A long time ago when I was a small boy. OK, it’s not really that long ago, but it feels it some days. You really knew Christmas was coming when the Coca Cola advert came on TV with the Truck all lit up.
We’ve already seen my views on celebrations in my Why do we celebrate birthdays? post. Christmas is no different.
Nowadays with the shops adorned with chocolates and Christmas decorations even before Halloween it puts me off it even more.
But come that catchy tune and the sight of the truck it does start to feel like Christmas, and even a grump like me looks forward to seeing the kids faces when they get their presents.
It reminded me of Little Miss OMG and the boys adventure two years ago. (Well Little Miss OMG was still in her mammy’s belly so had no choice) When the famous truck made a visit to Ireland.
So I thought I’d share our little adventure with you all.
It was the night of Buddy and Stepson #2 school Christmas Concert. In order to ensure we got front row seats we arrived super early. So early in fact no one else was there! To while away time whilst waiting I went on Facebook. There I saw two posts, one from a local free paper stating the truck was stopping at a hotel just outside the town that evening, and another from my cousin, with pictures of her kids at the truck.
So, the doors opened, we got front row seats and had a great time watching the concert. As soon as it was over we jumped in the car and sped off to where my cousin had been with the truck. Alas it was gone. A quick call to the editor of the free paper and I was told it would be at the Hotel for 10.30 that evening. Not long to wait.
We took a leisurely drive back and arrived shortly before 10.30. The place was packed! As it was a freezing cold winters evening we decided to wait in the car until the truck arrived. All was going well until the boys spotted friends of theirs.
Out we all got, except Mrs OMG, not overly excited at the prospect of seeing a big red Coca Cola Truck she chose to wait in the car. The boys went over to their friends and I chatted to some of the other parents.
10.30 came and went. No sign of the truck. 11 o’clock came and went, no sign of the truck. We were just about to pack up and head home when there was a flurry of activity on the road and a police car drove past. Maybe this is it arriving we thought. Alas no.
Two minutes later one of the receptionists came out and said the truck wasn’t coming. Three upset, tired and very cranky boys, joined a heavily pregnant, equally cold, tired, hungry and even crankier mammy in the car and we went home.
I then had to track the whereabouts of the truck and discovered it was scheduled to stop at Tesco’s Maynooth the day after tomorrow.
The day came. This was it, we were going to see the truck. Google maps told me it was an hour and 10 minutes away. Off we set, in plenty of time to get there for the 4pm time.
Google maps lied to us. Nearly two hours later, 3 bored, cranky, hungry boys, one (still) heavily pregnant, tired, hungry and even crankier mammy and myself arrived at Tesco Maynooth.
Guess what. There was no truck. A few crowd control barriers were set up in the middle of the car park.
“We’ve missed it!”
“Are you sure it’s today?”
“Can you do nothing right?”
Just some of the comments directed at me, by my adoring family!
Luckily I’ve perfect eyesight and spotted someone in a fluorescent vest and sent Buddy over to ask had we missed the truck. “No its running a bit late” was the response.
Toilets were required so into Tesco we went. They had a cardboard truck set up and you could get a picture taken sitting inside and then by the magic of digital photography Santa was added in standing beside you. We joined the queue so the boys could have a go, they insisted we were in the photo too. These were free. Bonus!
A quick trip to the chocolate aisle to satisfy the “I’m starving!” cries coming from the boys. (They’d been fed just before we left!)
Then out the window we saw lights. You couldn’t miss the lights really! It was like a neon sun rising in the car park. The truck had arrived. 44 hours, 150 total miles searching, €20 diesel and finally we were going to see the famous Coca Cola Christmas Truck.
Outside we went, there it was! In all its illuminated glory.
I have to admit it looks brilliant up close. You could queue to get a picture taken beside the truck, the queue was about an hour long already so they boys weren’t too bothered. They did pose for me beside the barrier.
Then off we went to see what else there was. “FREE COKE” Buddy shouted and off they ran. All of them delighted to get a free mini can of Coke. They did go back again later and once more before we went home!
We then noticed another area with a number of people in the corner and walked over to see what was there. Reindeer, rabbits, Santa and mulled wine. The kids were delighted, they held the rabbits, fed hay to Blitzen (Rudolph was busy at the North Pole), and chatted to Santa just the one mulled wine for Daddy, we had the drive home to do.
All in all it was a great evening. I think I enjoyed it slightly more than the boys, but they had a great time too.
If it’s coming close to you. Wrap up warm and take the kids down. It’s a great experience.