December 09th, 2019
Every year since we've moved to Florida, somewhere during the Christmas Season, Tim and I get together with Joy and Bob and do some sort of Christmas Event. It might be a play, or a movie or a trolley ride to see the lights. This year it was something called, 'Enchant' up in Tampa and it was Enchanted indeed.
Joy is the one who came up with the idea. We got the tickets in early November and it's a good thing we did too because it was a completely sold out event. Yikes! We had an assigned time to arrive and roughly and hour to explore. They had rules y'see. I don't generally do well with arbitrary rules but it turns out that they were pretty much spot on. One hour was perfect.
Enchant is a Light Maze (never heard of such a thing before myself) and it was held in the Tropicana Field Arena. And may I just say wow. No wait, more like WOW! It was pretty dang amazing.
Of course we had no idea what it was all about. We just did what they told us. Showed up at the right time, parked in the right place, walked in the correct door and followed the crowd down a hall way that seemed to go on forever and then suddenly we turned a corner and, and, and....we were immediately transported back in time about 60 years.
Before us lay a wonderland of lights. We were temporarily stunned with the enormity of it's awesomeness.
It wasn't enough to just have this incredible maze of lights to wander through. Nope. We were given a mission immediately upon enterring. Adorably attired Christmas eleves handed out cards labeled "The Great Search". After a few moments of pondering we got it. There were 9 little scratch offs, one for each reindeer. Ah! So the goal is to find each of Santa's reindeer. Ok. Mission accepted! I felt confident, after all, I know the names of all of Santa's reindeer. You doubt me? Ok then, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Coment, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph. See!
The maze was filled with, not just the aforementioned reindeer, but HUGE reindeer. They were each hidden within the maze. Well hidden as well as 9 ginormous lighted up Reindeer actually can be hidden. They were tucked here and there throughout the maze. It took some sleuthing to find them all but we did!~ Here are a few of them:
There were also trees of every shape and size:
There were snowflakes and mirrored icicles and snowmen!
We never knew what might be around the next curve or corner. It might be a tunnel of lights or a walkway that changes colours as you step
One of our favourite things was the ice skating rink. We stood and watched the skaters for awhile. Some either were born with the knack, they have skated before or were quick studies. Others were more of the Sam school of skating...down more than up. My favourites were the children who had never had the opportunity be on skates before. They were so tickled with themselves. (Please note that none of us donned ice skates ourselves and got out there).
Through some sort of magic, occasionally it was snowing inside! I was trying to get a photo of the Tropicana field sign which came out terrible, BUT you can see the snow coming down.
Here and there were phrases of inspiration and/or identification. And yes all around the perimeter booths of different kinds of foods to buy. It smelled so good in there. The cinnamon rolls were tempting but I was strong and resisted.
The staff were wonderful. Very helpful, very happy and dressed to the occasion. There were even Carolers!
We were mesmerized! Everywhere we looked there was more to see. We found ourselves just gazing in wonder exactly like all the kids. In fact, everyone in attendance was suddenly a child again for just another hour. That is a Christmas Miracle in itself.
We had a wonderful time. It was a delightful. It was charming. It was fun. It was Enchanting!
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Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.