Wednesday, December 27, 2017

christmas magic enchanted land

For the first time in a long time, social media was correct in an advertisement it attacked me with. Most of the time, I get ads for subscription boxes and skincare treatments. Both of which I am not interested in, she screams into her computer screen. But this time, I was intrigued. The advertisement was for an event happening near where I live and from the pictures, seemed like the perfect combination of things; Christmas lights, ice skating in Texas, art installations, a maze, shopping, and booze. 

So, I bought tickets to Enchant.

I am finding it difficult to describe the experience. They a parking lot and with the wizardry of industrial design built a temporary miniature city of fake grass, compact gravel, false buildings, and LOTS of lights. This arrangement was striking and felt as if I was stepping into a small Christmas theme park without the rides.

Now, Texas is known for it's Christmas light mazes. For those of you who don't know, that is when you hop into your car and drive to some random location where there is a long stream of giant Christmas light displays. You sit in your car and drive through in a long line of these scaffolded displays, sandwiched between other cars, while you look at these structures in the same way you wait in the drive through at Taco Bell. 

Enchant took this idea and made into something more pedestrian. Literally. Not figuratively which would have the opposite meaning. You were forced to use your legs (gasp) walk through the whole thing (double gasp). Okay, maybe not the whole thing, but it was mean to be an immersive experience. Honestly, it was breathtaking.

The truth is that I was so captured by the artistry of it all that I failed to document the rest of the place with any kind of journalism. There was a whole section of Enchant that looked like a German city with shops -- and eaves -- and windows -- and more. Everything was themed to the point that there were beautiful archways spanning the walkways. 

No picture taken.

There were also a few eating areas and tents erected to eat. This is where I had MANY helpings of probably the most delicious mac and cheese of my life. Which is saying a lot because mac and cheese is one of my guilty pleasures. These eating areas made me feel like I was crashing a wedding reception and everyone was happy I was there. These spaced were filled with this underlining lazy energy of community cheer.

One picture taken.

Then the only picture I got of the ice skating rink, failed to capture the beauty of it -- or the size -- or the bridge that completely went over the thing -- or the beautiful poinsettia garden around it -- or any other detail to display it's impact.

I stood on the bridge for a long time. Sipping on a hot chocolate I procured. Watching the people skate below me. There were many people skating and yet, it didn't feel like those cramped iceskating rinks you find at a enterprising mall. This rink was filled with the same feeling of ease and camaraderie that I experienced when enjoying the mac and cheese. There were complete adult strangers laughing with each and playing games as if they were children again.

I know now and knew then that these moments were something special. It's not necessarily Enchant itself, but the spirit of it. It was the energy and the people. 

I know now and knew then that they probably would do try to do Enchant again, but it wouldn't be the same. People would go. Yet, the magic wouldn't be there. That's what it felt like, it felt like magic. I refuse to say it was enchanting because that would make me a punny asshole. But damn it, I had a good time. 

Also, I really did like the lights.

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