Sunday May 22, 2011

Being the mother of two boys, I have done my fair share of train related stuff.
Read books about trains.
Gone to the train museum.
Built dozens and dozens of train tracks.
Watched movies about trains.
Ridden on a steam engine through the redwoods.

So you may well imaging my feelings when I found out Jude’s last field trip of the year, was to yet another train museum.

Well, truth be told, I was kind of excited too.  Turns out I really like trains.

They weren’t excited at all.

All week long the the clouds had drenched the valley.  I was more than a little concerned when I woke up Wednesday morning to more rain.  Nonetheless I packed our lunches, jackets, and umbrellas, loaded up the boys and headed for the foothills.  By the time we arrived the sun had broke through promising to be a perfect spring day.

The poppies were growing up between the old tracks and abandoned train parts.  I loved the contrast of the flowers among all those rusted out parts.

We had the BEST tour guide!  He was relaxed, loved being with the children, and he was careful to keep all the information at the level of a 5-year-old.  By the end of the tour of the roundhouse, he had all the children whistle trained.  One blast- stop.  Two blasts- go forward.  Three blasts- back up.
 Man, I need to get me one of those whistles.

The roundhouse was amazing to me.  I think I had more pictures of the inside of the roundhouse than I did the class.  Actually, I’m certain I did.

Some of these pictures have been edited.  I’m sure you can tell which ones.

After the tour of the roundhouse and other points of interest we embarked on a 40 min. train ride through the foothills, popcorn and rootbeer in hand.

Speaking of hands, this is the darling little hand that kept reaching across the seat to pull on my shoulder.

We ended the day with a picnic on the grass.  The last few minutes the dark clouds pushed in an let loose on our happy gathering.  We scooped up our lunches and ran to the car, soaking wet with big smiles on our faces.  Another sweet childhood memory planted firmly in the minds of my boys.

16 thoughts on “Sunday May 22, 2011

  1. foreveranoatneygirl_n2Hisown

    that looks like so much fun!! love all the pictures you took and shared….definitely looks like a dream come true for any little boy!
    you do know we have a really great train museum here in our area, right? in fact, i think Thomas comes around a few times a year. ;O)
    happy Sunday night to you!

  2. jamekablue

    OHmygoodness what a wonderful post! I like the one of the boys running down the track, the flowers growing in between rusted things and that precious hand. I just love that hand!

  3. SpazzyMommy

    AWESOME!!!!!! I love this!! !:) We live in NC where the Tweetsie Railway is and every year they do the Polar Express….I’m def taking my little guy this year before he feels that he’s outgrown it. :)
    We went to our transportation musuem late last summer and did the roundhouse, train ride and all the fun stuff that goes with it. ;)

  4. redladybug18

    Having a dad who worked as a supervisor over the engineers, I’ve definitely ridden my fair share of trains.  In fact one time on one of the “worker family days” rides my brothers got to actually drive the train!  It’s always so much fun to ride them though, and it looks like your outing was fun as well!

  5. inanorchard

    @foreveranoatneygirl_n2Hisown - As if I needed another reason to want to come visit you Rachel!   That would be a dream come true!  Have a great week!  When is school out for you?

    @song_of_praise - Yes the rain stayed away for exactly the right amount of time for us to enjoy the field trip!

    @floridabreze - It was a fun day!  I always dread field trips a little.  Just because they take so much planning, the children are always going a little stir-crazy with excitement, and I usually have all three of my kiddos by myself, but once we’re there I enjoy myself to much :)

    @SpazzyMommy - I know what you mean Cass.  I’m secretly dreading the day my children think it’s not cool to go educational places with their mom

    @JsSteph7 - The funny part about the rootbeer was, the boys and I almost missed the train waiting to buy the rootbeer in the gift shop!  As I waited in line I could see people loading onto the train, so I rushed to the front of the line, handed the girl two dollars and said “I’m sorry, we have to go or we’ll miss our train!  Just keep the change!”.

    @redladybug18 - How cool Gabrielle!  What a neat childhood you had. 

    @fourkidsonemom - Seriously!  I was only half joking when I said I needed to get a whistle.  It reminded me of The Sound of Music :)

    @jamekablue - Awww… I’m so pleased you liked the pictures… means a lot coming from such a talented photographer 

  6. mytoesareblue

    oh my goodness..that is sooo fabulous. i adore museums, but ones where you get a train ride at the end with popcorn and rootbeer…right up there on my to do list ;) so glad that you were able to accompany your son and his friends on this great trip. that tour guide looks like he was great…so awesome when you have people that love what they are talking about but are able to make it something that kids understand and can get excited about as well. loved all the pictures…especially the one of all the numbers you found on the trains!

  7. lifeisadance

    Oh, it looks like so much fun! How neat to get a tour as well as a ride! There was an old steam engine nearby where I grew up, and while the ride was exciting in itself, there was no tour to go with it – I think that would be so interesting!

    Love the poppies/old tracks picture! That contrast is so beautiful! And I liked your line about needing one of those whistles. :) Yeah, that sure would be nice!! :)

  8. ABAHM

    wonderful, wonderful post and pictures!  I will have to bring my hubby by to see this post.  Such a fun field trip!  Don’t you love guides like that one, that talk to children at their level?!

  9. inanorchard

    @mytoesareblue - Thank you so much!  It was a fun trip!  As the tour guide was taking us around I was thinking to myself, “I wish everyone loved what they did like he does.”  It just makes all the difference in the world.  I love museums too!  I’m kind of nerdy that way 

    @lifeisadance - Wouldn’t the whistle be nice?!  Can you imagine the looks on people’s faces as you whistle at your children to come, stop, or go back?  Like they were little trained puppies   I’m still tempted though…

    @ABAHM - Is your husband a big fan of trains?  If you’re ever up north again you should stop in, it was good fun!  Unfortunately, this museum is slated to be closed down within the year.  Not enough state funds to keep it open, I’m glad the boys had a chance to see it.  We might go back again this summer, Justin wasn’t able to go and I think he felt disappointed. 

  10. H0LDfast

    i saw these on facebook. fun to see they made it to a post.
    looks like a really fun time. nice ‘almost missed the train’ story, too : )

    in other related news – the kids started packing today. i had to say no …. this is too soon to have bags packed : ) the point is they’re excited!!


  11. inanorchard

    @H0LDfast - We should take all the kids back to see the trains this summer!  Then head to Columbia for ice cream.  Doesn’t that sound fun?! 

    Jude has been secretly packing since Friday night.  Gideon asks 5 times a day, if this is the day we are going to go camping.  I have a feeling these next few days are going to be the longest/shortest days of my life ;)   


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