Sunday, December 15, 2013

Dennison Railroad Polar Express

If you've been around here awhile, then you know each year we take a ride on the Polar Express.  Last year we didn't go at all (I think George was being cheap) and the two years prior to that we went in Texas (which you can imagine is just not the same).  George was trying to be cheap again this year, saying he didn't want to pay for it, but I think he forgot the joy the polar express brings our children.  

So this year we decided to head out, for our 3rd time to the Dennison Railroad Polar Express.  We arrived about an hour early for our train.  Nicholas asked why we're always early and I explained to him the "flat tire buffer" theory that has been in our family for years.  We had to travel 2 hours to Dennison and left at 3:30 pm for a 8:00 pm ride.  Yes, we had to stop and eat dinner, but you also have to build in time in case you get a flat tire.  Thus the flat tire buffer.  Are we the only family like this?  

Anyway, we were there an hour early and had plenty of time to take pictures in the holiday village.  

I was snapping a picture of George and the kids and a gentleman offered to get one with ALL of us.

Too bad Ella's antlers are covering my face.  haha Actually, maybe that's a good thing.  Ha!

This picture is my favorite from the night.  It just sort of happened that everyone took those spots and it turned out perfectly (aside from the lighting).

The time actually went by quickly and we were able to wait inside where they had vendors selling some items.  I bought a Christmas ornament, which I buy everywhere we go to commemorate the moment.  It's better than a t-shirt.

Jack, especially, had been excited all day, but he was beyond excited once he got on the train.  I'm not sure what he was so excited about (Santa?  Cookies and cocoa?) but he was excited.

We had such a fun time spending time together with no distractions.

We sang Christmas carols.

Read the Polar Express Book.

We even played limbo.

 The conductor came through to collect tickets.

And we got crazy every time our storyteller yelled out Polar Coaster.  As you can see Nicholas is thrilled about this.  He still participated.

I think his favorite part of the night was the refreshment portion.

We finally made it to the North Pole and the kids peered out the window to catch a glimpse at the reindeer and elves busy making gifts.

We picked up a very important passenger and were back on our way to the Depot.

Santa chatted with everyone individually.

They each told Santa one thing they wanted.

 And then Santa gave them each their bell.

I absolutely LOVE this tradition with my family and I'm so glad we went this year despite the cost and cheap-o George.

But I think even George can agree it was worth every penny to see how happy the kids were (especially Ella and Jack).

Mrs Claus closed out the evening signing our autograph books.

 She was happy to pose for a picture with Ella too.

I think I'll be reminded of this trip when my kids are older and I'm reminiscent of the REALLY good times when the kids were young.  There's just something about the sweet innocence of children and Christmas that warms my heart.  

Cause someday, it will just be the 2 of us.

Who knows, maybe we'll ride the Polar Express, when they're all grown and gone.. or maybe we'll go to Hawaii.  Hmmm?  


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