Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Trains, Trains, and More Trains

The kids and I headed east for a week to visit family and friends. Desert Boy would have loved to have traveled by train the whole way, but we'll have to wait till he's older for that. Instead, we had a heavy train theme, which started with this freight train we saw on the way to the airport.

 We pulled over to the side of the road to get extra photographs and watch the whole train go by.

Our next train opportunity was when we got to Chicago. We had five hours until our Amtrak train departed, so we checked out the bean in Millennium Park. I think it's pretty cool, but the kids weren't nearly as impressed.
 Desert Boy was quite vocal about being cold, so it was time to hop on another train (if hauling two suitcases, a backpack, a preschooler and a toddler in a stroller up all the stairs to the elevated train ("el") could be called hopping on!).

Then we walked three blocks to Union Station, a place I hadn't visited in years. We had a wonderful surprise waiting for us in the Great Hall:
 Great Grandma! Many thanks to my aunt and uncle who helped get her there. Desert Girl was delighted.

 The kids had a lot of energy, so after some visiting, they were ready to run--or ride!

 The Great Hall had plenty of space to move around.

 The kids liked playing on the Trunki.

 They also liked running and yelling.

 Before long (and before Desert Boy got his clothes off), it was time to head to the trains. But before we could go, there was something that had to be taken care of.

 Uh, oh! The Amtrak police came calling.

 The Sergeant and Desert Boy had a little talk.

 They resolved everything and Desert Boy had a fun experience.

 He was wearing the right shirt that day!

 Then it was time to gather up our piles and piles of bags and head to the train. Fortunately my brother Ed was able to join us and help out.

 It was exciting to see the Amtrak trains.

 We boarded and found our seats. I was delighted that the kids wanted to sit with their uncle.

We had an enjoyable trip, although it was dark out so we couldn't see too much outside.

When we got to the train station, Grandma and Grandpa greeted us.

The next day, Desert Boy couldn't wait to see the HO train that we used to play with as kids. It had sat in a box for so long that it needed some sand paper to remove corrosion and rubbing alcohol to clean it up.

 It worked--just barely.

 The engine that worked the best was an Amtrak one!

We still had more trains in the plans. The next one was at a neat cafe called the Whistle Stop. They have several G-gauge trains running above the tables.

They also have walls covered with railroad memorabilia, a museum, and a bench that Desert Girl and two cousins had fun warming.

 After we ate, it was time to head outside and look at some of the outdoor exhibits.

 The collection is really impressive!

The caboose is open for visiting, which was very exciting for the kids.

We had a few more train adventures during our trip, with the most notable being riding the train in the Denver airport. It goes back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. A few of the passengers got a laugh when they saw how excited the kids were on the train. And that we were riding it for an extended period of time!


The Incredible Woody said...

I have ridden on a train. I need to!

The circus train rolled through our small town a couple of days ago. It was very exciting:)

Silver Fox said...

What a fun batch of pictures! (and what a fun time)

jhami said...

They looked chipper! Great photos :)

Anonymous said...

The best picture was your daughter and great grandmother....wonderful. I enjoyed your whole story from the Chicago "bean" to the train set up in your parent's basement. I hope you will add to your tales while tripping.

Dee said...

I loved the pictures. It looks like you guys had a blast.

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