Index of Thoughts

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Polar Express in Colorado

Right before Christmas my family took a little weekend trip to Durango, CO to ride the real Polar Express on the historical Narrow Gauge Railroad.  It was one of the most magical experiences that I have had especially as an adult.  It was like going to Disney world for the first time and seeing Cinderella's castle.   It was priceless to see our girls' faces when the big steam powered engine pulled into the station.  They reenacted the movie and had the music playing over the loud speaker.  Once we boarded the train, we had waiters who gave us cookies and hot chocolate.  We sang Christmas songs and they read us the Polar Express story.  We travelled all the way to North Pole where Santa got on board and gave each one of us a bell from his sleigh.

Read all about the details HERE from San Juan Parent!

After the train ride we walked over to my favorite restaurant, East by Southwest which was only a block away.  It was packed in there but luckily we got seated right away.  I think it helped that I used to work with the owner, Sergio, when I used to live in Telluride.  They have a great kids' menu with authentic asian food for them.  Sophia got the Chicken Pad Thai and Georgia got the Chicken Teriyaki.  YUM!  Andy and I got several rolls and some nigiri that was special for the day.  My favorite rolls - the Gone Jah Man roll has been one of my favorites since I worked for Sergio way back when.  It has tuna, mango, avocado, black sesame & sweet soy.  So so good.  The other roll that was spectacular was the Salmon & Lemon Roll.  It tasted so fresh and clean.  The other roll that we got was a little heavier & spicy - Triple Tuna Roll which paired nice with the Lemon & Salmon.  It had three types of tuna, cucumber, roasted jalapeno, ponzu and habanero masago.  And let's not forget the tasty Mojito that helped wash it down.  Evelyn loved the little umbrella that garnished it!

After the most fabulous meal with the kind of wait staff that you dream of, we felt like we needed to roll all of us down to our hotel like Violet the Blueberry from Willy Wonka!  We stayed the night at the Downtown Best Western which was only about 2 blocks from the train station.  It was a great hotel for kids.  They have a pool that is in the center of the hotel and all the rooms look over it.  The girls loved swimming in the pool!  Our room wasn't too expensive - maybe $120 and they had a packnplay for Evelyn to sleep in.  The next morning they made an enormous free breakfast that hit the spot.

We made our way to do a little shopping in Downtown Durango.  They have a booming downtown with lots of cute, local shops that stretch block after block.  The girls got some Hello Kitty treasures and we got some new ski coats.  Evelyn got some great winter snow mittens too.  We stopped for lunch at the Irish Embassy Pub where you can always count on a good beer and food.  We even ran into some friends there!  They had an Irish Band playing, and we could have stayed all afternoon.  But we had to make our way back to Montrose.

On the drive back there are lots and lots of winter activities to do along the way.  You can ski at Durango Ski mountain, there are great cross country and snowshoe trails at Ironton Park.  In Silverton I like to stop at Handlebars and warm up in front of their enormous fireplace, and oh and ah over the best Chicken Fried Steak EVER!  Then in Ouray you can soak in the hot springs to warm up those tired muscles and stop at Mousse's for some chocolate and a coffee.  We were all geared up to snowshoe but Evelyn fell fast asleep in her carseat so we decided to press on and not mess up a good thing :)

I think Andy and I want to make a little weekend trip there sans the kids and stay downtown at the Strater Hotel!  Hopefully we won't see any ghosts in this haunted hotel!  


  1. Go for the Hand Grenade next time at E by SW. Trust me. I wish we had been here to see all of you. Our living room floor is tight but cheap!

    1. Yum! I will definitely do that and I would love to meet you guys there for a mojito too!!


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