The House of the Toymaster

What is almost as good as staying in a house full of kids? Staying in the house of the Toymaster, of course!

We stayed at “Mt. Strickmore” for a few days, near Charlotte, and had a great time. Their daughter, Jessica, lived with us for 3 years in Prague and is presently living in Houston, Texas looking after our daughter, Lizzy. Quite amazing actually.

Well, Jessica’s dad, Steve, the “Toymster” distributes toys to small “mom and pop” toystores, when he is not building mountains (another story). The “Toymaster’s wife”  has just got laid off at the library and is not sure what to do next, so that gave us lots of time to spend together. She even brought me around to see more of Jessica’s relatives. Aunts and Uncles and Grandparents. Poor Jessica, not here to supervise.

It gets better. Our kids got to do the best job imaginable too. They did toy research. Seriously. He gets lots of games and needs to figure out if it is a good game or not. Their favorite was a farming game, similar to monopoly, by John Deere (the tractor people) called “the family farm”.

TJ also did some product testing on the vet kit

and the “candy volcano”.

Wait, it gets better…

They live near a lake and have a speedboat. The Strickers had a great idea to go on a picnic. Problem is, the picnic table they knew about was on a small island in the middle of a nearby lake so…… we took the boat.

Tj and Hannah even got to do some of the driving.

We also went to a restaurant on the lake

and got to feed the ducks in the “boat parking lot”.

I suppose for many kids the water would have been too cold for jumping into but not for our cold water jumping experts.

Check out the driver. Could it be? Oh yes!  Abi got her turn to drive now. Mt. Strickmore had a big circular drive around the property and Abi got to drive the wagon around the land.

“Look ma, no dents!”

And as if it can get any better, the Toymaster and the Toymaster’s Wife released my kids into the fabulous toy room and the mysterious toy cellar to take any toy they wanted.

What great, generous, authentic and hospitable people. A true life Santa and Mrs. Claus!

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