Here in Arizona, there is no guarantee of snow at Christmas time. As we were enjoying pleasant temperatures down in the desert, we waited w/ anticipation as to whether or not a good old fashioned snow storm would hit the high country. We were so happy and thanking God for his special gift when we got a ton of rain a few days before we were supposed to leave. This time of year, rain down here means snow up in the mountains! Yay! God is sooo good. :)
By Christmas Eve day, the roads were clear, the sky was clear but the ground up north was covered in a beautiful silvery white. The kids still didn't know everything we were doing. They just knew we were going up to play in snow. Ever since we left Ohio they've been asking to go see snow again. We finally granted their wish, 7 years later. ;) We packed up everything we would need for 2 days and one night, including hats, mittens, gloves and the coats we purchased on our way up to Sedona over Thanksgiving. I made sure to have their Christmas eve presents, new PJ's and our special Twas the Night Before Christmas book we read every Christmas Eve. I also packed along the advent books and candles. The hotel we stayed at was non-smoking - a good thing but not so good when you're trying to find some matches! I forgot to pack some of those! LOL
All of these extras were tucked away and out of sight of the kids, so they didn't know that we were spending the night anywhere. :)
heading out! Destination - unknown
A Christmas tree in the middle of the highway
The very first signs of snow
San Francisco Peaks all frosted in white
Foreshadowing of things to come ;)
Our first stop was for some sledding at a spot just beyond Snow Bowl in Flagstaff. The kids had a blast sledding down the hill. A. even took K. down and she loved it!
building a fort
After sledding we drove to the hotel, which was the first time the kids knew for sure we were spending the night. We checked in, got settled and I handed them their Christmas Eve presents and told them to put them on for dinner!
We all headed down to eat in our jammies. What fun! The food was good, a huge Christmas eve spread. It was all buffet and they had Prime Rib, Turkey, stuffing, corn on the cob, green beans, salad, rolls, desserts and a bunch of other stuff I don't remember! It was a real Holiday feast!
Cutie in her jammies
It was sooo cold!
A. stuck around while I finished dinner and we walked back to the room together, posing along the way. Can you tell she's cold? I think it was around 20 degrees. Good thing we were grabbing our coats before waiting for the train!
The lobby was toasty warm w/ a huge fireplace and everything decorated for Christmas.
After dinner we had a little bit of time before our train left so we went back to our room and we did advent and read our Christmas books and then headed back out into the very cold night to wait for our train, The Polar Express, to roll into the station and whisk us away to the North Pole. :)
waiting for the train!
keeping K. entertained while we waited
It's coming! Woo-woo
The Polar Express pulling into the station!
The train ride was fun. They keep you entertained the entire time you're riding w/ songs, retelling the story, hot chocolate and cookies and on the way back, Santa hitched a ride with us and gave the kids a special present for riding on Christmas Eve. :) We don't really do Santa, but it was fun to watch the kids as they got into the whole spirit of the evening.
Back at the hotel, we posed for this shot w/ their new mugs (pretend it has hot chocolate in there) and our Christmas Eve book and then headed upstairs to actually read the book.
The kids had a hard time settling down after the exciting evening but eventually, they all fell asleep. Poor S. ended up getting a fever that evening and had a hard time sleeping and ended up hallucinating in the early morning hours. Poor guy (and poor people in the room next door - I can only imagine what they were thinking hearing him screaming, "Make it stop!"). By morning, his fever was gone and he felt good again. Weird stuff. Since he was doing okay, we decided we would continue on with our journey which I will share with you, tomorrow! :)