Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Polar Express

 We went over the hills (recently snow covered and with shifting clouds)…and through the woods (as long as you consider pinyon and juniper at the mountain passes as woods)...

…to the Polar Express we go. We found it in East Ely, with beautiful sunlight on the Schell Creek Range.

The Polar Express is a big money maker for the Nevada Northern Railway. They had three passenger cars hooked up to a diesel engine, and three trains running on Saturday. We opted for the 4:30 train.

They have a special license so they can follow the story of The Polar Express. We got our Believe tickets and boarded the train.

We went with friends, and the kids had so much fun hanging out together. The train was nicely decorated.

As we pulled away from the East Ely Depot, waiters adorned in white coats passed out hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies. We all enjoyed those!

We listened to the story of The Polar Express as the waiters showed pictures from the book. We also had fun looking out the window to check out the holiday lights.

Before long we arrived at the North Pole, where Santa and an elf got on the train. Then came the hardest part: waiting for Santa to arrive at our train car. The kids were getting quite impatient. We probably waited about 45 minutes, so it was a long time to be parked there, the windows fogging up. The waiters tried to help time pass by singing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town".

Finally, Santa arrived. Desert Girl is still somewhat scared of Santa, but Desert Boy isn't. Even though he doesn't believe, he still doesn't hesitate to tell Santa what he wants (something his parents aren't going to get him, and he knows it).

The way back was relaxing with the click clack of the train wheels over the track. We sang some Christmas carols and then entertained ourselves.
I almost forgot the best part of the trip. A waiter mentioned soon after we got on the train that we were heading north to the North Pole. Desert Boy said in a loud voice, "We're not going north!" He was right, we were heading west. Everyone started laughing, it was delivered just at the right time and the right tone of voice. The conductor came over and tried to convince him, but Desert Boy knew better.
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