Saturday, December 21, 2013

All Aboard...This is the Polar Express!!!

On Friday evening we met up with Hubby' parents, sister & brother-in-law & their two boys for our last Christmas activity other than various family Christmas gatherings.  Branson, MO has a scenic railway that runs throughout the year but during the Christmas season it's turned into our own little local Polar Express.  The kiddos dress up in the jammies, a narrator reads the Polar Express, waiters serve cookies and hot chocolate, Santa comes through and hands out bells to all the children and you look at some Christmas lights on the ride. 
Mamaw took the responsibility of getting Elyse all dressed up for her Polar Express debut.  And let me just say--she looked ADORABLE!!!However, she was not all that interested in posing for a photo--so this is the best I could do! 
I mean, who doesn't wear a gold sequin headband with their Christmas jammies?!?
 We met up with all of Hubby's family for a nice dinner before our train ride. Elyse LOVES being around her family & was in fine form at the restaurant.  I'm not sure she ate anything besides a little cup of applesauce! 

These cousins absolutely adore each other and my nephews take great care with Elyse!  They started walking together holding hands all on their own!  Adorable! 

I think at this point they might have been practically dragging her---we were all excited to get on board! 

Of course we had to wait once we got to the depot, and Elyse was slightly overwhelmed.  She just kept staring at the train and wasn't much interested in smiling for the camera! 

Thankfully I had the boys on my side and they were more than willing to pose together! 

 The best we could do at a family photo...yeah, that's the back of Elyse's head--all the sights and sounds were just more than she could take in at once!  Who cares about photos?

As we walked down the platform, they even had "snow" being created and blowing through the air...a very nice touch as we boarded The Polar Express!

To be completely honest, Elyse was pretty quiet the entire ride.  At one point before the train even departed she looked at me and said "Momma, off. Momma, out."  She was really unsure about being on the train and honestly didn't ever leave my lap for the entire trip. 

Our precious family! 
 However, there were a few times when we got some grins and laughs out of her. 

And she did like the Christmas lights we saw out the window...

And she did really well with the conductor who came through and punched an "E" in her ticket...
 But then the big man in red appeared...and she was NOT so sure about him...
 Not even a high-five for Jolly Old St. Nick...
 She wouldn't even take the bell from his hand...but whimpered a pitiful little "dank you" as he continued down the train car. 
 Cousin Jackson certainly enjoyed Santa & kept trying to tell Elyse that he was a nice guy!
 We sang Christmas carols and Elyse really enjoys Jingle Bells so we sang that one an extra time just for her!
 Even though she was so quiet and serious, I do think she enjoyed herself--it was just a lot to take in! 
 However, when the train finally stopped she looked at me again and said "Momma, train all done?  Momma, out?"  Yes baby, we can get out now! 
Such a fun family excursion that I can pretty much guarantee will become an annual tradition! 


Laurie @ Disney 'n Diapers said...

Oh my gosh! What a fun event. I wish we had something like that around here. Looks so fun!

Rod and Alex - aka: "Rolex" said...

How fun! Elyse is getting so big! Love that pic of her and Santa Clause! Next year she might not be so apprehensive about Santa. :)