Tuesday night we walked down Fresno's Christmas Tree Lane , which just happens to be in our neighborhood, and continued another cherished Christmas tradition. Two nights each year are designated just for walkers to enjoy this extravaganza of lights and people who converge on Van Ness Avenue. And when we say people, we mean lots of people. One source said 10,000 made it down the lane in that one night.
Meilani and I took Papa since Ericlee was at a basketball game. This was not Meilani's first experience on Christmas Tree Lane. We took her last year when she was six months old, but as you can imagine, it was more meaningful this year. She was saying "Hi, hi, HI!" to all dogs, snowmen, babies, santas and even horses we saw strolling down the lane.
One of her fave displays was this moving life-size diorama complete with Raggedy Ann and Andy puppets and a rocking Grandma. When the dolls would move up and down, Meilani would smile and say, "UP!" or "Dow-" She embraced the experience with such enthusiasm.
This is the 85th year the Old Fig Garden neighborhood has hosted the Christmas Tree Lane and we paused here to help celebrate. We've discovered that walking nights are not only an opportunity to see all the dazzle-me displays. It's also a chance to check out everyone and their mother in Fresno. It's like cruising without cars.
We met up with this cute hunk, Corban Pusey, who was dressed for the cold (Ok, 40s is cold for the Valley. Sorry, to you Chicagoans.) We were proud he fit into the hat and mittens we gave him when he was born. What a cutie! It's a good thing he was so bundled because we did see snow halfway through our walk. (We also spied the snow machine - This truly was a Hollywood experience.)
Meilani enjoyed hanging out with Corban's new foster brother, Angel, who took her under his wing. Meilani loved "Duck the Halls," which is no surprise to those in the audience who know her favorite animal is the duck.
Angel and Meilani investigated the life-size displays along the lane together, including this one with pirouetting penguins and dancing snowmen. The two snuck in for a closer look. They also saw characters like Spiderman, Shrek, Little Mermaid, Santa's elves and even a Christmas cowboy - to name a few of the features.
The most well-known display - probably worth a pretty penny in PG&E bills - is the house, featuring a Disney train, a clock tower, a toy soldier who emerged from his box and a walkway for viewers to stroll through the maze of lights. We're talking thousands of lights!