They were over the moon excited when the realization sunk in that THEY were going to RIDE the POLAR EXPRESS to the North Pole and see Santa. It was such a fun adventure and I must admit, I might have been just as excited as the boys! We picked S up early from school and hit the road for the two hour drive up the mountain to Bryson City, NC. After a quick dinner at McDonalds, the boys changed into their PJ's and off we went to the train depot.
A wet start but excited to board The Polar Express
Daddy and Harrison settle into their seats
Mommy and Spencer do the same
We splurged for First Class seating and had these adorable treat bags waiting for us
Shortly after departure, the conductor punched the boys commemorative golden tickets
The waiters danced down the aisle throwing freshly baked chocolate chip cookies to the children
Followed by mugs of Hot Chocolate
Another perk of First Class was the commemorative mugs, which were cleaned and packaged up for us prior to leaving the train
All this sugar made for an exciting sugar high......
....what goes up, must come down
Drunk on cocoa
And then - we pulled into the North Pole
And got excited when who should board the train but......
To give all the girls and boys their own silver bell from his sleigh!
We sang Christmas Carols on the way back to the station
And were in for a surprise when we got back. We no more got off the train when it started raining cats and dogs. We were soaked and could not see a THING driving down the mountain. So we pulled off into a Best Western. Fortunately, the hubby knew weather would be bad and packed a bag. After a quick bath/showers and warm clothes, we watched Christmas movies on TV and conked out.
H clutched his golden ticket the whole way home. Both boys have slept with their ticket and their silver bell every night since.
I cannot say enough wonderful things about this excursion. If you have a train depot near you that offers this adventure, please book it for your wee ones. We have adopted the four gift rule from Santa - they will get something they need, want, something to read and something to do from the Big Guy this year. The Polar Express was our "to do", which is why we splurged for the First Class tickets.
I will say, if you do the Bryson City adventure, book the first car (we were in the second car which wasn't as nice as the first car - but that is just me being a snob) and be sure to be on the right side of the train. We were on the left, and as such, were on the opposite side of the North Pole. While we could see across the train, the boys had trouble seeing over heads.
It's beginning to look and feel like Christmas. The excitement in the air at our house and I hope it is at your home too.