Wednesday 24 December 2014

The Polar Express 2014

Each year we take a trip on the Polar Express, each year since Leo was a baby in arms. It has become an annual family tradition that we look forward to, and in turn it is now an occasion that Leo himself looks forward to and enjoys with us.

On Christmas Eve we arrived at the train station and found ourselves greeted by the rolling steam as the steam train got ready to depart the station for the North Pole. Leo gallivanted down to the platform, skipping with excitement as he went. He had been talking about the Polar Express for weeks, and watching it on DVD equally as much… In fact he had been watching it since last Christmas!

The Polar Express looked incredibly Christmassy decked out in tinsel and if you didn’t know you were heading to the North Pole before embarking, you would soon find out due to the festive cheer and decorations on board.  We took our seats and Leo chatted excitedly about the train and the impending journey, he talked about Santa Clause and maybe getting a present from the man in red himself. The Polar Express began to move forward slowly and more steam began to rumble alongside us, we began to pick up speed and before long we had left the station completely behind as we ploughed across open country and on to the North Pole.

Surprisingly the journey to the North Pole doesn’t take as long as you perhaps might expect, and very soon we were chugging through the magic tunnel that acts as the short cut between Worcestershire and the North Pole! Once out the other side we could see that the night was drawing in and the sun was beginning to set, fairy lights were beginning to glow and in the distance we could just make out the ‘North Pole’ Sign.

We had arrived.

Lead by one exciting 3 year old we made our way to meet Santa himself, manoeuvring around the crowds of the North Pole and meeting many a Elf along the way. Santa soon called for Leo to come in and say hello, and this year unlike previous years, Leo couldn’t wait to run on over and give him a hug, given half the chance I am sure he would have hopped on his lap for a cuddle. They had a lovely chat about what Leo would like for Christmas and Santa gave Leo instructions on how to tidy all of his belongings away in order for Santa to be able to make his delivery without falling over!

I could see from my perch by the door just how special this entire experience was for Leo, chatting away with Santa as if they were the best of friends, Leo’s eyes twinkling the entire time, and then Santa bestowed Leo with a gift and told him that he would be popping by later on Christmas Eve with the rest of his presents for being so well behaved.

We indulged with a hot drink and a mince pie each before making our way back on board the Polar Express, night time had truly arrived by now and the magic of the night was more alive than ever. The train steamed back to Cheltenham where we made our way home, ready for a night of Christmas TV and a takeaway feast.

Next year without a shadow of a doubt, we will be back on board the Polar Express with Leo, we are not about to start missing it now!

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