Sunday, December 5, 2010

Santa-san in the City. Our First Visit.

4th December, 2010 - Christmas is coming!

Well the day started off badly. T-chan and I had planned to take L-kun to the Norwood Christmas Pageant (we had missed going to the Adelaide Christmas Pageant in the city centre the other weekend as T-chan had been sick) and this was going to be our back up plan. We organised ourselves for an early departure, got in the car - L-kun was all excited to see Santa-san (where Santa-san is the Japanese version of Santa Claus). Everything was looking good... except we got our times slightly skew. We arrived exactly on time, only 1 week late. D'oh! How embarrassing.

Now here we were, driving around Norwood in the car with L-kun saying, "I want to see Santa-san... I want to see Santa-san"... over and over and over... and not a Santa-san in sight. There was only one thing to do. Suck it up and head into the city to visit the Magic Cave in the David Jones department store.... default home of Santa in Adelaide.

Coming into the city to see Santa on a Saturday morning is not a clever idea. Not a clever idea at all. However, we had played the Santa card, and once invoked, it can't be taken back. We knew that it would be very busy... and a 1 hour queue to see Santa was perhaps better than we could have expected. L-kun actually behaved himself very well (all things considered)... and it was only at the end that he started getting a little frustrated. Just in time for Santa.

This was L-kun's first visit with Santa... and I have to admit... it was my first visit as well. What to expect... and why were there three doorways?.... hmmm... could it be that there was some economies of scale going on? L-kun waited outside one of the doors... and then before you knew it, we were inside and L-kun was introduced to Santa-san. It's a bit of a strange experience - as the major emphasis is on having a photo taken (from a camera hiding behind a hole in the wall). L-kun knew he had to smile... but the longer it took, the more nervous he got? Was this some kind of "niceness test" that we hadn't told him about? 

This is largely about skimming the pockets of parents as you weren't allowed to take your own photos (with a minimum of $22AUD for the privilege of having your photo with Santa... ). Of course, L-kun didn't mind. But I have to say that L-kun's photo's looked progressively like he was being held hostage by some kind of Evil Santa...with increasingly nervous expressions and uncomfortable smiles. He wasn't actually that nervous, but suddenly having his photo with Santa threw him a little. He did succeed with the main objective of the day however. He told Santa what he wanted... a pirate ship. Hmmm - Santa... good luck finding that one. He gave Santa a big old hug afterwards and left smiling.

Apparently the pirate ship was as good as in the bag.

Whilst we were in the Magic Cave, we had a look around at the other things. There were carnival mirrors, fairy floss and pop-corn, and these interesting Christmas elf marionette doll dioramas.  

There were also a number of rides, such as a big Rocking Horse (er... I have to say that the staff attending may have needed some motivational talks... I know that even by noon, it must have been a long day... but a little bit of a smile wouldn't have hurt). L-kun was happy to oblige with a much nicer smile, now that he'd got over the whole Santa-san thing.

He then went on the mini-carousel... and was quite happy with that... 

Riding Kangaroo rodeo-style. Yeeeeehaaaaa! 

L-kun wanted to grab Daddy's finger... who foolishly obliged. 

Of course, Daddy had assumed that L-kun would let go.... which he didn't... and my heart skipped a beat as I saw (in my mind's eye) my son being dragged off the ride. Luckily disaster was averted when he finally let go before being pulled off. Did not want to be accused of child brutality in Santa's own Magic Cave. That would not look good at all.

So our mis-adventure in Norwood lead to some fun with Santa in the City. 21 more sleeps before Santa-san comes over to our place. And I'm reeeeeally hoping he finds a pirate ship.

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