Last year, I made the command decision that I really wanted to start a new tradition with Natalie and Tim that we take a ride on the train with Santa. After checking the mall website, I learned that Santa Train is the same cost as going to the mall, standing in line for an hour and then ordering the minimal picture package so I was interested to see how the train ride would play out. I began looking at tickets back at the beginning of October and I remember being surprised that some of the train dates were almost sold out! I made a mental note that we needed to get tickets early every year and I snagged some for us. That's right, we have had this reservation since October!
We had an ice storm Saturday morning which made the roads a little rough and we were lucky that Michelle and Mr. Jon got to the train station early and assured us we had time because I was a little anxious that bad road conditions would lead to us missing the train! Somehow, we got there with, seemingly, plenty of time. While Michelle and Mr. Jon waited for Ms. Kim and B checked in, I got the kiddos on the train and we settled in. They were both beyond excited to see each other and even more excited to see Santa.
This was an incredible experience. Santa came around and visit with each of the families before having the kiddos sit with him and tell him what they wanted. Natalie was a little nervous at first but she quickly warmed up to the big guy. She proudly asked Santa for paint. He asked if she was an artist and she said "no, I'm a girl." Bless her little heart.
We tried to snag a couple cute family pictures but Nat was too excited. The train ride itself was so much fun. The train cars were nice and warm and the kids had room to stretch out. While snacks were sold on the train, you were welcome to bring snacks and drinks. Michelle remembered some snacks and B grabbed a couple chocolate milks before we left the house so it worked out nicely. It was the least stressful Santa experience we've had to date. B and I agree that next year we should consider bringing some spiked hot cocoa :)
So needless to say, we are completely hooked on Santa Train and love this new tradition. When the train got back to the station, families were invited to come to the train station museum for hot chocolate and cookies. And while that would have been lovely, B and I had a lot we had to get done before our evening out so Ms. Kim gave the kids (huge) chocolate Santas and they were none the wiser :)