Today was the big summertime roadtrip for us: Storybook Forest in Ligonier. Please note that there is no link included in the previous sentence; that is because there is no real website for Storybook Forest. It's part of the Idlewild/Soakzone! Park complex and that's all fine and good but, please, could we just have a page for the damn place? In light of this lack of info, and because I took so many photos today, this entry is going to be pretty long and plenty illustrated.
Here is the entrance you go thru which, very sweetly, is like a huge storybook. The entrance was one of many features in the park that had a little wooden plaque that said "Original to Storybook Forest: 50 Years!"
The set up, as you will see, is a winding road thru a forestlike setting featuring little cottages based on fairytales and nursery rhymes. I did'nt get a photo of Donny being talked to by Mother Goose but Mike and I agreed later that the ladies dispersed thru the park as various characters were all very good. First stop after Mother Goose was the Little Red Schoolhouse:
And then home of the Crooked Man:
I'll admit being disappointed that there was no crooked cat.
Next was a big chair that Donovan could have played on all day. Off. On. Off. On. Off. On:Not sure what story/rhyme that was supposed to be but we got alot of mileage out of it. The other big item for Donny was a windmill. Again, that could have been the rest of the day. He stood there reaching for it and talking to it in that Donny language of his:Then across a cute bridge:
Mike and Donovan went aboard the Goodship Lollipop. I should have gotten a photo of the lady who was the Captain(?) as she was wearing a sort of Mothergoosesque long skirt, long apron and Raybans. While the menfolk talked to her I took some photos of the ship's decorations:
Other stops along the way included The Three Bears:
Aladdin's Magic Carpet:
A huge block of cheese:
And the house of the 7 dwarves which, actually, is pretty much how I would like our house to look someday:
Do you think I could find vinyl siding in a floral pattern like that?
Mike and I had a really nice time and I think Donovan did as well. We are definately going back and definately packing a picnic lunch. Granted we only spent time in a small part of the park but the food was awful. Even I, the Carnival Food Aficianado, was offended. But that little complaint is just that--and the food in question was'nt even in Storybook Forest, it was in the other part of Idlewild that borders it.
Storybook forest is very much an anachronism but it works so well. First, I realized that it was designed to be a Photo Op Park. That was great in the 50s but think about now when you don't need to worry about wasting film! Its a digital camera paradise. Also, there were NO SPONSORS. No one dressed up as Garfield or Minnie Mouse or whatever--completely commercial free. So commercial free, in fact, that their giftshop was lame. And for those of you who don't like giftshops, it was hidden away at the very end of the trail So basically you got a roughly 2 hour walk in the woods with no commercial interuptions. It was really sweet.
And now a few more photos to finish up. Thanks for letting me throw all these images at you--here's hoping you could share some of our fun by looking at them: