Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Trains, trains and more trains!

Over our Christmas break we took William to ride the Santa train in Old Town as well as a separate trip downtown to the Botanical Garden train display.  He got a real kick out each activity and  we enjoyed our time spent with Campbell, Caroline and their families.
First up was the Santa Train ride from Old Town, Alexandria to downtown Manassas.  William's buddy Campbell and his parents told us about the outing and so the 3 of us got tickets to join the fun.  This was our first Santa Train event in VA (we have done the Santa Train in OKC), so we were not sure what to expect.  The boys were super excited to ride a real VRE passenger train, and Santa seemed to just be an added bonus.  We boarded the train around 1:40pm and rode 30 minutes to Manassas.  Santa paraded through the train cars to meet the children and  he passed out candy canes, sang holiday songs and posed for pictures.  William is still not the slightest bit interested in meeting the jolly man in red, so I have no pictures of him with Santa.  Bummer, and he'll regret it when he's 20, but you snooze, you loose.  Once we got to Manassas, we got off the train for cookies, hot chocolate and story time.  Then we boarded the VRE and headed back home.  It was a great way to kick off our Christmas week.

The second outing was with our good friend, Caroline, and her mom and brother, Conner.  I had heard so many wonderful things about the train display at the Botanical Gardens downtown.  So, our group met there one morning around 10am.  It was a good thing we got there when the doors opened because a line had already formed.  By the time we left, the line was out the door in the FREEZING COLD. 

The train displays were set up in a separate room from the traditional botanical garden tour.  When you entered the train room, the trains were running everywhere you looked.  They were going around the walls, above your head, through tunnels and around the trees.  It was really cool to see it.  Everything inside the train room was made of nature - the bridges were wood, the tunnels were rocks, dirt, and leaves, the rails above our heads were made of crisscrossing branches, etc.  It was REALLY neat, but so hard to describe.  It was certainly a "you had to be there" kind of adventure.  The kids loved the trains and Caroline was thrilled to see Thomas and Percy as two of the lead cars on the tracks.  I noticed that by the time we'd been in the train room for about 15 minutes it was a getting really crowded and hard to keep up with the kids.  So, we decided to explore the rest of the gardens before heading out. 

Caroline and William really got into posing for pictures.  They would tell each other where to stand and then once their picture was snapped, they'd race over to Dan to view it on the camera.  We took advantage of their interest and captured a ton of pictures. 
Here is one where William specifically told Caroline to sit down on the grass.  He then told her to stay there because he was going to stand on the other side of her.

And here is a cute one of Caroline, her brother and her sweet Mom. 

 After a quick bite of Matchbox pizza, it was time to call it a day. Thanks for coming along for the fun guys!


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