One of the few rides not to be Christmas-themed, but that got us intrigued, was the Hot Shots Fire Brigade. This is an odd little ride that bunny_hugger had heard of but never seen in the wild. The theme is that you're putting out fires in a high rise. The firefighting platforms are water guns, on platforms that rise and fall while the entire ride rotates around the center. And apparently you're supposed to shoot specific targets at particular times, based on what seemed to be going on. We don't know why this ride is at Santa's Village, what with it not being at all Santa-y, although it's next to a building with an old Volunteer Fire Department truck and various plaques honoring volunteer fire fighters so we're guessing this is a bit of local history embedded in the rides.
The last major thing we went on was a scenic train ride, which we figured if nothing else would let us see parts of the park we hadn't seen from the Skyway Sleigh Monorail. Also it went through tunnels that we could see were decorated and lighted. And we could get views from behind of things like the Nativity scene (well, it'd hardly do not to have one). There were surprises even in the woods. The most attention-getting was that a rabbit was just sitting there, out in the open, well ahead of the dusk hours that rabbits are supposed to find comfortable. The rabbit was maybe twenty feet from the railroad at its nearest, remote enough that even someone leaping off the ride couldn't harass it before the rabbit would make good an escape, but still.
Odder, and something bunny_hugger missed, is that there was a Michigan State Spartans shield nailed to a tree. I did grab a blurry photo of it. And I guess it might have been for a local team, but it was the green S just as you see on bulletin boards and car decals and such around here. Why was it there? What a good question there's just no answer for.
That wrapped up the day. The shame of our itinerary is that we had to start with Funtown Splashdown USA in the morning and go to Santa's Village in the afternoon. Santa's Village closed at 6 pm; Funtown Splashdown USA would be open well into the evening. If there were any way to do these in the other order we might have had a fair chance at experiencing the best both had to offer. But if we could've started from near Santa's Village we wouldn't have thought to go anywhere near Funtown Splashtown USA anyway. One can argue whether it's better to have an inadequate experience of something rather than none at all.
bunny_hugger got a coffee from the Polar Expresso. We went back to the Sugar 'n' Spice Bake Shop to get some cookies and, for me, hot chocolate. This was also nicely near the large book of Santa's Good List and naturally we went looking for our names on it. (It's not in order, for good reason.)
We stopped in the gift shop, of course. Well, Fezziwig's gift shop (with personalized stuff) was closed, but the main gift shop was still there and would you imagine it possible they had suitable Christmas ornaments there? With our purchase they also gave us a coupon for a discount admission later in the summer, a sweet if, for us, futile gesture. I'd have passed it on to my brother in Boston, but the coupon had bunny_hugger's last name on it, and at least one member of the returning party had to have the name on the coupon. So, one more thing we'd have done a little differently if we had known. I hate to say it, but that last sentence might have been the theme of the New England Parks Tour.
Trivia: From its development in 1901 until 1919, Pepto-Bismol was known as Bismosal. It was developed by a pediatrician hoping to relieve infant cholera. Source: The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York, Deborah Blum.
Currently Reading: Moscow, 1937, Karl Schlögel, Translated by Rodney Livingstone. Whew! I was starting to think this whole 550-page book wouldn't even mention Sergei Korolev. (He gets a little aside in the chapter on Soviet aviation of the 1930s, which I've only recently learned was busy setting pretty much every record imaginable.)
PS: Reading the Comics, September 6, 2015: September 6, 2015 Edition because I got a lot of them at once for some reason.