We’d been wanting to ride the East Troy Electric Railroad for a couple years. At Christmastime you can ride it with Santa and it sounded like such a fun and festive activity to do with the kids. So we went. It was absolutely freezing that day. I don’t even remember the temp, but it had to be near zero or below. Tickets are sold on a first-come first-served basis so we got there early to make sure we got some. We waited in the “heated” train station, although if the inside of your station windows look like this, I’m not sure “heated” is the right terminology.
So after waiting 15 minutes or so and being sufficiently numb, we finally boarded the train .
The train rides from the East Troy station to The Elegant Farmer, and on the way we were in one car with a man who led us in singing some Christmas carols. He was friendly and made corny jokes we had a good time singing and checking out the landscape. At The Elegant Farmer we switched cars, which process made us stand outside in the freezing cold for 5 minutes while the other car moved to the front car. We finally board the back train car which held Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Nobody was really sure what we were supposed to do, some were sitting, some were going up to see Santa, so we decided to go up and see him too. I’m lucky I got this picture of him smiling, because it was about the only time he did. I’ve never met a more abrupt, crotchedy Santa than this guy. Didn’t engage with the kids or really talk to them at all. They sat on his lap, he dumped them off, and Mrs. Claus threw some cheap plastic toys that never made it into the house. After all the kids had seen him, he proceeded to stand in the middle of the car and read a couple Christmas books. You couldn’t hear him and he was the worst narrator. Whey they didn’t have the kids sit in front of him while he read is beyond me. And then we were back at the station and that was it.
It was still a fun family Christmas outing, but I need to find a better Polar Express experience. One of those things where you’re glad you did it, but you won’t do it again. Freezing on the train. Still.