• The Piquant Storyteller

Holiday Light Tour

I love Christmas, particularly Christmas lights. It's so nice to celebrate Christmas during the darkest time of year. The lights remind me of the light of Christ. There are some nights that feel extra dark. Between the hills and trees around where I live, the nights can get really dark. I hate driving at night because it is so dark. Of course, by December the sun sets about 4 pm. Holiday lights are not only festive, but they bring hope of a brighter day - literally. Yesterday was the shortest day of the year. It only gets brighter from here!

I grew up in the Salt Lake valley where many families' holiday traditions include walking around Temple Square to see the lights. It is cold and crowded but so amazing. There are lights everywhere. It is beautiful. I love walking around Temple Square anytime but Christmastime is truly special.

When Heath told me he booked a tour to the Butchart Garden Holiday Light Tour, I was ecstatic. We didn't make it to the Butchart Gardens some 17+ years ago for our honeymoon. I have heard they are incredible. I could only imagine a holiday light tour. I had it all planned out. I was going to wear my cutest clothes with my cutest coat. This was going to my vicarious Hallmark Christmas movie moment.

Pea coats are adorable on Hallmark movies but may not be practical in real life. Even with a festive scarf. You know they film those movies in the summer right? They blow the snow in over large pieces of white felt. True story. Notice the lush green leaves on the trees the next time you indulge in one of those movies. Of course those girls can wear the outfits they do. It's 70 degrees outside. And those trendy ankle boots with a heel? Do you think those girls are really walking more than 10 feet at a time? Editing my friend. Editing.

If you look closely, you can see us in the reflection.

Luckily, all these thoughts entered my mind before I left with a trunk full of romantic date wear in the Arctic cold. My mom was concerned when I told her about my trip. I have been known to make disastrous choices in the past because it was fashionable. I settled for sweaters and jeans with Converse sneakers. Unfortunately my best coat choice was still a pea coat. With a hood! I have a jacket lined with faux fur - think Muppet fur. But it's too form fitting and the sleeves are too slender for sweaters. Off-white pea coat it was with not warm stretchy gloves and a scarf.

It was an unbelievably amazing experience. I loved every moment of it. Frostbite totally worth it! That isn't much of an exaggeration either. Heath took a lot of pictures and we are just grateful any of them turned out well. He didn't have a tripod with him. That makes getting a long exposure shot that much harder. Shivering doesn't help. He didn't have any gloves. Well, he did. But you can't easily work a camera with big clumsy gloves in the way.

The last two pictures were a result of my prince charming granting my wishes. I had told him that I had to have pictures of the city at night all decorated for the holidays. So after the bus dropped us off in front of the Empress Hotel, we started walking back to our hotel. Our feet had become blocks of ice at the Gardens and the feeling was returning on our walk back. Returning or leaving, whatever makes the most sense. But Heath took several pictures of the Parliament Building and one of the boats in the harbor all lit up for the holidays.

Then I told him to put the camera away because I truly believed we would be on the news in the morning. "A couple was found frozen to death across the street from the Parliament Building. They just wanted pictures of our fair city. We urge all tourists to dress for the weather. They looked like Hallmark Christmas movie extras with their lightweight coats and useless gloves."


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