We took Kate on the North Pole Express, aka the Grapevine Vintage Railroad. Every Christmas they transform the train into the North Pole Express for the kids, complete with singing elves, Mrs. Claus and a visit from Santa himself. Kate really enjoyed herself, and this is the first Santa encounter she's had that she didn't cry. I was fairly impressed...of course she didn't actually have to touch Santa.
Kate wanted to hold her ticket through the line. She was so proud of it! There was a maze of Christmas trees for us to walk through to get to the train, complete with "snow". I'm not sure Kate was a fan of the snow, but she was at least interested in it.
Mrs. Claus was beautiful. Simply stunning and gorgeous and very sweet! Her dress reminded me of White Christmas, and there were sequin details and she had on a stunning snowflake necklace and earrings set. She was a very attractive woman to begin with, but with her bright red dress she was perfection. I think Nick and I were both slightly disappointed that the conductor was not Tom Hanks, but we got over it. Kate handed him each of our tickets so he could punch them for us.
Santa sort of surprised Kate - he came from the opposite end of the train car from where we were sitting so she had no idea he was there. We opted not to show her so that the anxiety wouldn't build before he got to our seat. She has seen Santa two other times this season so far, and neither time has she been inclined to sit in his lap. I'm okay with that - we forced her to do that last year so I could get my funny screaming in terror pictures, so I saw no need to repeat that this year.
I still wasn't confident that she wouldn't scramble to get away from him, but she just watched him as he spoke to her and handed her a jingle bell. He was a good Santa too - I feel pretty strongly that only men with real white beards should ever play Santa. Those horrible synthetic white beards that other men wear should be outlawed. They're just awful.
Kate loved her jingle bell and has been ringing it ever since she got it.