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25 August 2011 - 1:25pm
With today marking the start of the four-month countdown to Christmas (yes, really...), let's take a look back at this sweet HoliBlog post from several years ago.
This email arrived recently from Natalee and Chris G., from Memphis, Tennessee:
I want to tell you about the most precious moment this weekend.
By Saturday afternoon, our little Caroline was exhausted! My job was to get her to sleep in her stroller. This was very easy as the morning in the water park had worn her out! I wanted to find some place cool so I decided to shop in the Christmas store.
When what to my wondering eyes did appear – but Santa coming back from lunch! I told him I was glad Caroline was asleep as she did not like him one bit. I went on to explain that she loved him in theory. She calls him "Ho Ho" and will point him out anytime she sees him, but being close enough to touch him is a whole other story!
Santa asked me if she was a good sleeper. I said yes - she was "out" and would not wake up for a while. We decided to try to see if Caroline would sleep in Santa's arms for one picture. Sure enough, she never budged. Santa even pretended to nap with her. He also gave her a little "Ho Ho" to hold during the picture. He told me that when she woke up, show her the picture and she would know it was from him.
Definitely the most precious picture I have in my whole collection of Caroline pictures – and as our only child, I assure you our pictures are numerous!
An hour or so later, Caroline woke up. Her new little "Ho Ho" was in her arms. She looked at me as if to say, "where did this come from?" I showed her the picture. I think – even at one year old – she understood that the REAL "Ho Ho" had given her the new toy.
I guess she enjoyed that nap in Santa's arms with little "Ho Ho." She has played with that little stuffed Santa and even took a few more naps with him since we have been home.
Please tell Santa thanks for helping to make our vacation so memorable!
Originally posted 6/4/09
22 August 2011 - 4:46pm
Mrs. Koch remembers with great fondness the year we added our first big ride.
It was in 1984, the same year we changed our name from Santa Claus Land to Holiday World.
The big new ride was Frightful Falls.
"Oh, we thought we'd really arrived," she says with a smile.
Thought you'd get a kick out of this old Frightful Falls logo:
Rick, our graphic artist, says the best he can remember (it was 28 years ago, after all) this graphic was hand-painted on the original Frightful Falls billboard.
20 August 2011 - 4:41pm
Mrs. Koch was chuckling over this encounter from the other day.
Man in park: How many of you are there?
Mrs. Koch: Oh, gosh...I think we have hired about 1,700 seasonal hosts and hostesses this year. Isn't that incredible?
Man in park: No, that's not what I meant. How many of you are there?
Mrs. Koch: Full-time? Oh, we have close to 80 year-round staff members.
Man in park: No, no, no. You! How many of you are there? First I saw you at the front gate and then you were running a ride. At lunch I saw you in the kitchen cutting a pizza. And now it's time to go home and you're here at the front gate saying good-bye to everyone. How many of YOU are there?
Well, that just tickled Mrs. Koch no end.
(The above was first posted on 8/7/08) Flash-forward to August of 2011 and we finally figured out a way to clone Mrs. Koch.
We've joked for years about creating a Pat Koch bobblehead.
And this year, we finally did it!
In the spirit of The Legend, we start by showing you the headless version of the Pat Koch bobble, above.
Since she's our Queen of Clean, we modeled the bobblehead after a photo of Mrs. Koch sweeping up around the park.
Want to see the heads?
(Spoiler: It's more than a little creepy.)
Two heads are better than one, right?
Oh, how Mrs. Koch laughed when she saw this basket full of her unpainted ... um, heads.
When the head is added to the body, there's a little packing-foam scarf added, to keep each work of art scratch-free.
Although it took nearly the entire summer to get through each approval step in the BobblePat-creation process (we hope to have them on the shelves by Labor Day weekend), we did get an early model to auction at our HoliWood Nights event for coaster enthusiasts.
We were raising money for the Santa Claus Museum and offered not only the very first BobblePat, but also a tongue-in-cheek Certificate of Authenticity, to the highest bidder.
The auction was lively, with howls of laughter from Mrs. Koch encouraging the generous crowd.
In the end, Aaron from the great state of Washington won the auction, our gratitude, plus a big hug from the real-life Pat Koch.
Not to worry if you aren't planning to visit us again this season, we have BobblePat available here in our online HoliShop.
19 August 2011 - 6:50pm
During the summer months, Mrs. Koch ... well, she really doesn't cook.
She helps out a lot in our restaurants, though. The other day, right before her 80th birthday, she was helping in the kitchen at Kringle's Kafe. Until, that is, she saw a Guest waving frantically to catch her attention.
As Mrs. Koch approached the front line, holding her gloved hands high (not unlike a surgeon after scrubbing up for an operation), she could hear the Guest's urgent question:
Mrs. Koch - we have to know! You look so young - what brand of face cream do you use?
Without missing a beat, our octogenarian replied simply: "I just get whatever's on sale."
Just because she's not home stirring the pots this time of year, doesn't mean she couldn't produce a yummy recipe when asked a few years ago...
The following was originally posted to the HoliBlog on 10/8/08
Following a tweet about a magazine requesting a recipe from Mrs. Koch, we were asked to post it here.
Santa’s Daughter’s Christmas Citrus Chicken and Rice
Cook time: 35 minutes
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1-3/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsleySautéed orange slices.
1. Cook chicken in medium nonstick skillet over medium high heat for 10 minutes or until browned. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.
2. Add the broth, orange juice, onion and rice. Heat to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.
3. Return chicken to skillet. Cover and cook 10 more minutes or until the chicken and the rice are cooked. Stir in parsley.
4. For appearance, sauté orange slices in a hot nonstick skillet until lightly browned.
5. Garnish chicken with orange slices.I'm rather stunned the recipe didn't include one more step:
6. Clean up the kitchen ... and the rest of the house while you're at it.
19 August 2011 - 4:32pm
As exciting as it was to launch a new website design two years ago, it was disappointing to lose so many of the early HoliBlog posts.
For you see, we were the first park in the world to create its own blog (our first post was April of 2005), so it was hard not to get all sentimental.
Our "new" website incorporates WordPress, while the original HoliBlog was in the Blogger platform. Long story short, the old posts had to be transferred individually and therefore many didn't survive the launch.
Flash forward to today: we had a media request to list a few of our favorite HoliBlog posts from over the years, so it was high time to go dig up and re-post some oldies-but-goodies.
Here's the first; more to come soon:
Please remove your sunglasses before riding, sir...
Chair, actually, as of this week. We had our first teleconference yesterday afternoon and I must say it was great fun.
Although we did our best to be strategic, forward-thinking and professional, an occasional pun or park story squeaked through, halting all rational thought.
One item on the agenda was to build a list of story ideas. The economy, hiring, what's new at parks, green initiatives, that sort of thing. This would help the IAAPA communications staff to be prepared (and also to help them prepare the membership) for any media calls they might receive.
Given the national events on Tuesday, I suggested there might be First Family visits to some parks this summer. Those cute little Obama girls deserve to get out once in awhile, don't you think?
One of our members jumped in: Oh, no -- you don't want that! We hosted President Carter's daughter back in the '70s and it was a horrible day. Amy had a good time, but those Secret Service agents kept puking on all the rides!
We had a presidential visit long ago...
Pre-presidential, actually. This photo of Ronald Reagan plus Will's two grandfathers was taken in March of 1955.
Thankfully, there are no reports of a regurgitating Gipper on that day.
Originally posted 1-23-2009