Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Train!

Yes, a Christmas Train. An interesting experience if your little ones are:
#1. Interested in trains
#2. Not prone to motion sickness
#3. In LOVE with Santa
#4. Not smart enough to know it's a fake beard
#5. Not inheriting their motion sickness from their parent(s) - just sayin'

It's a neat experience of sorts. A little long in some ways and a little short in others. More Christmas time fun and less children screaming at the top of their lungs if you please. Oh, who am I kidding. The worst behaved on the trip was not the obnoxious, no mannered children but their lovely parents! At least it started out very pleasant.

 It really had that old timey feel. A wonderful way to preserve history and teach this generation the way that things were. These are original cars from the Georgia-Pacific railway. The dining car I didn't get to take a picture of, but it would have been a huge hit in the 60's when train travel was still vogue. Fashion forward for those times even. There was a 'lounge' room something to do with using the restroom, though what exactly I'll never understand. Seemed like a waste of space on such a short of space locomotive. I was assured however it was all the rage in the day.
It was nicely appointed - well okay it was just comfortable enough but it was cute and warm. No heater or air conditioning mind you. The bones of these structures are very much kept completely preserved. These cars belong to the Florida Railroad museum.
Our tickets - they seemed a bit nonsensical. Not old timey at all. Kind of i dunno - ticketmasterish? The price seemed fair enough. $14 for an adult and $10 for a child. That is of course until you do the math for 7 persons.... yeah that hurt a bit.
I was under the impression that there was to be (albeit at our expense would have been worth it) cocoa and cookies available. I had visions of Chistmas' past of snuggling up with hot apple cider and cocoa with giant marshmallows accompanied by gingerbread men, and sugar cookies frosted to look like snowflakes. This would have been wonderful, and certainly I would have gladly paid a decent amount To share those memories with my children.
Unfortunately though it was not to be. I'm still not sure if this was due to a snafu or what. Instead I hefted a mighty $2 per bottle of water and $1 for the tiniest bag of goldfish. Needless to say we all shared and that was NOT what I had in mind for a Christmas time snack. I suppose that I could have spent the $2 for a candy bar instead but thankfully my kids don't know what they are really and didn't ask. Crisis averted. I was lucky enough that my oldest who knows all to well what those chocolaty sugar shock inducing snacks are, was easily bribed to keep his mouth shut. :-)

Awww, here's Momma me making a cameo appearance with my B girl. She was thoroughly enthralled with the Christmas side of this event. You can clearly see visions of sugarplums dancing in her head. This little one never ceases to amaze me.

Once again the photo uploader is hassling me so I'll do my best to keep this somewhat in sequence.
It was decorated pretty nicely. Apparently was also had some of Christmastowns residents on board. They cheerily (and loudly) spread the word of Santa Claus' coming to town and managed to out yell sing the kids in the room. ;-)

And, True to their word Santa did come. He looked amazingly like the conductor that greeted us upon arrival but nonetheless he showed up. This is where the rules up top come in. Go ahead, refresh your memory. I'll wait while you re-read what I wrote................................................................. AH, there you are. Yes, #4 that is right! Your child has to be NOT aware that Santa isn't what Christmas is about! He/She also must not be smart enough to tell that he's just a guy (and WHICH guy) in a costume! HO Ho, ho.......
Annah on the other hand had no clue, and went with it all. Boy you can see it written all over Kate's face. She knows he's a dupe and she asks (as I grin ear to ear) 'Does he know it's Jesus' birthday?'
But as Santa was coming around and asking what each child wanted for Christmas it became abundantly clear that for the first time my children will receive 'a gift from Santa.' Not being greedy they each asked for only one gift. They will of course get more gifts from Mom and Dad but not knowing who this fellow was they did not fall into Christmas commercialism. I am so proud. They will get those gifts, and ironically they will be just as happy with the fleece jackets and new shoes for school that they will receive from us. That makes me happy.

After that they settled in with a candy cane (at least there was ONE Christmas element to eat) and hung out for another hour. They did hang in there. We passed miles of farms, and good old Florida scrub land.(WOW those peppers look good!)
 We also got  a little swampy and maybe we went passed a few cows, or maybe a few hundred. Did you know Florida is the #5 state for producing beef? Just one of the many things most people don't know. We got back to the train station just a little past nap time and.....

We let her sleep as we slipped past one of my favorite Florida landmarks the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. It's a mile straight up.

 To most drivers it's a bit intimidating but to me it's absolutely glorious. A wonderful place to scout for false killer whales, dolphins, cruise ships. WHAT? Those cruise ships are pretty darn cool.
I know I should show you the whole
bridge, but I'm not. I'm just showing you my favorite part. The other part
that shows just how far up in the air we really are - it could be dangerous to my readers. It is known to induce vomiting, and profuse sweating. It makes the Ferris wheel look like child's play.... Um, well a child's toy then!

That was our day. Thought I'd share it here. I realized the other day I don't share my day to day life - nor my big events here so here is the big event of last weekend. Hope you enjoyed it.

'Till next time!


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