Well, we rode the Polar Express!! Atley LOVED it! I think all of the kids had a really good time. Ari was scared, at first. My mom had to literally remove her from the car. She was afraid we were going to get hurt going across ice, like in the movie. She remained a little reserved the whole trip, but I think she enjoyed herself.
We were in car #9, which was the last car, farthest away from the station! We were, however, at the head of the train, and the first ones to the North Pole! The engineer even let Atley hold his lamp for the picture! Here are the kids outside the train:
Here we are, safely boarded, with our tickets!
We listened to an elf read the story of "The Polar Express." Then, we were served our hot chocolate and a cookie. We listened to some of the soundtrack from the movie, and we finally arrived to the North Pole! The kids were super excited. We saw Frosty, Rudolph, Mr. Grinch (Ari's favorite), and of course Santa and Mrs. Claus. Then, we had another little panic attack from poor Ari. See, they shut the interior lights off in the train when we got to the North Pole so we could see all the lights and everything better. Well, as I said, we were the first car, so after we got through, we plunged into near darkness in the woods. Then, the train came to a complete stop. Of course, we were just getting ready to head back home, but Ari thought something happened and started crying that we were stuck in the woods. I told them we were just waiting for Santa to get on. Atley also said, "It's okay Ari, we're just going to go back home the other way." So, we started to head back through the North Pole, and saw Santa standing outside, and they were so upset that no one would get the first gift of Christmas. Well, lucky for us, we stopped right at the edge, and Santa jumped on, and we were the first car to see him! All of the children got to tell Santa what they wanted, and he signed their tickets. (Some people had him sign their books, but of course since we don't have it or the DVD (yet) and didn't even think of that if we had, he signed our tickets!) Here is my favorite picture of the whole trip. Ari getting to talk to Santa:
After we left the North Pole, we sang Christmas Carols. The trip home, as always, seemed much quicker than the trip there. (Isn't that odd how that always works?) The kids had a great time. In the gift shop before we boarded, we got Charlie a little engineer bear since he stayed home with daddy. Hopefully next year, we can all go. Atley was completely thrilled, and the girls had fun. Heck, I even had a great time! I'd never been on a train before, either. What better first train ride, than a magic train ride, right?