Today the road has brought me to Excelsior Springs, MO. . .again.
I first visited this town back in 2014 when I reviewed The Inn on Crescent Lake for my first proper Christmas B & B review. I never miss a chance to stay here when I’m nearby (and you shouldn’t either).
When I first visited this town, I actually came after Christmas so I missed some of the Christmas activities of this spa town. Well, I decided to rectify that by closing out the Cavalcade of Christmas by experiencing those activities.
God was certainly smiling on me this holiday season as I’ve been blessed with really great weather for all the traveling I’ve done over the past month (except for that storm in Storm Lake). This day was no different. The sun was shining. The birds were singing. And there was nary a cloud in the sky. All was right with the world as I drove to Excelsior Springs.
About 4pm, I returned to the Inn on Crescent Lake where I had booked my regular room, the McCleary room. Beverly Bohnert greeted me at the door and inquired into my recent travels before taking me to my sanctum sanctorum.
I had little time for down time as I needed to get to church. I enjoyed a lovely little service at St Ann’s and then grabbed an early dinner at Applebee’s before heading back to the inn to put my feet up for a bit before heading out for the night.
I journeyed to downtown Excelsior Springs where I visited their Hall of Waters. The Hall of Waters normally does double duty as the City Hall and a museum of the town’s mineral bath history, but it does triple duty during the Christmas season when the first floor is transformed into the Hall of Trees.
The Christmas fun actually begins outside the building with a Christmas display of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”.
Inside is a room stuffed full of Christmas trees sponsored by local businesses. A rather clever touch to this presentation is that each tree is designed according to the theme of the business.
Aside from visiting the Hall of Trees, I would also be taking part in the Holly Jolly Trolley lights tour. Excelsior Springs still has an honest to goodness trolley system and it provides numerous tours throughout the year from paranormal tours to winery tours.
The tour would show us some of the Christmas displays of the town including 5 homes that were battling it out for the best Christmas display of Excelsior Springs before closing with a trip through the Lane of Lights.
According to the tour guide this was kind of an off year for seeing the Christmas lights of the city as Excelsior Springs had been battered by unusually cold weather during the months of October and November which prevented people from decorating their homes. But there was still enough festivity to scratch my itch for Christmas cheer.
The tour had its amusing moments. Shortly after we started the tour, the trolley got called back. The earlier tour had been overbooked so they had to switch to a bigger trolley to accommodate the people. For convenience’s sake, they decided to use the bigger trolley for the late tour as well. However, the trolley driver got a call that the bigger trolley had been rented out for another event, which meant we had to go back to the garage and switch to the smaller trolley.
Another humorous incident is that the final home for the lighting contest had nothing going. The house was dark as a tomb and the inflatables were flat as a pancake. Given how close we are to Christmas, I assume the contestant is simply out of town.
And in a last bit of humor, the house I would have named the winner was not even participating in the contest. We stopped by a home where the owner is a big fan of Christmas and had been doing great light displays for a number of years and won several awards. This year he did the decorating, but opted not to be in the contest. This was disappointing as he would have netted a 4.5 star rating from me.
The last part of the tour is the Lane of Lights. The Christmas committee sets up an homage to Christmas along the Lover’s Lane of their local park and it is pretty to behold. My only disappointment is that it isn’t longer. The most impressive part is a tunnel of lights you go through near the end which was added this year. The juice needed to power the tunnel matched the juice needed to run the entire lane last year.
With the end of the tour, I headed back to Inn on Crescent Lake where I enjoyed a bath at just the perfect temperature while I nibbled on some of Beverly’s homemade chocolate chip cookies and read the fifth part of Mick Foley’s (a fellow Christmas aficionado) memoirs, Saint Mick, where he details his transition to a new calling in being an ambassador for Santa after the end of his professional wrestling career.
I felt the call of the land of Nod as I read and turned out the lights before my lights went out and I slept through the entirety of the night.
In the morning, the sun was shining brightly through my windows and I looked forward to a sunlit breakfast in the solarium. Today’s repast was the Sunday signature: Strawberry cream cheese stuffed French Toast, little smokies, and honeydew with orange juice. It was a peaceful meal and I thank Beverly for her praise of any little writing powers I may possess to another couple enjoying their breakfasts.
But with the end of my meal came the end of the Cavalcade of Christmas. Now it was back to home to enjoy Christmas with my family and friends.
In lieu of my normal sign off line, I wish you the merriest and happiest of Christmases this year.