Saturday night in Denver was not as expected. After our trip to Dinosaur Ridge, some rest at the hotel and a quick dinner, we headed out the door for our next Denver adventure to the Colorado Railroad Museum. We had tickets to a very special event there. We had been told about road construction, so hubby mapped out an alternate route. Since we didn’t know exactly how long it would take to get there, we allowed ourselves an hour. If we were early, we could check out the museum a bit, but we certainly didn’t want to be late.
By this time, it was getting dark quickly and we were on our way. Then it happened. We hit traffic. It was bumper to bumper and hopefully wouldn’t last long, but it continued. And continued. And continued. The clock kept on ticking as we inched our way along. Then suddenly hubby saw a road sign and realized he hadn’t taken us on the alternate route, but had taken us directly into the road construction traffic.
At this point we began preparing the kids for the possibility of not making it to our event in time as we continued to look for an opening in the traffic.
Emotions were high. Patience was short. All we could see ahead were hundreds and hundreds of tail lights.
With just a few minutes to spare, we made it to our exit and as quickly as we could we made our way to the museum. We jumped out of the Suburban and ran into the building, checked in and were escorted to our train on to discover they didn’t seem to have room for our family. I had purchased tickets prior to leaving Illinois and there was room when I purchased the tickets, but now it appeared our family was a little large for the seats that were available. After some discussion among the employees, we were escorted to our seats on the train. It was room enough for 4 and we were a family of 6. Fortunately, we are a family of 6 with some small children, so we made it work. Yet hubby and I were less than thrilled with the way things had been going thus far and our excitement about the event had since vanished.
Now seated the show began. We were taking a ride on the Polar Express.
Actors began dancing in the aisles as the Hot Chocolate song was sung over the speakers. Hot chocolate was then served to each ticket holder on the train and soon actors began walking the aisles with a very large Polar Express book. The story was being read as they turned the pages. We sipped hot chocolate wondering what would happen once the story was done.
With the last page turned, we sat there. And sat there. And sat there. Hubby and I looking at each other wondering if we had just spent all the money, sat in all the traffic, gone thru all the stress getting there only to hear a song and have some hot chocolate while the story was read. Certainly not!!!!
Then we were escorted off the train and still confused as to what was happening when we heard someone say we were going to board the Polar Express.
We made our way to another set of tracks and stood watching another performance of the show. Music from the Polar Express movie played and finally, around the bend we saw the smoke and heard the train whistle. A steam engine came chugging into the station as excitement built.
Everyone was taken to their train cars and we boarded the train. An old-fashioned steam engine that would be taking us on the Polar Express train ride.
The train began to move. Along the way we saw different scenes from the movie were being acted outside the train along the route.
Eventually I realized that I had not had my camera out and began digging thru all our things to find my camera. when suddenly I looked up to see FS1’s eye’s widen. He reached his hands out and said, “Hi Santa”. Santa had boarded the train behind me. The expression on FS1’s face was priceless and I didn’t have my camera out. But he was in awe!
Santa greeted each of the kids asking if they believed and then handing each of them a jingle bell as they responded, “Yes.”
Once Santa had greeted each child on the train, he got off the train and the ride continued. We were given a bag of Polar Express hot chocolate mugs and the ride was over. All the stress and frustration of the drive gone. All the frustration over appropriate lack of seating gone. My disappointment over not taking any pictures still lingering, but mostly replaced with wonderful memories of our ride on the Polar Express.
Sounds like a wonderful night (once you got past the frustrations :). So glad you were able to enjoy that together! I bet that look on FS1’s face was priceless seeing Santa. What special memories.
This is a little boy who has never gone to sit on Santa’s lap and based on comments he has made, probably hasn’t celebrated Christmas. The expression on his face was priceless.