In October (yes, October) I purchased tickets for the Polar Express. I am not ashamed to say that I was more excited than my kids to take part in this new Christmas tradition. And I was even clever enough to purchase tickets for a trip in early enough in December to avoid possible weather cancellation. In fact the week after we took our trip they closed down the freeway for a couple of days due to ice.
The day we took our trip on the Polar Express, though, it was unseasonably sunny. So much so that taking photographs was a challenge – well, beyond the usual challenges of two unwilling participants.
This is Samuel saying “go away!”
Kids wear their pajamas on the Polar Express, just like they do in the book and movie. It was the perfect (and rare) opportunity to dress them up in their flannel pajamas and little dressing gowns (or bath robes in American).
Int he process of dressing them I realized I may have the cutest kids on the planet (and I know every mother thinks that).
Ignore the obnoxious Wiggles hat. He has a much cuter hat that he never wears but I’m choosing my battles.
We left in (I thought) plenty of time, but ended up arriving about only 10 minutes before the train left. I hate being late and that last 30 minutes in the car was tense.
But we did make it and quickly found our seats. Samuel refused to take off his coat for the first 30 minutes or so.
And then the fun began. First, some hot chocolate and cookies. (I only managed to get a shot of the back of one of the servers).
And the story was read over the speakers. I came prepared with our own copy of the book to follow along but left it in the car in our mad rush to get to the train.
How did a photo of me get in there?
After about 45 minutes we reached the North Pole and there was someone familiar there to greet us.
He boarded the train and went around greeting each child.
Mine were a little freaked out by the whole experience and refused to sit on this strange man’s lap. Maybe that’s not a bad thing.
Each child received a bell as a gift.
After some carol singing and another hour or so, we arrived back at the station. It turned out to be about 15 minutes longer than perfect, with the kids starting to become a little stir crazy.
As we walked back to the car for the long drive home, it really felt like Christmas had come for the Ishidas.