make-believe: a train going north

December 20, 2012

On Christmas Eve, James and I are boarding a train and heading northward. I am ridiculously excited. My excitement stems 110% from my expectations that the entire experience will be straight out of The Polar Express. I’m especially looking forward to my cup full of hot chocolate as thick and rich as melted chocolate bars. But just in case the train travel pales in comparison to my all-time favorite Christmas story, I will be satisfied with bringing along a project or two to work on, a good book, a snack or two, and something cozy to snuggle in. Is it too much to also wish for snow?

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Clare from Suddenly City December 20, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    I ride the train all the time from DC to NYC, and granted it goes through the less scenic parts of the NE and I haven't tried the hot chocolate… there is something about trains that just romanticizes traveling a la Hogwarts/Polar Express.

    Also bring your computer and watch a cozy Christmas movie together – makes the ride go faster too!

  • Reply kate December 20, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Great choice of reading material. I love traveling by train and this make-believe is just the coziest!

  • Reply Amanda December 20, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    You should probably bring some chocolate bars, just in case. (Or a thermos full of the good stuff.)

    Happy holidays, lady!

  • Reply Emily December 20, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Love this so much! I know just that excited feeling you describe!!

  • Reply megan December 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    The gloves are a great train project! I love knitting on trains. I used the same yarn for my project:

  • Reply December 20, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Sounds lovely!

  • Reply Rebecca D. Martin December 20, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Sounds like a dream. Enjoy!

  • Reply Home is whenever I'm with you December 20, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    I'd want to be on a train going south! Love all the stuff you're taking with you though! VERY CUTE bag!

  • Reply sweet harvest moon December 21, 2012 at 12:47 am

    This sounds absolutely perfect! Have a great time!

  • Reply Sarah Dee December 21, 2012 at 5:09 am

    Have fun!


  • Reply Neurotic Workaholic December 21, 2012 at 6:43 am

    I like riding trains when I'm traveling rather than the trains that I ride for commuting. The trains that are used for long journeys are cleaner, more comfortable, and have fewer people who make weird faces at me (or say weird things) if I make the mistake of making eye contact with them for a split second.

  • Reply vivian December 21, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    I love trains! I take Amtrak whenever I have the time to do so (usually going from Boston or NYC to Chicago, so I need to have a day and a half available). It does take much longer than flying, but is much more comfortable, much less stressful, has better and more constant scenery, I don't have to worry about liquids and leathermans and the number or size of carry-ons, and I can read and knit without triggering my motion sickness. And yes, there is something romantic about the idea ā€” and reality is not usually quite that rosy, but my rides have generally been pretty lovely nonetheless. I have also met some interesting people over the years, including a guy who traveled from CA (!) to NY to go to the Culinary Institute of America, and a girl who was an amazing artist traveling from AZ. Enjoy your ride!

  • Reply Amielle December 27, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    I'm shopping around for new winter wear and that sweater has made it onto my list. It looks so warm and cozy!

  • Reply IndiaMorgan January 9, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Erin, this post made me think you might like my friend Cara's blog. She lives in BK with us, day job as a butcher at The Meat Hook, and creates recipes based on scenes in literature. Her Polar Express recipe is particularly tantalizing. Read her at

  • Reply Kim January 19, 2014 at 10:58 am

    I discovered your blog yesterday from a Bloglovin link to your guest post on Cup of Jo. I am mesmerized!!! Your small apartment living (I lived for 2 1/2 years here in Paris with my husband in about 220 square feet, but our place was a pit), your photography, your writing. . . I love your "objects this week" posts because of the mindfulness they imply. Makes me want to do them myself as a means of pushing myself to appreciate all the small beautiful things that come into my life every day. Finally had to comment with this darling post and your belief that the train trip would surely be Polar Express-style! Your sense of humor, your eye. . . Thank you for sharing with us!!

  • Reply Erin January 19, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    Thanks so much for your kind words, Kim! So very glad to have you here!

  • Reply Kim January 22, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Seriously, if you *knew* the amount of time I spent reading through the archives over the holiday weekend in between playing with our two new adopted kitties, we would all be appalled!! But hey my projects are on hold while my husband turns our "office" spare room into a balcony protection-builder's workshop for the kitties, so what's a gal to do???

    Also so jealous of all the gorgeous snow pictures from winters past and present. I imagine you all on the east coast have had your fill, but we've not had a flake all winter! :(.

    Ok I'll stop commenting in the archives now. Good luck with your apartment search!

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Comments are moderated.