Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Santa's Village

It's high time for a visit to Santa's Village, starting with this nice shot of the little train… I am guessing that it really was a steam locomotive, and not one of those little gas-powered abominations. 

These photos were taken in September, when Santa wasn't so busy. Lucky for this little girl, she got to meet the man himself! I like how the girl's pants appear to be patched with the same fabric that made up her shirt. Her sneakers match and her babushka is adorable!

Either she is showing off her engagement ring, or she was caught in awkward mid-wave. Love those giant mushrooms! You might remember this girl from a picture from Jungleland USA .


TokyoMagic! said...

That train was built by Bud Hurlbut and fortunately, it still exists today at the Santa Ana Zoo in Orange County: The Magic Train

Melissa said...

So cool about the train, TokyoMagic! I hate to think of it being scrapped!

I love the little details like the holly leaves painted on the ends of the cabin logs. If I was Santa, you can bet I wouldn’t leave my log-ends blank like some kind of sap. He’s going to have to eat a whole lot of those giant mushrooms if he’s going to bulk up by Christmas. Maybe he’s got some giant barley to go with them.

This trip to Santa’s Village was a reward for Nancy, who had just attained Level Red in the local troop of Babushka Scouts. Her yellow Babushkinka scarves had been donated to the uniform sale right after the Babushkina initiation ceremony on Wednesday evening.

Oh, it would be a while before she could earn the next level, but she and Patsy Miller and Donna Davis would sometimes “borrow” their Dads’ white hankies from the clean laundry and have a pretend Babushkette initiation in the playroom, with all their dolls for a tearful audience and ginger ale in dessert cups for champagne afterwards. In the meantime, she would earn her Cleanliness merit badge by getting photographic evidence that she washed her hands before lunch without being told. “Look, Mommy!” she called out. “Take a picture of my clean hands!”

“Grandma and Grandpa don’t need a picture of your clean hands in their Christmas card! Oh, well, we’ll just use the one with the skinny Santa. Grandma hates mushrooms after all the ones they had to eat during the war rationing, anyway. ”

K. Martinez said...

The little "level red" babushka scout is cute and looks so happy in the pic where she's leaning against the smaller mushroom.

Living in Santa Cruz, Santa's Village was always a ten minute drive from us, so we went there often. It was one of those places that felt very home grown and personal. I remember the train ride ran on a simple oval track loop with various storybook scenes. When I think of Santa's Village it's the those giant colorful mushrooms I remember most.

These are really great images today. Thanks, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic! Thanks for the link to your great article! It's funny, in my comment I mention a slide of the train… I was referring to THIS very photo! It only took me two years to get around to posting it.

Melissa, I agree, I am so glad that the train is still around. And I do love the end-painted logs on many of the houses. Why doesn't anybody name their daughter "Patsy" anymore?

K. Martinez, you are lucky to have experienced the Santa Cruz SV… both parks look so charming, and just the thing for kids of a certain age. If every home had giant mushrooms, there would be no war.

Nancy said...

Cool to hear about the little train still in use today.

Ill bet those mushrooms were candy-flavored :-)

Anonymous said...

Only one visit to Santa's Village, but the memories have lasted all my life. What a cute little place.

So cool that the train still runs, somewhere.

Thanks for the memory jog.