All aboard!
We took a ride on The Polar Express and officially kicked off the holiday season. Mind you, we took this trip more than a week ago (on Nov. 26), but since my dear husband took nearly 500 pictures (yep, that's correct. 500 photos), it took as a little time to wade through all the shots and pick the best.
In addition to Shelby, Daddy and myself ... my sister Amy, brother-in-law Patrick and their three kids (Trevor, Griffin and Savannah) came along for the adventure. All the little cousins had a blast together.

So, what's the Polar Express you ask? The Train in Williams, Arizona normally takes people on rides to the Grand Canyon. However, at Christmas time it's transformed into the train from The Polar Express. Like the book and movie, train-riders wear their pajamas and take a ride to the North Pole. While riding there, the kids are served hot chocolate and cookies and a reading of "The Polar Express."

When we arrived at the North Pole, Santa jumped on the train with us and said hello to every child on the train (13 train cars full). Each child received a bell, which represents the true spirit of the season and were reminded, no matter how old they get, they should always "believe."

After the train ride, we went to see Santa and take pictures with him. Shelby hopped right into his lap and told him she "really, really" wants a bed for her baby doll. She also told Santa that she loves him and gave him a HUGE hug.

Then it was off to visit Mrs. Claus and do some coloring and free play. We spent the night in Williams at the Grand Canyon Hotel, where the kids had nearly as much fun jumping on the beds as riding the train.

Here are the kids, carbing up before the adventure. They had a special chidren's buffet with all the food kids like ... chicken nuggets, spaghetti, hot dogs, etc.

The four amigos, all bundled up, before the ride.