Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lapland (UK-style!)

Well, I am more than delighted that my internet is now working again - hurrah. I was getting serious withdrawals yesterday.
So, at last, here's some pictures of where we went last weekend. We've wanted to take Charlie to Lapland for a long time, but at the moment, it's just not an option. Apart from the fact that he'd probably struggle a lot with the cold there because he's pre-Fontan, and is actually a couple of years overdue for it, but the fact that he's now on the waiting list for the surgery would make the travel insurance prohibitively expensive.
So, until next year (maybe!) we had to compromise a bit.
Enter Lapland UK!
This is an amazing winter wonderland, set up in a forest in Kent. It's like a big theatre experience, with 'snow' provided by the same people who create snowy film sets.
Charlie was sent a letter from Father Christmas, with a big wax seal on it, which said because he'd been so good, he was one of the lucky children who'd been chosen to help Father Christmas make some toys ready for Christmas.
Fast forward to last Saturday morning, when we arrived at Bewl Water, and waited outside a big wooden door.
Charlie could hardly believe it when a REAL elf invited us into her woodland home! It was so beautifully done, with loads of greenery and atmospheric lighting. Chas was given his 'elf passport' and totally blown away by it all (and, as expected, was right at the front, chatting to the elves!)
We were led down a green, woodland path (the elves' magic pathway, which could transport them anywhere around the world in the blink of an eye!) until we reached a massive, carved wooden door.
Charlie ran to help open the door with the other children, and as it swung open and they stepped out into 'Lapland', the audible 'oooh!' was priceless!
As they walked through the door, the green woodland was forgotten because everything was white - covered in 'snow'!
It was so lovely. Charlie was so excited, and completely bought into the whole thing. (You gotta love being six!)
He had so much fun - making rocking horses in Santa's workshop, (and being chosen by an elf to ride the rocking horse at the front!) making gingerbread and having a story from Mother Christmas herself in her kitchen, meeting husky dogs, real reindeer (and Rudolph too!), writing a postcard to Nanny from Father Christmas's post office, having dinner in a real log cabin, ice skating, stories from the Sami huntsmen and, of course, a meeting with the big man himself.
Charlie had an amazing time when he met Father Christmas - he couldn't believe it when Santa knew his name, how old he was, that he loves Dr Who and Harry Potter, and that his best friend is called Sam. Father Christmas even told Charlie he'd been watching him, and was so proud of how well he's been looking after Nanny since Grandpa went to Heaven. (I managed not to cry... just.)
As we left, Father Christmas gave Charlie a beautiful white cuddly husky dog, called Lumi. He also gave me a fab tote bag and a lovely illustrated book of Christmas stories.
It really was a fab day. We'd told Charlie that we'd had to go to Lapland by elf magic this year because he's still waiting to have his heart fixed, but that next year maybe we could go by plane... to which he replied that he'd rather go by elf magic next year too, because it's more fun and it's quicker!
Here's a few pictures from the day - I haven't put the one of Charlie with Father Christmas because it was a print, and I can't be bothered to scan it in!

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