austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Santa's Workshop at the North Pole at Pikes Peak, Colorado, has a little theater, like many amusement parks. The stage is floor-level, with no gap between the front seats and the performers. All that holds you back is a sign asking people to not sit on the floor, that the performers have space. Oh, also, you're encouraged to take pictures during the show. Okay! They had posters for two shows, one a Nutcracker Suite show, and one a stage magician. The show our visit was the magician.

This wasn't an elaborate show, as you might figure from it being in a tiny theater in a small park outside Cascade, Colorado. Like, the Magic Toy Shoppe sign was construction paper and looked handmade. And the tricks were the sorts of modest, low-budget things. Making a black-and-white picture of Santa Claus turn into a color one. Dropping a set of blocks (again depicting Santa) into a tube, lifting the tube, and showing the order's changed. Bringing out a magic box to make a photograph of a rabbit turn into an actual bunny. The last illusion was spoiled for bunny_hugger, who noticed the ``empty'' box making a noise like a rabbit unhappy at being in a box scratching at the box. Also wiggling around some as it was moved to stage front. I didn't notice the motion, or attributed it to the box being moved around. The rabbit was the last stunt, and the magician encouraged people to come up and pet the bunny as they left. We weren't sure the rabbit quite liked being held this way. Nor necessarily being touched by so many kids. But, depends on the rabbit. Our Sunshine would probably do great being approached and petted, under supervision. Being held, not sure. We hven't tried.

But we petted the rabbit's head the way we generically expect rabbits to appreciate. And talked about our rabbits, back home, when we had two of them. ``Last you checked, anyway,'' he said. bunny_hugger answered that they were kept in separate rooms, not thinking to mention they were both female.

Most curious bit about the magician was his London accent. We spent some time trying to figure whether he was just affecting the accent. And came to figuring he was actually from London when he spoke about his ``bruvver'', and said ``brother'' that way consistently. We figured nobody just performing with a British accent would hit that note reliably. Also while setting up the rabbit stunt he started out talking about using a picture of his rabbit, claiming the actual rabbit was on holiday in Belgium. I can believe an English person talking about a holiday in Belgium; not an American pretending to be English. How a London magician came to be working the summer magic show in a tiny amusement park outside a town an hour outside Denver will be something for us to idly speculate about for times to come.

We only had a couple hours' to be at the park, but the skies were sunny agan and it's not a large place. We could get on some rides, besides the carousel. One that captivated us was a modified Mini-Jet ride. One of those things where you're in a car that goes in a horizontal circle and sometimes rises or falls. But this one was done up not as a plane, or a dragon, or even a slight. The cars were decorated as giant Christmas tree ornaments, and the center of the fixture a tall, white tree. Yes, with a silver star on top. It was gorgeous and the ride operators didn't exactly shoo us away from riding. We were always conscious of being unaccompanied adults at a kid-oriented park, and did ask a couple times if we were allowed to ride something. I don't remember that we were ever turned away.

They've got a Space Shuttle-themed swinging ship ride, one that looks so strikingly ripped from 1984 that it was glorious. We didn't take the time to ride it, though. Nor the flying scooter. There's a Snowflake Maze, an indoor ride that if we're reading the map right is a lightly haunted-house-style attraction. But it was closed as we got there, and the signs suggested it was not just for smaller kids but maybe didn't even let folks older than 13 go through.

Also not ridden: the World's Highest Ferris Wheel. At least according to the sign. I'm willing to believe this ballyhoo. Some Ferris Wheel has to be highest, and it is from something like a mile above sea level. But the wheel wasn't there. There was a bare structure for the wheel, but no actual wheel or cars, and the pavement underneath was gone, nothing but torn-up ground with construction equipment. I imagine it to be under renovation as there was evidence the ride had been there, as opposed to just being built and ready to open soon. Too bad that it wasn't there, though. I'd have been up for riding it just for the odd novelty of the claim.

Nearby this is the enclosure where they keep deer, surely the closest they can get to living reindeer. Also a lot of deer food that's been spilled just outside the enclosure as kids get terrified to see an actual living deer poking a snout through the bars. And the occasional bird braving the flock of kids to get a snack.

Trivia: During the Revolutionary War British logistics officers concluded they would need a reserve of at least six month's food to mount any major offensives in North America. They met that reserve only twice during the eight years of war. Source: An Edible History of Humanity, Tom Standage.

Currently Reading: Roving Mars: Spirit, Opportunity, and the Exploration of the Red Planet, Steve Squyres.


PS: Meanwhile over a year ago, Gillian's Wonderland Pier.

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More of the Philadelphia Toboggan Company carousel #75 and its all-white horses at Gillian's Wonderland Pier.


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Broken dreams: bucket of steel rings returned by people who didn't grab the lone brass ring for the ride.


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Wall decorations, including a skateboarding Wonder Bear, near the carousel inside the castle at Gillian's Wonderland Pier.


Tags: #75, denver dash, fifth anniversary trip, gillian's wonderland pier, santa's workshop
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