Every year, we travel to Tamarack in Beckley, WV to meet up with my aunt, uncle and cousin from Lewisburg and my aunt and uncle from Winston-Salem. It's kind of a practical "halfway" mark for all of us.
We visit and have lunch - the Tamarack food court is run by the Greenbrier Hotel people and they have some mighty delicious food there, for not bad prices.
Plus, from just after Thanksgiving until Christmas, Santa visits. He doesn't sit on a throne and have the kids wait in line to see him. Santa kinda wanders around the place and gently approaches children. Then, he spends a good amount of quality time with them. He's very patient, funny and sweet. We love him.
This is our 7th year of this gathering and I know by now this is the real Santa. He probably comes to Beckley because it's slightly warmer than the North Pole, but still gets a good amount of snow... so he can feel at home, ya know?
My aunt picks the date, then lets the rest of us know which Saturday in December we will be meeting up. It doesn't matter which weekend she picks, it almost always snows on that weekend. Saturday was no exception (I think it merely rained last year). It started snowing about noon and we gathered up the savages and got on the road to home by about 1ish.
Feeling all Christmasy, all of a sudden - after having visited Santa, the snow falling outside, and having a few wrapped gifts for the kids (given by aforementioned aunts, uncles and cousin), we decided it was time for the tree:
We got to take in all the cool products made by West Virginia Artisans while we wandered around Tamarack:
And of course, the Fiestaware area:
I did bring back a little something special for someone. We'll find out more tomorrow!