Wednesday, November 27, 2013

All Aboard!

Have you watched The Polar Express? Or read the book? If you haven't you should, it's a favorite in our house. 

Let me first say I wasn't sure what we would get when I decided to buy the tickets to ride The Polar Express. I heard of a few of these train rides around central Indiana but no one ever shared much on the actual experience. I also read where the French Lick Scenic Railway did one in French Lick, Indiana. Again, not a lot of information. The reviews online were hit or miss but I figured as beautiful as the area is and as fun as I remembered the resort being as a kid we decided to give it a go. I have been to the resort quite a few times with my family and grandparents, it always seemed so huge and beautiful, I knew Maddy would love it.

We were NOT disappointed and I now have hopes of making it a fun, holiday, tradition! 

C & C are so little this year that we decided not to take them, we dropped them off in Bloomington at my parents along the way. It was also a great opportunity for Adam and I to have some alone time with Madelyn. 

We had purchased the 7:30pm train ride but decided to check-in a little early to enjoy the resort. Adam and I had not been back since we were engaged there in 2005, another reason I love the place so much.

We did some "exploring" as Maddy likes to call it. The Christmas decorations were beautiful which added to the "magic" of the trip. 

The hotel has a bowling alley and indoor pool, Madelyn was set on doing both so we did a little bowling before dinner and late night swimming after the train ride.

We walked everywhere since everything is so close. We walked into downtown and had dinner at 33 Brick Street, it's the Larry Bird themed restaurant. It was probably the low part of the trip. It wasn't very good and the service was lacking. We didn't let that put a damper on our fun though!

After dinner we walked over to the train station for our ride to the North Pole. I snapped this picture of the resort on our walk.

They had heated tents filled with things for the kids to do, gift shop, and professional photograpers to snap your picture. 

We found our train car and our conductor was there to greet us. We heard the famous words "All Aboard" !

The train was decorated with lights and garland inside. We had two elves, Elf Holly and Elf Snowflake. Once the ride began the story started, they did a great job of acting out the high points. The conductor came to each family and punched our tickets just like in the movie.

 We were served hot chocolate and cookies while they sang and danced to the "hot chocolate" song. 

The rest of the story was read as we headed to the "North Pole". Part of the train ride was through a fairly long tunnel which was really neat. Once we arrived we saw Santa and his elves waving to us, the train stopped for a minute so we could look at the lights. Shortly we felt the train start back to the train depot. 

The ride back was filled with lots of singing and dancing.

AND, a special visitor! Santa had boarded the train and presented each child with the "First Gift of Christmas"! A silver bell, just like the movie. Maddy was very excited to receive that bell.

We arrived back at the train station and our adventure was complete. As we left the train there were boys dressed as old fashioned newspaper boys handing out papers. It was a cute touch.

We had a blast and will be returning next year, our goal is to get a train car filled with our friends and family. How fun would that be? 

So, who's going with us!?!?

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