Since the first time I read about The Polar Express on Gretchen's blog, 2 years ago, I knew it was something we had to do. At the time I never thought about purchasing tickets a year in advance so last January I was on it and ordered our tickets for this year. It's been 11 months and I was ready. It was a family affair as Steve's parents, brother, and my mom all went as well.
Cameron doesn't get as much time on this blog as I would like, probably because he never stops moving. I sat in the back with him since Cooper rode with Scott and I didn't have any trouble with him being strapped in to get a good smile.
We made it up to French Lick with about 50 minutes to spare before the big ride. Plenty of time to go picture crazy.
Leaving a message for Santa. Cameron was so cute, I asked him what color marker he wanted he says, "Umm... Green". And sure enough he grabbed a green marker.
A little blurry, but this is a typical Cameron smile.
Usually I am the one the camera, last night Steve had it most of the evening so I ended up in a lot of pictures. I didn't mind, especially when I was attached by my children.
This wasn't our conductor but it didn't bother Cooper, he just wanted a picture with one.
I have to admit, it was here I was beginning to get a little nervous. I had heard and read so many great things about this train ride and we built it up so much, what if it didn't live up? Thankfully, it was above and beyond what I was expecting.
We boarded the train and seriously took up about 4 rows.
A proud Papaw and his boys.
Once the train ride got going they started right away by reading the book to us and of course serving the hot chocolate and cookie. I love the look on Cooper's face as the girls came dancing down the aisles to the hot chocolate song. I even got chills.
It was shortly after the hot chocolate that things started to go downhill for Cooper. I don't know if it was excitement or nerves but he ended up with a terrible belly ache. He was cramping all night long and could do nothing about it. Spent the majority of the train ride like this, curled him in a ball.
I felt so bad for him, he had been looking forward to this so much. I got us a snowman craft from Target where you put a cotton ball on it's stomach every day in December, counting down the days until Christmas. When someone would come over he would always point to the 16th and tell them that was the day we were going to the Polar Express. I would have given anything to take his pain from him. At one point he even told me all we could do was pray to make it all better.
There were a few moments in between the cramps and pain he managed to smile and enjoy the fun, he was even able to get up and dance a little. I know it's blurry, but once we got on the train it so hard to get a smile from him and this is one of the only ones.
Cameron started out slow on the dancing part but eventually warmed up to our elves. Speaking of our elves, they were fantastic. They did a great job of keeping us all entertained during the down time parts. The train ride was over an hour, they sung and danced almost the entire time.
Love this one of Steve & Cameron.
We finally reached the North Pole, Santa came aboard and handing out bells to all the kids, and we headed back to the train station. Someone came around taking pictures of the families with Santa. It's about $7 for a 4x6, I may have to get it. I had planned on getting good family picture but with Cooper feeling bad I didn't have the opportunity, so theirs is the only option.
Despite feeling bad, Cooper said he had a good time. Cameron's smiles indicates how he felt about it all, so if you ask me I think we had a great night. I'm already planning on when to go next year. My mom wants to bring my niece & nephew and I have to make it up to Cooper. I'll just be sure not to mention it until the day of.
"Though I've grown old, the bell still rings for as it does for all who truly believe"