This past Saturday, we headed to the NC Museum of Life and Science with the Herman Clan for the museum's annual Santa Train. It is such a great idea and had it not been raining and 30 degrees, I think we all might have enjoyed it a bit more. Don't get me wrong, it was fun, we did enjoy it and the kids enjoyed it but I think had it been a bit warmer and not drizzling, we would have stayed and enjoyed some of the activities set up at the various booths. The most exciting part, obviously, was the train ride to the "North Pole". We arrived just as the train was pulling into the station and then began loading for the 5:40 pm trip (we were on the 6:00 pm trip). Emerson didn't quite understand why we didn't get on that train and was so sad when it pulled away from the station. She had the saddest look on her face, even after we explained that we would be on the next train. I think she thought that she wasn't going to get to see Santa Claus. She was so excited when that train pulled back into the station and it was our time to board. All Aboard!! We all found our seats and soon we were on our way to Santa's house.
We came to a stop in the woods to find a house lit up with lights and lots of "blow-up" figurines depicting the North Pole. An elf came out to greet everyone, he gave all the kids candy canes and let them know that Santa would be by to see them soon. Santa made his rounds to all the girls and boys. When Santa finally got to Emerson, she was shy at first but soon warmed right up when he asked her what she wanted for Christmas; she said, with much enthusiasm, a doll, a kitchen and a present. She's still confused on the whole present thing!! He repeated her list back to her (even the present part) and said, he would see what he could do! Before we pulled away from Santa's house, he told us to look in the woods for Rudolph as we continued on our adventure; he said we would see his flashing red nose. Sure enough, about half-way back to the station, the train slowed down a bit and all of a sudden in the dense trees, a red flashing light went leaping through the brush. All the kids squealed with excitement when they spotted Rudolph's red nose.
After the train ride, we had a quick minute for thawing out under the standing warmers and some sips of hot chocolate, which Emerson LOVED!!! Then we made a mad dash for the warmth of a heated car and heated seats (I just love when we can use our auto start on the car and it's toasty when we get to it!) Nothing can top off a cold night visiting Santa better than Bullock's Bar-B-Que, at least in Dale Herman's mind, so we headed to Bullock's for some good 'ol Southern Bar-B-Que. All-in-all, it was a great night with great friends and that jolly old guy in the red suit!!!