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Santa Train 2013

As we did last year, we booked tickets for Alex and the family to the Santa Express run by the Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad.

So we all hopped into the car on Monday afternoon and headed out to foothills of Mount Rainier…

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Alex and Amy were ready to go…

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This was going to be our engine…

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And this was the train…

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Then we watched the engine couple up to the train…  or “buckle up” as Alex and I sometimes say…

As we got on, I noticed there was a second engine at the other end of the train, so right after we got on I headed to that end to get a quick picture…

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G’ma Ruth and Alex got settled in at a table.

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Amy put on her practiced sullen face.

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I ate my popcorn.

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(Picture taken by my mom)

Soon the train started, and Alex watched out the window intently while perched on my lap.

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(Picture taken by my mom)

Only a few minutes later though, the conductor told us it was our turn for Santa…

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And unlike last time, when I unfortunately his stop on the video right before Alex started to talk to Santa, this time I actually did get the whole thing on video…

Unfortunately, unlike last time, it was much noisier, and it was impossible to hear what Alex said to Santa. (Although, Santa said that Alex said “trains”, which of course would be what he would say.) Also of course, it wasn’t his first time with Santa, and it wasn’t nearly as cute. So I am still very sad about stopping the video early last year.

But we quickly moved on.

Through dirty windows we saw some scenery…

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Last year, we had power outages and never got to the “destination” of the trip. This time we got to the end, which was a little train museum. We got out to look at some of the stuff…

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(Picture taken by my mom)

We saw the engine that had pulled the train last year.

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And a diesel engine with caboose.

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And another old steam engine.

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(Picture taken by Brandy)

We could have hopped inside that engine, but Alex just wanted to look through the window.

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There were some old tanker cars too.

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And a repair shed.

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At that point, we went back into the train…

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(Picture taken by my mom)

Right around then, we realized we had lost Brandy! We had no idea where she had gone. One minute she was with us, then the next she was not. We’d hoped she would be waiting for us at our seats, but she was not. For what seemed like hours, but was really only a few minutes, we sat there and wondered where in the world Brandy had gotten to.

As we sat in our seats Alex said, “I think Mommy will be lost FOREVER.”

But, of course, a few minutes before the train was due to head back, Brandy showed up at our seats.

As the train started heading back toward the station, like last time, Alex and I (and Grandma Ruth too this time) went to find one of the spaces at the ends of the cars where there was a waist high door with an open area above so that you could look out without dirty old glass in the way of the view.

Of course, by this time it was dark…

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(Picture taken by my mom)

We could see the stuff right by the side of the tracks because of the lights from the train, and it was exciting when we passed level crossings. But of course I wasn’t going to be able to get any good pictures of that with very low light and everything going by quickly.

But Alex and I stayed, with me holding him up so he could see out, for the whole ride back to the station.

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(Picture taken by my mom)

And then it was over. We headed back to the car for the two hour drive home, with only a quick break for dinner at an Indian restaurant on the way.

It was a fun time, although very different than last time. Will it become a tradition? Talk to us again next year. :-)