We managed to get separated as a group only once, as we were making it to the train. bunny_hugger's father stopped for kettle corn, which the vendor promised we could take on the train. We had figured we were heading to the general store and her brother went to the other general store from the one the rest of us expected. We got that straightened out in time to line up for the train. In the snow her father fell off the sidewalk platform, but in a slow enough way that we initially thought he was joking. He did tuck and roll, so as to not lose a kernel of popcorn despite it all.
The train ride was reasonably comfortable --- we got on one of the cars near the engine, with more ``action'' as the ride folks promised, but less comfort, as the rear cars were the ones with padded seats, but we did have heat in our car --- and while we were warned not to eat anything (as promised, we were allowed to bring it on the train) it's not like they were watching too closely. We each got some handfuls in.
The lights were wonderful as they've been each year, but the ride's spiel was different. In past years on the way out the engineer has called out explanations of the lights on the way out --- old man winter brewing up a mass of snowflakes, or just where the bridge was, or the bit about people in the old days hopping off the train at a stretch where it moved slowly to grab huckleberries and hop back on --- but this time, after a jaunty greeting tune they went on to just play Christmas songs throughout. A few points were featured, such as Leroy the Christmas Dragon (originally bought as a Halloween ride light show but delivered late and they went with that) but for the most part it was just riding through the dark, with music and lights out the sides. It's a lovely ride but we did miss the spiel.
They'd had a condensed version of A Christmas Carol playing, but the fear for what the dogs would need kept us from wandering around long enough to see it. Instead we went to a coney island nearby and drove back through snow that was getting really rather worse. Or maybe we just got a bad set of roads to drive on. Well, we got home safely, and her parents and brother got home safely, so we were able to pack again in a good conscience.
Trivia: The French Republican calendar month of Venémiaire was translated into Italian as Venemmiaio, into German as Herbstmonat, and into Dutch as Wijnoogstmaand. Source: Mapping Time: The Calendar and its History, EG Richards.
Currently Reading: Time-Jump, John Brunner. Mostly humorous stories from an author I don't think of as the go-to person for humor, but he was British after all so he couldn't very well not be dryly funny. The Consumer Reports type reviews of SFnal inventions are so my kind of funny, too.