Christmas, as you already know, is going to be all about trains this year, and we started our very first "Santa Express" adventure right after Thanksgiving. On Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, we woke up at 3 a.m. and drove five hours straight to Delaware to greet my extended family for the holidays. Lewie loves this biannual trip because we get to sleep in the campervan, which is parked in the driveway right next to the house. This is the easiest way to camp!!
On Saturday, we set out to travel an hour to the Wilmington & Western Railroad, so that we could ride with Santa on their "Santa Express." In the midst of our travels, however, the car stopped cooperating. My husband looks at me and says, "We lost the power steering."
"What?" I say, somewhat frightened as now my husband is having to take a tighter grip on the steering wheel to try and keep us on the road. "Should we pull over?"
"No, we'll make it to the Santa Express," he replies. About ten minutes later, we stop at a toll booth and discover that the power windows and doors don't work.
Once again, I urge for us to pull over, but my husband insists we can make it. In another five minutes, the lights on the dashboard disappear. There's no radio, no lights, no temperature gauge, no fuel gauge--nothing. It's obvious that we lost power but yet my husband's answer is to step on the gas pedal to go even faster because after all, we must get to the Santa Express.
In another five minutes, the car begins to buck, and it's obvious that we need to pull to the side of the highway before we get hit. Lewie begins to cry/whine, I begin to cry (because I'm still a five year old at heart), and my husband's still wondering whether the battery went, the alternator, or both.
To make a long story short, we didn't get to the Santa Express that day, and our car had to be towed back to my aunt's house. However, with some Christmas magic, my cousin John, who's a mechanic, immediately discovered that we needed a new serpentine belt and a pulley. Both he and my husband bought the parts at Pep Boys on Saturday night, and John fixed the car on Sunday morning. Another mini-Christmas miracle is that I called the Wilmington & Western Railroad and learned that there were still seats available for Sunday. We piled into the car to make the trip again, and this time, we arrived at the Santa Express! Even more, the lady at the ticket counter honored my tickets from Sat. after I explained our car troubles to her.
Yes oh yes, Lewie had his Santa Express ride after all, and the spirit of Christmas was saved! I am so thankful that we made it through this ordeal safely, and even more, that we have wonderful family members that helped save us in a pinch. Yay for safety, yay for family, and yay for little boys and trains that turn every holiday into a world of play, wonder, and excitement.
|We finally made it to the Santa Express!|
|An authentic steam train...|
|Lewie had a chance to meet Santa even before the ride!|
|Does he look excited enough?|
|Some scenery from the window. It was really beautiful!|
|I love covered bridges!|
|Lewie requested the "Polar Express Train with two passenger cars" for Christmas. |
He didn't even have to think twice about what he wanted for Christmas.
|"Mommy, I didn't know Santa had a wife!"--Lewie's exact comment!|
|Daddy and Lewie!|
|Mommy and Lewie|
|The end of our ride. As you can see, no one wanted to leave, including us.|