Since we are not traveling for the holidays this year it worked out for us to take a quick weekend trip up to Branson to ride The Polar Express! We surprised the boys on Saturday morning with presents containing new Christmas jammies, robes, books and a golden ticket to ride the train.
Joseph's tearful response: "Is this really happening?! Today?! This is the best day ever!" He was even more delighted when we told him that his friend Henry and his family were meeting us there.
We got to our hotel in Branson and were thrilled to find out that we could see the train from our window!
We walked to the depot and picked up our tickets and then walked around the Promenade with our friends.
Finally it was time to go get our jammies on and head back to the depot. First we made a little stop in the lobby to have cookies and a story with Mrs. Claus.
Then we stood by the track waiting for the train to return from its previous trip.
Finally it was our turn to board! We walked through a snow machine and past the Hobo atop the train. Then we settled into our table in the dome above the dining car.
The conductor read the story on the way to the North Pole.
And our waiter brought us yummy cookies and hot chocolate (with refills)!!
And then Santa came to see us!!!
He also signed our books.
When we got home we laminated our real tickets and hung them with the bell on our tree.
And put our homemade tickets in our books.
We had so much fun making this memory with our boys and kicking off our Christmas season.