Friday, December 26, 2014

Polar Express & the Farm

On the Saturday before Thanksgiving, the kids and I drove 3 hours north to Palestine to ride the Polar Express!

We stopped in Grapeland at my great aunt Hazel's farm on the way. There we met up with Aunt Susan, Kelci, Chloe & Boone, who all rode the train too.

By the time we got to the train station, it was raining. So we just hung out under the covered area while we waited to board the train.

During the ride, they brought us chocolate chip cookies to eat 
& hot chocolate to drink

 & the Polar Express story was read over an intercom while the waitresses wondered the aisles with giant copies of the book.

And when the story got to the part about the conductor coming and punching the kids' golden tickets, well... the conductor did just that.

And when we got to the 'North Pole,' the kids were mesmerized by the lights!

The train stopped at the North Pole & old Mr. Santa Claus himself boarded the train.

And gave each child a silver bell.

After that, the waiters sang Christmas carols & danced in the aisles. They even asked some of the children if they wanted to join in, & of course, my two did!

It was a really cool experience, even just riding a real train was cool. The only downfall was that it was raining that night, so we didn't get a chance to explore the train station or really look at the lights or anything. (And for some reason, Alex was in a bit of a mood for most of the train ride, so that wasn't great either!)

When our train ride to the North Pole was over, we headed back to the farm to stay the night.

Growing up, we celebrated many holidays in this house. I have so many wonderful memories of this place & I was excited for my kids to make their own.

I remember waking up in the mornings & watching the trains go by, just like Addy did that Sunday morning. (I also loved it when we left pennies on the train tracks & would go back to find them flattened by the trains. We didn't get to do that on this trip, but maybe we will next time.)

Addy & I got up earlier than everyone else, so I took her outside to show her Hazel & FH's animals. She was in hog heaven.

Well, make that cow heaven!

After the boys woke up, Addy wanted to show them the cows.

Especially all the sweet little calves.

The kids spent a little more time playing outside

and enjoying nature

and then it was time to head home.

The Polar Express was fun. I would definitely do it again. (But I would buy mid level tickets so that we had a table to hold our cookies & hot chocolate. And I would hope it was not raining!!!)

But our trip to the farm was too short. We need to go back for a longer visit & it needs to be soon!

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