We included dinner and made it a night out. We had a bit of a problem with dinner. Tyler wanted a steak and so we made reservations at Ruby River. They had a new thing on their website where you reserve a table online. Great. But when we arrived, they had no knowledge of any reservation. They admitted that the online reservations didn't always work correctly, and even with a verification email we showed them, they weren't willing to bump us up on the waiting list. Forty minutes was too long to wait since we had a reservation time at Luminaria, so we skipped it. No steak for Tyler. (In fact, we may not visit Ruby River for a long time. Tyler does not take kindly to poor customer service.)
Luckily, they put in 3 million places to eat over at Thanksgiving Point, so we had plenty of variety to choose from. I chose Cubby's because it sounded good and it was one of the best burgers I have ever had. (Good choice me.) The fries were pretty killer too. (Sorry I didn't share more Tyler.)
Then we were off to see the Lumiaria. Bethany was able to get some tickets at a discount price, which is nice because it it pricey to go. The Hulse's actually bought our tickets for us as an anniversary present. (You guys rock!) I coined a new phrase, HA! It stands for Happy Anniversary. The evening was sprinkled with Ha HA Ha, which only reminded me how lucky I am to be married to an amazing man for 17 (official) years now.
It was a cold night and our event was outdoors so we dressed for the weather. Luckily no snow.
The gardens are open year round and are very large. There are many places you can wander. For this event, there was a guided path that you stayed on. The first stop was the Poinsettia House. I liked the Poinsettia balls that hung above.
Jonny took a picture for us...of himself.
Then he took a real picture for us. I'm holding up my hand to show off the luscious gloves Beth let me borrow. My hands would have been frozen without those.
Luminaria is quite the experience. They clearly have gone to a lot of work to put it together. It is simply amazing. There are special light displays throughout the gardens. Most of the areas are labeled. This was the Peppermint Forest? There are even smells in certain places. Here you could smell the peppermint as you walked through.
I don't remember most of the names, but this clearly is the Colorful Canopy.
There were photo op areas everywhere you looked. We chose to take a pic inside the light tree. (There was a name for it too. Can't remember.)
And of course by the mistletoe. Ahhh.
The Light of the World Garden was awesome. I haven't been to the gardens for a while. Last time I went (2015), they had mostly small statues of Christ. I didn't realize they were a preview for larger statues to come. Now, the entire area is filled with life size depictions of scenes from Christ's life. It was superb. Add a whole bunch of lights and it was a favorite area.
We didn't take many pictures there (I wasn't in charge of the camera anyway. I couldn't work one with those gloves on) but you can see this depiction of Christ walking on water and almost some of the other vignettes in the background. I definitely want to come back in the spring and check it out.
There was a huge area for roasting s'mores and such. We skipped on through. Over by the waterfalls, they had blue lights in place of water. This scene ended up looking quite psychedelic.
There was a gigantic snowman over on the Frosty Lane or was it Flaky Forest? (Seriously, I can't remember any of the fun names.) We took a selfie with him. Almost makes him look normal sized.
One of the coolest things was the hill of lights. There were so many small luminaries. They changed colors and made designs and zinged along with the music. You could sit and watch for hours.
We didn't because it was quite chill. I would love to take the kids next year. It was worth seeing for sure. Thanks again Hulse's for taking us. We came home and played games for just a bit. One of our new favorite games is Speak Out. It leads to lots of drool and plenty of laughs. This video of Jonny makes me cry all over again. HA!