Sunday, December 14, 2008

Santa Train...AKA The Polar Express...

Yesterday afternoon we bundled up and headed to the downtown train station to catch the Santa Train. Every Christmas the Virginia Railway Express runs the trains on a special Saturday schedule. The reason for this is three fold. It is used as a teaching medium for children on railroad safety, to collect new toys to give to the Marines for Toys for Tots, and perhaps the most important is that Santa, Mrs Claus, and some of the North Pole helpers are there to see the kids. Our train was scheduled to depart at 3:30 p.m. We left the house a little early and had to wait in line for about 45 minutes to board the train.

The train station is a wonderful old building three stories tall with the track running on the top level. Underneath, are these real cool arches that support the tracks above...
Patiently waiting in line for the train to arrive....The train is coming!
First words out of Carson's mouth was that this couldn't be the Polar Express, because it wasn't black.
Carson waited to hand the Marine his toy.
We finally board and make our way to our seats. The trains are double deckers, but Santa was too fat to climb steps, so everyone had to sit on the lower level.

We get seated and the train leaves and heads north up past Quantico. We traveled though some beautiful countryside.... and parallelled the Potomac river for a while as well.The guest of honor makes his appearance and takes several minutes with each child.Mrs Claus was along for the ride, and visited with each child as well.The Conductor came through too! At this point Carson asked when they were serving the Hot Chocolate. If you have seen the Polar Express, you know that the Conductor punches the tickets....Carson was bummed that he didn't get his ticket punched. I guess being a six year old, everything should be like it is in the movies.... and he totally expected us to get to the North Pole, but he did tell me that he was glad that we didn't slide out on the ice.After all the excitement of seeing Santa, and the rest of the helpers, Carson settled in and colored for a while, and then being the curious child he is, he had to check out the restrooms.

While it was not THE Polar Express, it was fun! We had fun with each other, started a new family tradition, and were able to help out Toys for Tots.

1 comment:

Kariberry said...

Oh how fun! I have never been on a train. I would love to do that.