Why to the North Pole, Of Course!

This past weekend, we took the girls to see the North Pole Express in Grapevine, TX.  Downtown Grapevine is so beautiful and quaint, and totally would have been worth the trip (if we hadn't been traveling with TODDLERS!)

Several people  told us (AFTER I paid the $18 a person for the tickets) that the ride was somewhat "lack luster."

By lack luster, they meant that the ride was not going to, in any way, resemble the movie The Polar Express.  For the most part, they were right.

As we prepared to board, we were ushered into a tent where we were entertained with a show, a mini hit parade of Christmas songs (most of which children would NOT know, but that the grown ups enjoyed).  The Conductor, a Tom Hanks type character, came out and nervously told us that the train was in the station and that we had to board AS SOON AS POSSIBLE because it was Christmas Eve and the train could not be late!

And then the train arrived, (a fact that caused Nikki to just about flip out!) and we were ready to board.


The promotional brochure told us we would travel through the Christmas tree maze as we prepared to board the magical train!  True to it's billing, we walked through the maze, which was in fact a very clever way that they hid the barricades that guided the crowds in an orderly fashion to the train.  I supposed you could call it a "maze" if by maze you mean walk in a straight line and go the only direction that you are allowed to go until you are instructed to get on the train.  But when you're 3.5 feet tall, a "maze" of giant Christmas trees is pretty impressive no matter how it's laid out!

Then we boarded the train that would take us . . . "Why, to the North Pole, of course!"

It was 81 degrees outside.  It was 2:30 in the afternoon.  It was very, very sunny and bright.  It's Texas.

Only the magical imagination of a 4 year old could imagine this train ride was going to The North Pole.

And that's just what happened. Nikki was amazed that the conductor punched her ticket! And they were both thrilled when he stopped to take a picture with them!

And though the train only traveled forward about a half a mile, and then backward about a half a mile, the magic of Christmas transformed it into The Polar Express, complete with a visit by Santa.

I suppose the more sophisticated traveler would have doubted the destination.  I suppose they might have doubted that caribou on the track was what stopped the train and caused it to have to back up.

But that's the beauty of being a child.  Their imaginations are not yet cluttered with harsh reality (though in the case of Nikki and Shannay they certainly could be).

They laughed and sang and squealed with delight.  And they even looked out the window with wonder at the dry Texas landscape.

All that to say, it was a great weekend.  I learn a lot about joy from Nikki and Shannay.  A lot about joy.

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