“Why so sad Ms. Claus?” I asked noticing Anya’s unhappy face.
“Oh, nothing much Santa,” she replied after closing the door to our apartment. “I guess I’m getting tired of staying in the North Pole.”
“Anya, it’s our home!” I exclaimed, shocked to hear her say that.
“Let me finish,” Anya replied. “And don’t look so hurt. I love our home; you know that,” she explained with a smile. “But sometimes I like to experience what life is like beyond the North Pole. Don’t you?” she asked.
After listening, I sat down and nodded. “Yes, but I think there’s more to this. What have you been watching that has put you into an adventurous mood?” I inquired as my wife began to laugh.
“I rarely can get anything past you, Santa,” she answered while taking a seat next to me. “Last night when you met with Bernard and some of the elves, I watched a special on the National Parks in the United States before going to bed. Such awesome places. It made me want to have another adventure with you Santa, like we did two years ago.”
“I remember that. We visited Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont in the fall. Boy, did we have fun seeing beautiful places and checking out historical sites,” I recalled while taking off my boots.
“Yes, we did,” Anya responded, giving me a sly look, “and I think we need to do it again but try something more adventurous.”
Pushing the button on the side of the couch, I eased back into the recliner to relax. “OK, what did you have in mind?” I asked.
“WHAT!?” I exclaimed, sitting up suddenly. “Can you see me in a tent? I’m not sure I would ever get comfortable wrapped up in a sleeping bag at night.”
“That would be a sight,” giggled Anya as she gave me a playful shove. “I wasn’t thinking of tent camping; we’re a bit old for that,” she explained, “but what about an RV? It would have most of the conveniences of home and could get us closer to Mother Nature without a problem.”
“You’re serious, aren’t you?”
Nodding, Anya turned to face me. “Honestly Santa,” she replied, “there is so much beauty out there that I think we owe it to ourselves to take advantage of exploring what nature has to offer.”
“Hmm,” I muttered stroking my beard. “It does sound interesting. Sometimes the boys and girls I talk to describe the fun they have with their families while camping. I remember a little girl named Jasmine who talked my arm off about how to make s’mores over a camp fire. Graham crackers, chocolate and roasted marshmallows. It reminded me of the fun the elves have making them here at the North Pole,” I said licking my lips.
“Then there was a little boy named Kevin,” I continued, “who talked about cooking hotdogs and hamburgers over an open fire. He described how tasty they were, especially when his mom made corn on the cob. Definitely need to try that someday …”
“Always thinking of food,” Anya broke in as she stood up and began to pace the room. “I don’t think you realize how much I want to go on a camping adventure with you.”
“I’m sorry, Anya, but you know me and food,” I said while trying to catch her attention. “Besides, you brought up the topic suddenly without giving me a chance to think about it. If you really want to go camping, I guess I could call Joe,” I murmured to myself.
“Who is Joe?” Anya asked as she stopped pacing.
“A very friendly fellow who helped me once long ago. He sells RVs and knows a lot about them. I’m sure he would be willing to help us out,” I said.
Excited, Ms. Claus walked over and gave me a hug adding, “So, when should we start planning?”
“Hold on, Anya,” I replied raising up both hands. “Let’s think about this. It’s late May. Schools will be closing soon, and families will be taking vacations, making the National Parks crowded. Let’s keep this simple and find an interesting place in Kentucky where Joe is located.”
Nodding in agreement, Ms. Claus asked, “That sounds reasonable. Do you have a place in mind?”
“Actually, Anya, I do. A few years ago, I received a letter from a set of twins, Justin and Kristen. They knew exactly what they wanted: hiking boots, hiking sticks, backpacks, and sleeping bags. They were planning to go camping in Kentucky at a place called Natural Bridge State Park with their parents.”
“Well, that’s nice,” answered Anya giving me a strange look, “but what does that have to do with us going camping?”
“I’m getting to that,” I said impatiently. “The twins sent me pictures. The park sits next to a rugged area called Red River Gorge. It was fantastic. Deep woods, arches, cliffs, clear creeks, and plenty of wild flowers. They described how their parents had been taking them there for day hikes since they were little. Now that the two were older, the family wanted to go camping.”
“That’s amazing. I have to admire parents who try to get their children outside to enjoy nature,” Anya commented. “But I still don’t see what that has to do with us.”
“You told me to pick a place,” I answered, smiling, “and Red River Gorge is my choice.”
“YESSSSSS!” exclaimed Anya as she threw her hands in the air. “Finally, we get to go on another adventure together. When do we start planning?”
“Not so fast Anya. Remember, we have to see if Joe can get an RV for us before we can plan anything.”
“Of course, that makes sense,” she responded as a worried look crept across her face. “But do you think you’ll be able to drive an RV? Maybe, we’ll need some magic fairy dust so we can have a safe trip.”
“Wait a minute,” I chuckled. “You’re talking to a man who delivers presents all over the world at Christmas. Driving an RV can’t be any harder than landing my sleigh and team of nine reindeer on all those rooftops.”
“I’m sure it is Santa,” my Ms. Claus remarked. “But if anyone can learn, it’s you,” she finished proudly. “Let’s make it happen.”
Notes From Santa
I hope you enjoyed today’s story. I will post another one next Monday. If you have any comments or if there is something you would like me to tell you about, please feel free to leave me a comment. Until next week . . .
Read more about Santa and Ms. Claus’ adventures:
Just Part of The Family – August 26, 2019
Santa’s Waterpark Adventure – September 9, 2019
Stories From Santa & Ms. Claus on Vacation (Part 1) – September 23, 2019
Stories From Santa & Ms. Claus on Vacation (Part 2) – September 30, 2019
Stories From Santa & Ms. Claus on Vacation (Part 3) – October 7, 2019
Amusement Park Adventure – July 27, 2020