, it was more than a little awkward. I think we were all wondering how we were going to get out of the wagon, but then just as slowly as it started, it finally finished its fall to the ground, landing with a not too hard thud.
Because we were facing down on a small hill, and because I was now lying on my hair – shoulder to shoulder with everyone else, I couldn’t move, but then I got a couple of helping hands and once my hair was free, so was I.
Then we all just stood there laughing, looking at the way the wagon had separated from the wheels and undercarriage (I think that’s what one of the guys said). And then we laughed all the way back to the main building – on foot, of course.
So my daughter finally got the picture she took downloaded and I lightened it in GIMP so you can see what happened. It really felt like we were tilted down a hill, but I guess we weren’t. It looks pretty flat to me. My daughter thinks the wagon part we were riding in just detached from the wheels and kind of slid off. I think she may be right.
I know sounds weird, but it was actually a lot of fun. And very exciting. I couldn’t wait to tell my son (who doesn’t like looking at Christmas lights) about it when we got home. His reaction was hilarious. Since I still deal with some of the after effects of the car accident, he can’t believe I didn’t get hurt. I tried to explain that it was a very slow fall, and you can see we weren’t very high off the ground anyway, but I guess he thinks I’m lying. He just walked away shaking his head.
Assured that the wagon will be fixed, my daughter and I plan to go back tomorrow night to finish the tour. Like I said, it was a blast, and the owners are just the sweetest people I’ve ever met.