It had been two long years since we last ventured to the mountains to ride the Polar Express to the North Pole. (Yes, you can get from Bryson City to the NP and back in 2 hours). This year we rented a cabin and ventured north with a few other families. I am not absolutely sure if the boys were more excited about the train ride or spending the weekend with 9 other kids. I am guessing it was a mixture of both. They could not contain themselves in the days leading up to leaving. So it was either excitement or they had gotten into the catnip again.
We had a house full of little ones ages 1-8. The kids could not have been better behaved. Sure, at times they were loud. Yes, there was a lot of running and jumping. And yes maybe a time or two sawdust sprinkled down from the kitchen ceiling. But they all played amazingly well together. They set a nice example for the adults that fought, tattled, cheated at cards, and threw snow balls at one another. Just kidding.... maybe!
The train ride was just part of the fun. We enjoyed a great pizza dinner Friday night at a little hole in the wall joint in Bryson City and an even better hole in a hole of a wall Mexican place for lunch on Saturday. Dr. Dan made yummy melt in your mouth chocolate chip pancakes Saturday am.
A special treat was a horse that lived in the pasture across the road. He was sweet and very friendly. The children enjoyed feeding him and petting him each time they ventured outside.
We stuffed ours mouths full of yummy lasagna prior to dressing in our matching pjs and heading to the pole. (Because you know vacations are really about the food!). Aboard the Polar Express we enjoyed cookies, hot chocolate and a chance to sing Christmas carols. (My rapping partner aka Shannon and I were great at the Christmas carol part, wink wink!!) Once we hit the "Pole" someone shouted out "look there is Santa's double wide" (a statement you can only appreciate if you have been to this particular North Pole). And sure enough Santa and his 6 foot 5 inch elf boarded the train with us for the ride back to Bryson City. Truman quickly requested a new DS while Davis requested a portable DVD player and Gage shyly mentioned he would like a Red Ryder BB gun. While Santa passed out the bells our group attacked him for a group picture. Santa took it all in stride and just kept mumbling "Oh, boy" - which was true, the boys out numbered the girls 3 to 1. But I am not convinced that is what he meant!!
Once we arrived back to the city and headed back to our cabin "Bear Pause" the children were snug in their beds, bells safely in hands within minutes. Gage woke up the next morning asking when if we could come back next year. I have to agree I am looking forward to it as well!