Monday, January 03, 2011

That's the way it happens...

on The Polar Express!

I'm sure you've read by now that some of Jack's most favorite things are trains. Well, needless to say, one of his most favorite movies is The Polar Express. We watch it year round. Caroline really loves it (and trains, and anything else Jack likes) too. Well, several months ago Jason and I began planning a BIG Christmastime surprise for the kids: a RIDE on The Polar Express! It was all we could to to keep hush, hush till the big day!

One Sunday in early December we loaded everyone up in the car after church and a quick lunch. Jack and Caroline had no idea what was in store, other than we had a big surprise for them. We drove, and drove, and drove. The kids sang, and slept, and watched a movie (The Polar Express, of course). When we FINALLY arrived in Palestine at the Texas State Railroad we let the cat out of the bag. Oh my, were they excited!

The TSRR Monument, my kids, and my hiney. Nice.My heart melts at this one!We took a few photos and picked up our tickets at the will call booth and then headed back into town for some pizza. The kids were almost as excited about this development as they were about riding the train.

Maybe we should let them out more.

After dinner we drove back to the TSRR and got the kiddos dressed in their Christmas jammies and slippers and off we went. There was so much to see (and buy). Just as were walking to the first class tent to wait (totally worth it) the train was arriving at the station after the previous run. Jack was just giddy! Caroline and I waited in the warmth of the tent and Jason and Jack got an up close view of the steam engine. Very cool.
He can NOT wait to get on!Me and my little man!
Daddy's girl, through and throughFinally, it was time for us to get on the train. We had our own little table with snacks waiting for us.
This was the best we could get as far as a family shot goes. Once the train got moving we were off the the North Pole (Rusk) to pick up Santa! We had the most delicious hot chocolate and listened to the reading of The Polar Express on the way. On the return trip we had cookies and sang Christmas carols and Santa came by and gave everyone a bell from his sleigh! So exciting.
Here comes the hot chocolate!
All smiles!Mmmmmm!I'm excited too!Getting his ticket punched by the conductor"There's Santa! There's Santa!""Awwww, Santa! I missed you!"The whistle was very loud since we were near the front of the train. Miss C covered her ears for about five minutes!After arriving back at the station (and taking potty breaks with two kids in jammies in public bathrooms. Ew.) we popped in to the gift shop and purchased a souvenir ornament for our tree. We watched the engineers put the engines back in the shed on our way out and then we loaded back up in the car and got ready for a quiet ride home. It was late and we were sure the kids would conk out quickly. Caroline was out almost immediately and just before Jack dozed off he said...

"Mom, Dad, thanks for taking me on the REAL Polar Express. I'm SO happy!"
Was the time, trip, drive, money, etc. worth it? After hearing that from my sweet boy, totally.

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