Sunday, October 12, 2008

Train Rides

"If you can't make a mistake, you can't make anything."
--Marva Collins

We went on a 10 hour tour yesterday. We left the house at 10 AM, and didn't return until 8:30PM.
We drove south to Nelsonville, and rode a train for fun :o) Don had gotten tickets for it from the school's auction last spring, and finally decided to make use of them. We really cut it kind of close, but it was due to plenty of factors, like needing to stop to let the kids burn off a bit of energy, and having to go to the post office and gas station on the way out of town. Unfortunately they weren't really smoothly functioning ticket-masters, and after dropping Chance off at the ticket booth to cash in the coupons, we ended up waiting over an hour for him to get them, along with a line up of people that went well beyond the station platform.
It was a bit uncomfortable and hot in the train, but it was kinda cool. We rode in a car that was double decked, and rode on the top deck in the hopes we could get a better view than our counterparts below. UNFORTUNATELY, the A/C wasn't working, due to an improperly functioning Mercury thermostat, so they left the doors open in the hopes that it would rush through a bit of a breeze. It was warm, but kind of relaxing, with the bumping and swaying. The kids did amazingly well, considering they hadn't eaten lunch b4 boarding, and had minimal snacks. They enjoyed watching out the window, and testing their ability to stand up while the train was moving. We stopped at a pioneer village, of sorts, and had some fun checking it out, but mostly snacking on the food they had available, and enjoying the fresh moving air.

"But Ill die as I stand here today
Knowing that deep in my heart
Theyll fall to ruin one day"
The Pretenders - Back On The Chain Gang

After we pulled back into the station we disembarked and carried on to a Sonic. I've seen commercials for this place, but never actually been to one, so it was a new experience for me. I liked that they served Tater Tots, and had a yummy cheeseburger...but what really sold me on them was the most amazing chocolate milkshake I've ever experienced in my life! It was creamy, had no unpleasant aftertaste, not too sweet, and perfectly chocolaty! Hunter and I were instant fans. On our drive back I shared mine with him, but when I was forced to take it away because he was playing with the straw and getting chocolate everywhere, he carried on for a good hour of complaining...

"Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you got 'til it's gone"
Counting Crows - Big Yellow Taxi

I will say that I managed to read more than 100 pages into my book during the drive! Of course I brought a well-stocked backpack to keep the boys occupied, but was definitely saddened to find that our portable DVD player has bitten the dust, and needs to be replaced. It was skipping the DVD badly, and refused to play the movie after a certain point, even though the DVD was scratch and smudge free (a rarity amongst our DVD collection). So, without that added usual distraction it was a bit more difficult to keep them occupied and happy. I sat in the back with the boys on the way down, and on the way back Chance sat with them.

"The window burns to light the way back home
A light that warms no matter where they've gone"
Metallica - Hero Of The Day

I didn't take as many pictures as I thought I would take, but it was mainly due to the fact that the train was made up of cars that were salvaged and restored, and our car had cloudy tinted windows from the 1950's, so it made it difficult to get clear shots. I could have stood between cars, but really didn't feel like standing to get shots of the things we passed. Also, one side of the car was shaded, and the other in the sun. I chose shaded, Darius and Don chose sun, and I think they got the better view, as their side was less inhabited than ours. We had a view of mobile homes, yards, and quarries. It wasn't really an exciting view, as I think it was more intended for the ride. I was surprised to find that the train stayed on a straight track, I guess I was expecting it to make a loop, and have a circular track, but it rode for a while in one direction, double backed, and passed the station before stopping at the village, and heading back to the station to end the ride.
It made for a long day, in any event, but was enjoyable to have a change of pace from the norm. If anything it reinforced my need to make sure I stay in the practice of packing properly, ad this trip I forgot to pack regular food, like sandwiches and the such. Normally I do, and I couldn't tell you why I didn't this time.

"I've had a chance to be insane
Asylum from the falling rain
I've had a chance to break"
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Slow Cheetah

The upside, is now the boys can say they've been on train!

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