Monday, October 27, 2008

An Old-TimeTrain Ride

On Saturday Calvin's grandparents took us to a steam train in the middle of Pennsylvania that has been running since the early 1900's. It was the most charming train I've ever seen. It was straight out of polar express, complete with the nostalgic whistle and all of the tiny details of wood, upholstery nails, paint, and a coal burning stove. I really did try to limit the amount of pictures in this post, but here are my favorites:

Conductor Calvin, happy to have a hat just like Grandpa's.

Everyone at the train depot waiting for departure.

As the train approached with its steam blowing, light glowing, and whistle bellowing, I thought it was magical... Calvin, on the other hand, lost it. He was terrified of the whistle, and all through the trip, whenever it sounded his little chin would quiver, his bottom lip would stick out, and he would start the saddest cry until we could calm him down. Except for the very last whistle of the trip, when his lip jutted out, but he didn't cry - go figure.

Waiting on the quaint train depot bench.

They charged a bit extra for the caboose, but it was completely enclosed, with two different levels for seating. There was the main car, and then up a few metal ladder rungs was a single seat on each corner with windows that opened for looking out across the country side. There was also a corner with a tiny coal burning stove and two old wicker chairs to warm yourself by the heat. So adorable.

Calvin at the top of the caboose, loving the view.

Calvin pouting on grandma after being frightened by the whistle.

You can't really tell, but it was POURING rain and everyone was soaked. The train stopped for a 10 minute break so everyone could get out and look around, and Calvin loved walking on the tracks with his dad and looking at the front of the train, despite the bad weather. I think this was his favorite part of the trip.

Our caboose conductor. A very nice guy, and a fun shot of the crew.

The boys enjoying riding up top.

A view of the gorgeous country side. I loved that it was raining so hard. It made it seem like something really special, watching the water run down the glass and listening to the pitter-patter on the roof and windows as we made our way through the Pennsylvania farm lands.

After the train ride, we drove further north and visited Andy's college. It was fun for me to see a little piece of his history. We then went to the bar and grill he used to frequent and had delicious sandwiches and waffle fries dipped in blue cheese. It was a perfect meal on a rainy day and fun to see where he used to hang out with friends.

We ate chinese take out for dinner, conversed about politics and family, looked at pictures, played with Calvin's birthday present (that deserves its own post), looked at Halloween lights, and then went home right at the boy's bedtime, so he slept all the way home. It really was a good day. Thank you Grandpa and Grandma Nelson for showing us a great time!