Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Start of a New Tradition - Polar Express 2012

We may have found a new holiday tradition.  Early this fall, we booked tickets to ride the Polar Express up in Branson since the kids had loved the movie last year.  We packed the kids up on December 1st and headed up to Branson for a big surprise.  We stayed at the Hilton Convention Center right next to the train station and right across from the Landing, which worked out perfectly.  Our train departed the station at 6:30 so we had an early dinner and then got treated to story and cookies with Mrs. Claus in the hotel lobby before getting the kids into their pajamas and heading over to the train station.

Even after we got to the station, it took the kids a bit to put it all together even though they had watched the movie on the drive up.  Once they realized we were going on the train, they were very excited.  We were seated in the Silver Garden train and were lucky enough to get four seats that faced each other.  Once the train got underway, the first stop was to pick up Santa.  While on the way to the North Pole, we were served cookies and hot chocolate.  After we picked up Santa, we headed back the other direction and the train went past the trail of lights.  During this time, the conductor came through to check tickets and punched a "J" into Josh's ticket and an "E" into Emma's ticket.  Santa also came through to pass out bells.  Once Santa got distributed throughout the train, he stopped back through and the kids got to have their photo with him.  No screaming or crying about being near Santa this year!  After Santa left, the "bobos" (hobos) passed through in their effort to avoid getting thrown off the train by the conductor.  Josh was not a fan of the bobos and even the next day, would still look around nervously at the mention of the bobos.  After a fun ride that included some caroling, we arrived back at the station.  The kids had a great time and wanted to go again; I think we're on for next year! 

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