A while back Husband proclaimed he wanted to cut down his own Christmas tree this year. In an issue of our AAA magazine, they highlighted the Fillmore & Western Railway Christmas Tree Holiday Train. I thought it would be a slightly cheesy yet fun way for our little family to celebrate Casey's first tree experience so I bought tickets because they were reasonably priced and we were on our way. It's about a 24-mile drive from Oxnard to Fillmore so we got up bright and early, as we would any other day with a baby who despises sleeping in, and got on the road to get to the station 45-minutes prior to our 10 a.m. departure per the recommendation. Will-call tickets were easy to pick up and I don't think we needed to be there that early but there was a holiday craft shop and a carousel and stuff to help pass the time. There were no strollers allowed on the train because it was at capacity and that was kind of not ideal seeing as we have a 3-month old but c'est la vie. Santa walked up and down the center of the train that was decorated with garland to visit with the kiddos and hand out candy canes. We were on the train for a good 40 minutes when we realized we were headed to the Santa Paula Tree Farm. What's funny about that is we had driven through Santa Paula to get to Fillmore. The drive from Oxnard to Santa Paula is about 15 miles. So... yeah... a bit redundant. I had assumed we'd be going to a tree farm that was a little further off the beaten path. I guess I'm a bit of a tree snob because I didn't find the trees all that gorgeous out at the farm but Husband managed to find a suitable one. Mind you, this was after a pretty lengthy - and mildly exhausting thanks to carrying a heavy baby - walking tour between rows and rows of trees. He claimed it was anticlimactic to cut the tree down because I was not there to watch him do it but Casey needed to be changed and fed so what can you do? There's not exactly a baby-friendly place to handle your business so I ended up changing and feeding him on a hay bail where other children were running and jumping all around us. The tree farm also had pony and camel rides, a hot dog stand and sno-cones. If you are a retard (and I will not be PC and use another word so there) and need to be told this, hot dog stands do not take debit cards. Lord help us all to remember that one should always have cash on one's self in the case of emergency. Amen. The train departed promptly and our return was only remarkable because we screeched to a halt for some unknown reason. We managed to disembark and unload the tree in reasonable time. All in all, a pleasant experience with some pretty views of orchards and California's finest landscapes but sort of unnecessary in the long run.
MORAL OF THAT STORY: Skip this if your child isn't old enough to appreciate it otherwise you're just spending more time and money than you need to in order to chop down your own tree.