Monday, November 24, 2008

the polar express

we left panhandle early enough to do a little shopping before we went to lubbock. the boys got kung fu panda to watch on the way there. i am thankful for dvd players in cars. the ride there was great. we ended up in lubbock about the time the movie ended. we met daniel's family at fuddruckers and had dinner before we went to the train depot. when we got there a long line had already formed, but i thought it was great. we were almost to the end so we didn't have to feel like we were in a rush to get on the train we could take our time, perfect for picture taking. as we were standing waiting i got some great shots of the boys looking at the train.
the best part about most of my photos is that they are not staged. most of them are the boys in the moment. i loved how the light made the perfect shadows on the boys. every child was in their pjs and even some adults. i searched everywhere for these jammies and was super excited when i found them. my favorite photo is this one:

baylee has already started asking the question but when i took this photo the light was right and the magic ticket showed. the tickets are a baby blue very similar to the ones you get at the movie theatre, but because of the magic of santa this one turned green. then we heard it.

"all aboard"

just like the movie. you climbed on and found your spot. we were upstairs on top level of the car. i was so impressed with how hard they tried to make you feel like you were in the movie. there was singing, dancing, balls thrown in the air, hot chocolate and cookies. the conductor came by to punch the tickets. they read the story while we went to the north pole. you could walk around and you had to be careful because the train rocked, a lot. then we got to the north pole surprisingly enough it doesn't take long to get from lubbock to the north pole. they did tell us when we got on that it may not look like we are going fast but we were speeding through quickly. santa was waiting on his own train with all the elves jumping up and down. they were so excited to come onto our train. santa came on and talked with every child. he gave every child their own bell. baylee loved it. the bell was his favorite part. tayte didn't want to ride the train, but as soon as he saw santa he changed his mind for a minute (he always needs nudging for everything). payton wasn't sure about santa either. he did take the bell though.

the elves came on with santa and talked to the kids as well. baylee had a long conversation about the wii. according to this elf they spend a lot of time playing wii on the north pole. i always thought they made toys all year but apparently they try the toys out to make sure they work. also santa says he doesn't make the wii's. he has elves that make the electronic gadgets. the elf talked with baylee for quite some time. the other boys weren't quite sure about her either.

lee was not impressed. he wanted more. he has forgotten that you have to view these things through the eyes of a child and not have such high standards. but i am grateful that he went and he didn't complain to much and he even took some photos. he really is a great dad.

on the train ride back to lubbock there was jokes being told, more singing, and more dancing. the elves said there were no parents dancing but i have the pictures to prove that i danced. rachael made fun of me saying that i look 12 so that is why the said none of the parents danced.

i also noticed that santa is either worried about his health or mrs. claus is using fat free ingredients. he has slimmed up some since i last saw him.

i am glad that we went. i am grateful that i have a friend who finds out about these things and spreads the word. i get so much pleasure out of watching the boys during events like this. i hope we can keep this magic for ever. i may have to pull out the ticket picture just to prove the magic behind the whole thing. i would recommend this to anyone with small kids. you may not enjoy it as much as they do, but to see their face when santa walks aboard is all you need.

tickets for a family of 5: $95
dinner for 5: $40
gas to get there: $30
watching your children through this ride: priceless.