During a recent conversation with Santa and Mrs. Claus, we discussed letters the North Pole couple had received from children interested in travel-related gifts. After making his list, and checking it twice, here’s how Santa planned to respond to five nice youngsters:
1. A dog-sled trip for Dawson.
A nine-year-old, adventuresome Michigan boy wrote that he longed to mush a dog sled team deep into the woods of Minnesota, a northern state known for natural beauty, scenic trails, and experienced dogsledding guides. Santa wasn’t sure whether to deliver a lodge-based or camping adventure but was pleased that Dawson and his family would also have the opportunity for snowshoeing, ice fishing and a trip to an internationally respected wolf center. Contact: www.dogsledding.com; www.ExploreMinnesota.com.
2. Piper Goes to DisneyWorld.
A fan of both Ariel and Belle, Montana resident Piper, 9, had heard rumors that exciting things were happening at DisneyWorld in Orlando. She wrote that she hoped to explore the Enchanted Forest exhibit, inside a special place called Fantasyland, part of a very Magic Kingdom. Santa planned to make this young girl’s wish come true. She would soon be immersed in a magic landscape as her favorite Disney films – The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast came to life through music, castles and story time.
3. “An Unexpected Journey” for Ted.
Twelve-year-old Ted, from Washington D.C., is a fan of the Hobbit. His dream, Santa learned through a letter from his younger brother Ben, is to visit ” Middle Earth”. And as a fan of the fabulous, fantasy-adventure film trilogy, wouldn’t it be epic for Ted to actually explore New Zealand, the land where director Peter Jackson brings the J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth tales to life? A fan of the Lord of the Rings trilogies himself, Santa was inclined to oblige. Contact: www.NewZealand.com.
4. Sales, Shoes and Accessories for Allison.
“I love to go shopping with my Aunt Keara,” wrote Allison, an 11-year-old fashionista from Florida. Santa (and Mrs. Claus) liked the fact that this outing would provide bonding time for the pair, so he put together a plan. A savvy elf brought forth a survey noting that Texas is home to three of the countries top ten shopping meccas – Houston, Dallas and San Antonio. The Lone Star state would be the perfect destination to uncover fashion finds in boutiques, department stores and small specialty stores. Furthermore, he found, several hotels feature special packages for shoppers. If not Texas, there's always the Big Apple, home to some the best shopping on the planet. Choices, choices!
5. Alex Goes To Skate School.
Ten-year-old Alex has a need for speed, at least while wearing skates and skis. That’s how he explained his interest in winter sports to Santa. “Perfect!” exclaimed the jolly, bearded one. When the snow falls, young Alex and his family will travel from their California home to the Waldorf Astoria Park City resort in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. There, Alex will receive personalized guidance from Olympic hopeful and U.S. National Speedskating Team member Patrick Meek, as part of the hotel’s Majordomo package. When not racing on the ice, Alex can sample made to order hot chocolate or carve turns on award-winning slopes. He (and the rest of the family) love the fact that the Park City Resort has over 7,300 acres of terrain and more than 300 trails where skiers and snowboarders believe they have landed in an alpine paradise. And, that Epic Pass means the price is right!