Are We Walking to Alaska

Are We Walking to Alaska
Are We Walking to Alaska - A True Story

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Let's Have Some Fun with Christmas Lights

 Several nights recently we have gone to look at Christmas lights - one of our favorite traditions.  The first night we drove to Blaine, WA - up on the Canadian Border.  Blaine is a small town - and they do things up on the holidays in small town style.  Parades - decorations - festivals - it all happens in Blaine - about 25 miles north.

At first I didn't have the right setting on my  camera and got some fun results - then later I got it right and the lights were clearer - though not quite as silly.

We had been to Blaine the day before - and saw their beautiful town Christmas tree.  The statues in the back on the right of the tree are a memorial to those lost at sea.

The tree is covered with ornaments and tiny blue  lights - which don't show up well  in the day time.

In the same little courtyard are giant light up snowflakes.

Approaching the courtyard at night - there was no traffic and we could stop in the middle of the street to take pictures.  Gotta love these  small towns

First try at the lighted tree

Second try

I like this one best - you can see the different motions that my camera makes when I don't use a tripod

Ooops - don't put the camera back down too soon - you'll get shooting stars

Looking down the street the other way you see "dancing" lights on the tree trunks along the street

Down by the docks we could look across and see the border crossing into Canada - the red and green lights looked like Christmas lights - these look like music notes to me - made by the camera movement because the shutter speed was so slow in the dim light - and my hand is not a good tripod.

Border Crossing - so pretty.  The wait that night was about 25 minutes to get into  Canada and by the lines we saw on the  Canadian side, it looked like the US crossing had an even longer wait.

A pretty house - with  Santa on the porch - all smudgy and swirly

This is what it looked like when I finally changed the camera setting

Pretty little trees in a yard

Reflected in the wet street

One of my favorite houses in Blaine - right on the main street - again, I think the lights smudged into music notes - maybe it is Christmas music.

Whoosh - there goes a Christmas tree

Looking out over the bay we could see the close lights in the harbor - and in the distance, White Rock, BC, Canada

"Strings of lights" in White Rock

This is what White Rock really looks like at night from across the border

On the way home that night we revisited a house in Bellingham
Santa, reindeer, gifts, train, wreath - all  lit up

A polar bear and her igloo - waiting for Santa

Snow man and candy canes - this was about 10 feet tall

Fuzzy Snoopy and the lit up mail box - you can see that the mail box opened and Woodstock was inside

Fully open - this was a cute decoration

Then last night we went out to dinner - and on the way home visited one of our favorites.  Hello Mr. Grinch!

This ranch decorates the fence for every holiday
See the Cheshire Cat - Wiley Coyote and the Roadrunner?

Snowman riding a bull

The Cat in the Hat - there seemed to be no special order to these decorations - just hung all along the fence, with lots of lights

Bugs Bunny

Cow pokes on the fence

And the Elf  Rodeo finishes it up.

The view of the entire fence in my rearview mirror

As we wandered towards home we were surprised by a neighborhood all decorated up - out in the country
Red and green outlining a house

Trees and fences lit up

This was Don's favorite in this neighborhood - soft blue and green lights

One of my favorites - a Dr. Seuss tree - sparkly!

And as we drove back onto the main road - there in front of us - across the road - was Santa - standing all by himself out in a field.  This was the best shot I could get - there was an impatient truck right behind me.  

Ho Ho Ho

Hope you enjoyed the trip - and hope you didn't get too car sick.

Do you like to take drives to look at outdoor lights at Christmas?


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Beautiful holiday lights! Are you SURE you didn't overindulge in Christmas cheer? Yeah, yeah, "wrong camera settings," I know.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Oh, WOW! This is gorgeous, and my favorite is the elf rodeo. How cute!



Karen @ Beatrice Euphemie said...

Great light effects, JoAnn! Reminds me of those pyschedelic 60's! Love the town tree in Blaine - and the sad and sweet statue for those lost at sea. Love the Igloo and the Polar Bear the best! Oh, and the Santa in the field is great. Lots of fun coming along with you on your outting. xo Hugs, Karen

Powell River Books said...

It so much fun to drive around to see the decorations. I love Blaine. When we were looking for property we considered it, but Bellingham was a better choice because of my mother's health care needs. We use Nexus for border crossings both ways. It sure makes it a whole lot easier. - Margy

Buttons Thoughts said...

Oh you had me laughing out loud thinking of your listening to Canadian Christmas music:) I can imagine it is so so very different:)
Beautiful trip I have always wanted to go to Blaine and White Rock and if I ever do I will look you up across the water. Bring your binoculars:)
All the best of the holidays my American friend from your Canadian friend:) HUGS B

J said...

Those pictures are a joy - and they went on forever! which is good for me as I sit here with my morning coffee, needing something fun to look at! I agree with Beatrice on the polar bear being my favorite, although usually I prefer the traditional lights, wreaths, nativity sets, and Santa figures. But it's always fun to see everything, knowing that people decorate for the happiness of others. Good old USA and Canada - God bless us both!

Julie Fukuda said...

I had forgotten all about the lighting and how creative it can get. Now that I think back, Cleveland had a place called Nela Park, near where I lived, and every year at Christmas they had tons of lights and decorations and the public could drive through. That was well before modern lighting with LED lights.

Mary said...

Fabulous light shows - and yes small towns really work hard to give us lovely things to enjoy at this season. Of course big cities are amazing when it comes to window displays in large department stores etc., but it's the little country cottages and their decorated gardens that make it all so special to me.

Thanks for the show JoAnn - you did a wonderful job - and of course your corner of the country always brings fond memories for me at any season.

Merry Christmas to you and your family dear friend - Mary

Grandma Barb's This and That said...

What a fun tour of the Christmas lights! Thanks for taking us along. I love some of the effects of the lights when you used the wrong setting. Love how they turned into music notes and dancing lights. Loved the elf rodeo and the igloo and polar bear. I love going for drives like that to see the lights.

Kay said...

So many of those romping lights remind me of the Butchart Garden shots I took earlier this month, though I can't say mine looked like musical notes, unfortunately!
Looks like you find some wonderful decorations. The best I've seen around here are at our local casino and tribal center in Blyn -- lots of lights, beautifully done.

greenthumb said...

You got some great photos, that's one more thing we need to do.

A Colorful World said...

Some interesting effects! :-) I haven't tried to take any photos outdoors at night (except for one of the moon) with my new camera, and don't know how to change the setting yet. Still have a lot to learn! All the decorations there were just magical and I enjoyed seeing them all! Christmas lights and decorations always make me feel so happy!