Friday, December 26, 2008

The Festival of Lights at Mike's Farm

Going to Mike's Farm to see the Festival of Lights is a local tradition for many families here in Jacksonville. We went last year when Mimi visited and she enjoyed it so much that she wanted to go again this year. And this was Dave's first to see the Christmas lights even though he had been to Mike's Farm before.

We were going to eat dinner at the restaurant there also and we knew from last year that it gets very crowded so we decided to try to get there as soon as the restaurant opened at 4:30. We actually got there at about 4:50 and the line to just get your name on the list for the restaurant was all they way out to the little bridge (for those of you who have been and are familiar with the area). The hayride for the lights didn't start until 6:00 but there was already a line for that as well.
Dave showing his displeasure at having to wait in the long lines

We ran into a friend of mine, Kristie Battavio and her family, and she told me that they got their name on the list right at 4:30 and it was already a 1 1/2 wait. So while Dave and Mimi stayed in line for the restaurant, I went and got in line with Kristie to get tickets for the hayride. We had a 2 hour wait for dinner so we did the hayride and lights first and it was awesome. Even Dave, who didn't really want to wait, thought it was very well done. The last attraction in the light show was a huge American flag and a Marine kneeling next to the grave of a fallen warrior. The hayride came to a stop and the song "Proud to be an American" was played. It was the perfect ending to the show.After the hayride, we checked to see how much longer of a wait it would be before we were seated to eat. We were told at least an hour, so we went inside to the little store and bakery to get a snack. Zachary picked a huge peanut butter cookie, I got a cream cheese puff which was yummy, and Grace and Dave got peanut butter fudge which we all sampled and it was delicious! And of course we had hot apple cider (Mimi and me) and the kids had hot chocolate. We were just finishing up the snacks when they called our name. It was most definitely not an hour. We were taken back through the winding restaurant to our own little room where we were seated and served sweet iced tea, ham and biscuits, fried chicken, pork cutlets, macaroni and cheese, fresh corn, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy and the richest, moistest brownie for dessert. Delicious!


Ellis Family said...

We went on Fri. and loved it! It was our first year! We also ate the YUMMY homestyle chk dinner and loved every minute of it :) Missed you last night at Twilight! :(

Wendi said...

WOW, this all looks adn sounds so familiar....hehe!! Glad you guys had fun!