Friday, December 13, 2013


I have always wanted to stay at the Choo Choo hotel. Last weekend, we surprised the kids with one of the hotel's Christmas packages.  I booked the weekend prior, so we were unable to get a room in one of the train cars.
Before I proceed, let me back up a bit. On Thursday night James woke up puking. The poor kid was sick until 3 a.m and then ran a fever and was very puny on Friday. By Saturday he was much, much better. I ran the Jingle Jog 5k and we loaded up the car and headed to Chattanooga after lunch. Everyone was good to go...
I THOUGHT we had avoided James' bug (I went nuts with the Lysol and sanitation cycle on the washing machine) but unfortanately, it hit me about 5 minutes from the hotel. Ugh. This was a strange bug.I really felt fine; I just had to excuse myself several times.We checked in and were lined up to see Santa and take pictures around 4.  Seth was a hero- he manned the kids while I sat in the beautiful hotel lobby as we waited for our turn to see Santa. He took the kids to dinner (pizza on a train car) while I rested in the room. Again, I felt pretty good as long as I wasn't throwing up. I took zero pictures during this time. :( They're mailing our Santa pictures to us- can't wait to see them!
After dinner, it was time to leave for our hour long train ride (Santa, carols, hot chocolate). The kids were SO, SO excited! Here we are about to leave. I even felt well enough to brave it (seemed like the worst was over). We get to the station and we are almost ready to board the train when guess what??!! Adelyn gets sick. Poor thing! She was really upset that we had to cancel our train ride. Luckily we were able to get a rain check so we will return on the 19th for the train portion. 

Part of the package included elves tucking the children in bed. They arrived around 10 pm. Adelyn was feeling better by then. Winter and Silver made the kids' night very special!

Silver, the elf above, really got into character. He did the acting portion of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas

Oh, their faces! Absolute, 100% pure joy and wonder 

The lead train (behind this are the train cars that people can stay in)

On Sunday morning, we headed to the Elf Workshop. They had a room set up with at least 25 crafts. Several elves were circling to assist the children. 


This girl loves to do some crafting!

At one station, the kids wrote their letters to Santa. The elf had them spin 3 times, jump 2 times, and hug and kiss their letter before putting it in the North Pole mailbox

Necklace making

James liked the markers and train stickers

We will definitely repeat this next year. It was a marvelous/miserable experience this year and will ONLY be better next year. At least our little virus only lasted a few hours and we weren't totally down and out. It's never fun to be sick away from home, but we made the best of it! 

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