I first heard about the Heber Valley Railroad when I first moved to Utah a little over six years ago. I saw it pass by as I was tubing down Provo River. But it was not until last year that I found out all the different things they did on the train. They have a Murder Mystery Dinner... something for Halloween and more, but the event that made me want to ride the Heber Creeper for the first time was the Polar Express. I knew that tickets sold out fast... so I purchased two tickets in September on a discount day (the tickets are pricey without the discount days). When talking about my purchase at work... I found out that my co-worker Paul volunteered every year on the Polar Express as a reader. After I purchased my tickets I told him which coach I would be in on the train and he arranged to be the reader in that coach.
They encourage you to go in your P.J.'s so Ashlee and I did just that. We felt like kids again.
We first boarded the Polar Express for our journey to the North Pole.
Then we met Mrs. Claus! (It was funny because Ashlee actually knew her... she was one of her past roommates mom). Mrs. Claus gave us a recipe for special chocolate chip cookies. She told Ashlee and I personally that these cookies will attract the guys... so we should make several batches.
After Mrs. Claus left, we were given the cookies and hot chocolate. We had elves that helped with everything.
Then our ticket was punched. I was hoping for a special letter that meant something... but it was just a star.
Then while waiting to get to the North Pole... Paul read to us the story "The Polar Express". He was great. We were handed books to share to read along with him.
Then we reached the North Pole! And not only was Santa there... but he got aboard the train and gave us each a present. It was a bell. If you remember the story, it is a bell off of Santa's sleigh that you can only hear if you believe in the magic of Christmas. Just so you know... I can totally hear the bell.
Next, on our way home from the North Pole, we sang Christmas songs. Paul doesn't like to sing on the microphone.... so since he knew me, he volunteered me to lead our section of the train in singing and had me take the microphone. I was very tempted to bust out and start singing "When Christmas Comes To Town" from the movie, because it is my favorite... but I decided to stick to the program. Not going to lie to you, I kind of enjoyed it.
And then... our trip to the North Pole was over. We were back home. But I have my bell to remember my trip. :o) The whole thing was very cute and I was very glad I went. Ashlee and I agreed that it was the perfect way to start our Christmas season.