Sunday, December 11, 2016

DELAWARE: A Christmas lights road trip

For the first half-hour we thought we were on a wild-goose chase: the "must-see!" displays promised by the online itinerary of Delaware Christmas lights were pretty much duds.
But then we arrived at 1054 Red Lion Road in Bear. The Faucher family have transformed their property into an over-the-top facsimile of Who-ville from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." The garage is Santa's living room, with a mechanical Santa in an easy chair. Cars were parked along the road and despite the sub-freezing temperatures, families got out to see the dazzling display. We were glad there was a donation box to help defray the homeowner's electric bill.

The Christmas display at the Fauchers' house in Bear, Del.

A Dr. Seuss-like Christmas tree at the Fauchers' house in Bear, Del.

The Who-ville display at the Fauchers' house in Bear, Del.

Our next stop was Odessa, where the historic houses were tastefully and conservatively decorated. Think Colonial Williamsburg style, with traditional evergreen wreaths highlighted with pineapples and citrus, and subtle lights in the windows.
Just east of Odessa -- and this was not on the itinerary -- we happened upon Ruddy Duck Court, a cul-de-sac where a homeowner has set up in the yard a lavish computer-controlled light display with a low-power FM soundtrack that you could tune in to on your car radio. The spectacular display started with "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas," went through "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," the Flintstones Christmas song, and several others before finishing on a more somber note with Pachelbel's ethereal Canon.
Most of the animation appeared on a Christmas tree-shaped screen, but the green lights that outlined the house's roof joined in on several of the songs. It was just amazing. After watching the whole cycle, we pulled out to make room for another car of spectators.
On the way home, my driver remembered that we needed light bulbs, so we made a stop at the Newark Lowe's before heading back to Pennsylvania. What on earth could have made him think of light bulbs?

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