Saturday, December 3, 2011

Our ride on the Polar Express

We just got back from the North Pole!  It was a great trip! 
Our train left at 5PM this evening.  It was almost dark and you could hear the steam whistle coming before you could see the light.   
Before boarding the train.  (We left Carson with Grandma Vancil so we could enjoy our trip with Parker)

Sitting in our car...the penguin car... 
I was super excited when I looked up and read that the car I was sitting in was the same train car used in Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman...I LOVE that show!

The conductor came and punched our tickets.
And before we knew it...we were at the North Pole.  We were very fortunate the North Pole has a a brief string of 50 degree weather! 

There was much to do!  Parker met with the Snow Princess and got a winter silly band.  He posed for some photos with a winter backdrop.
And he climbed on the back caboose with his buddy Carter Nelson.  

There was time to make a craft in a heated room with Daddy....A cool ornament to hang on our tree... 

And then it was time...time to see the big man himself.  We did an impromptu dry run this morning at Sandburg Mall.  Didn't go terribly, and we were thankful we had the chance to get the first experience of Santa out of the way before this one.   

Santa was sitting inside his red caboose with Mrs. Claus.  We waited in line for some time....

The Nelson family was just ahead of us and it definitely helped to see an older, much wiser, "pro" talk to Santa first.  Carter did a great job!

When it was Parker's turn, he did GREAT! 
He talked to Santa, he told him he wanted "presents".  We helped Parker be a little more specific on what he would like Santa to bring.  Then Santa gave Parker a shiny bell.  
Parker inspected it with Santa and then graciously gave it back to Santa...
We had to explain that that was his gift from Santa to keep.  Once he understood, he wouldn't let go of the bell!
After having our turn with Santa, we were able to let the boys play with some train tracks and pieces before our train began boarding to take us back to Iowa. 

Parker thanked our conductor and rode like a big boy all the way back talking about "big Santa"
This may be a trip we hear a lot about in the coming weeks!