In addition to an early ride on the Polar Express, Nora's arrival also prompted us to take an early visit to Silver Dollar City in Branson this year. We bought season passes back in the Spring and wanted to take advantage of them one more time. The great thing about these passes is that if you are even able to go 2x in a year, you've made money on your pass.
I'm not gonna lie, I was a little nervous about the entire visit. I'm 37w6d pregnant, walking up and down hills, and while it certainly would have been ok to go into labor that early...I wasn't real excited about overdoing it and feeling like crap the rest of the night. However, the weather was beautiful for a Christmas outing, my body held up perfectly fine, and I'm at work today with no additional signs of labor in sight.
In the past we have taken my parents along, but it worked out this year for just the three of us to go and we had a blast. I think Elyse could have looked at all the "beautiful colors" for hours!
The only downside...I forgot my big camera, which means this year I had to settle for iPhone photos which just aren't as good.
Our first stop...the 5-story Christmas Tree on Main Street. Elyse absolutely loved the dancing tree and it truly was such a joy to watch everything from her eyes this year as she soaked it all in!
We then headed out and had plans to ride the train to hear the story of Baby Jesus, but with another 30 minutes to wait we opted for a quick ride on one of Elyse's favorites...the carousel!
I wasn't about to FORCE her to sit on Santa's lap this year...we have two years of perfectly good screaming Santa pictures and I really want to save any Santa meltdowns for a picture that includes both Elyse & Nora. I'm hoping we can convince her to sit on his lap, or at least stand next to him so she can "keep Nora safe." However, I'm not holding my breath.
Since we went on a Thursday night, later in the evening, there was literally NO ONE ELSE in Santa's barn. So...after a little coaxing, we did walk up to Santa's stage where he came down with a candy cane and tried to engage Elyse. We did not get out of the stroller. We did not get an official Santa picture. But we did get a nice lengthy conversation about Nora and her desire for an Anna or Elsa doll for Christmas. It's blurry, but see that smile?!? As my mom said...a smile can be the start of a beautiful relationship!
After a quick ride on the swings and some more light-viewing, we found a place along Main Street to watch the updated Christmas Light Parade. Elyse is all about the selfie right now...which makes it fun for family photo-ops!
We finished up the evening with another viewing of the dancing tree and a quick family picture in Santa's sleigh. It was a fabulous evening and I'm so glad we were able to fit in a quick visit before Nora arrived.
Silver Dollar City truly is such a magical place to visit this time of year...seeing things through your kiddos eyes is completely priceless and I am so excited to have many more experiences with my girls in the future!