Some people may not know what off-the-grid or off-grid means, so here it is --- The term off-the-grid or off-grid refers to living in a self-sufficient manner without reliance on one or more public utilities.

Off-grid living is no longer a one room log cabin in the woods. It's energy independency. You don't have to rely on utility companies, you create your own power. Today, there are more than 180,000 off-grid homes in the US.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Polar Express…

30 degrees - 8:06 pm - foggy...

Today we jumped into the car and headed up the Columbia Gorge to the Hood River Railroad Depot in Hood River, Oregon for a little family fun.

Cape Horn Lookout, Columbia River Gorge

“All Aboard” said the conductor, as our train ride on the Polar Express began.  We sipped hot chocolate and ate cookies while we took our train ride to the North Pole.  While we were enjoying our snack, the crew walked up and down the aisles with the Polar Express book and read it to all the passengers.  The train did have to stop once because there was a heard of caribou in the way, but once they moved, we were on our way again.  And before you knew it, we saw the lights of the North Pole.  When we arrived, Santa and his elves where outside waving to all the passengers.  All the lights of the North Pole were amazing.  As the train reversed to head back to Hood River, Santa was nowhere to be found!  He had jumped on the train and was going from car-to-car greeting all the passengers and handing out silver sleigh bells to all the children.  And boy were Caitlyn and Jack having fun jingling those bells (really loudly) and singing Christmas carols all the way back to the station.

Caitlyn with her Polar Express ticket.

Our niece Joslyn telling Santa what she wants for Christmas.

Jack ooohing and aaaahing at everything.

An afternoon with family and friends (15 in total), a train ride, hot chocolate and cookies, kids in their jammies, caroling, elves, Santa himself… what a fun experience.

By the end of the ride, the kids were all tuckered out.

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