Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Polar Express

Since this blog doubles as my/our family journal, I guess I should apologize for posting events SOOO long after the event, but ALSO considering my lack of memory past a couple months I will not be apologizing for wanting to remember our fabulous family trip to Williams, Arizona for The Polar Express.

Last year for Christmas it was our gift to everyone to go on this way fun trip. Everyone just had to get themselves down there and THIS year we gave them all pajamas to ride on the train (like in the movie.) For months I was looking online and buying and returning and re-buying pajamas for all (nearly 40) of us. I loved trying to color coordinate everyone so we could have one ginormous cool family picture. The adults were all really good sports (even the guys who had super-long pants . . . I guess I shouldn't have bought TALL sizes, but I was trying to avoid the dreaded flannel pant flood situation) about wearing the pjs and the picture was totally worth it.

Of course I thought a bazillion times how much I wished my brother, Michael (serving a mission) and my father-in-law, Bruce (working in CA) could have been there. We were lucky enough to have my SIL, Mindie's, dad come with us and it was SUCH a blessing for me to have ALL my family in one place. That so rarely happens and as we continue to grow and have more kids and get more busy I know the chances that it'll happen again are pretty slim.

We all drove down Saturday morning to Williams and made a stop in Kingman for a little Del Taco and to stock up on winter clothes. Just to sum up Kingman . . . I will NEVER live there! By Saturday afternoon we were all checked in to our hotel rooms. It was nice that most of our rooms connected together so we could help keep track of ALL the kids and put kids in each others' rooms to sleep, etc. We were treated to a fine buffet dinner and then headed out to the train station to FREEZE OUR FANNIES off. Seriously, it was so cold waiting for the train. We were out there in PLENTY of time and the poor kids were getting pretty numb by the time we boarded the train. Here's some pics of the Garrard side of the fam:

And the Barlow side:
Sunday morning we headed back to the buffet, spent our gift vouchers and then headed home. We were going to stop to let the kids play in the snow, but decided to just go home. Here are some of the other pictures I took at the buffet or when the kids were outside playing around.

I would HIGHLY recommend this trip. I don't know if I could do it every year, although the train ride itself was really fun: the cookie and hot chocolate, carol singing, and Santa's visit. I loved the warm coziness of the old train car and seeing my kids play with all their cousins. I think my nieces and nephews are THE most adorable kids EVER. My best friends are my siblings, my parents, and all my in-laws and to have them in one spot was a real blessing.

I believe, I believe, I believe!


chris jenkins said...

i am thinking that goes down in history as one of the coolest Christmas gifts ever - only you could pull something like that off! can you adopt me? :D

Beth said...

It was WAY fun. Thanks again for you and Tyler treating us all!

MollyE said...

I can't believe you bought all of those pajamas and organized that!! You are so fun!!

Karen said...

Oh, I don't know how this could be complete without me? Seriously though I am IMPRESSED! Looks like tons of fun! Sigh, just one more Barlow gathering that we weren't invited to! Totally JK! LOVE YOU! By the way I talked to Abby about planning a little Niece get together at my house, are you interested?

Cyndi said...

How cute cute cute! I love the big pic with the whole group! What a sweet idea and thing to do!