Last Sunday we finally checked off something that had been on my personal bucket list for several years now – The Polar Express train ride at the Mt. Hood Railroad.
We decided to surprise the kids. We had them put on their pajamas and loaded them up, telling them that mommy had a little business trip that they were riding along for, and we that we wouldn’t be getting back until after bed time. I told them if they hurried up and got ready I’d let them watch a movie on the drive (and of course you know which on I had them watch.)
The timing was perfect. The movie finished about ten minutes before we arrived and when they finally put two and two together their eyes got as big as sand dollars eyeing the train sitting before them.
Inside the station the movie played as we all waited to board. Even though the kids had just finished it they were once again glued to the television –
there’s just something so magical about the story.
The conductor opened the doors and it was time to board. We showed our tickets and were greeted by chefs and the conductor himself as we walked our way up the steps into our magical train ride.
We were all seated and Christmas music played in the background. When it was time to depart for our adventure to the “North Pole” we were all handed mugs of warm cocoa and giant chewy chocolate chip cookies.
The conductor made his way through the train, punching all of the children’s golden tickets in various ways – just like the movie.
The kids enjoyed watching the scenery as we sped through on the train – and they all eyed this mysterious hobo who kept re-appearing on the train.
Excitement began to build as the Polar Express was read and Christmas carols were sang, and finally we made it to the North Pole and waved to Santa and his elves as we passed their lit-up workshop.
Then we stopped. And Santa boarded.
Santa came and talked with each child individually, asking them if they had been naughty or nice and wondering what they wanted for Christmas.
He then gave the kids a special gift – a silver bell. Santa bid everyone farewell as he went back to work, and we all began our journey back home.
The hobo appeared again and took Anika’s bell but when he shook it no sound came out – shocking the little ones that he didn’t believe.
It was a long drive for us, but was worth the trip to allow the kids to experience the live interaction that this train ride offered. The Mt. Hood Railroad has the Polar Express Excursion running now through December 30th. If you would like to experience it for yourself you can buy tickets online HERE.
Do you believe?