We woke early and as we pulled into the museum this is what we saw.
Oh yeah, this was the right place for us. As we walked in we saw a bazillion little boys in striped Osh-Gosh overalls and old fashioned conductor hats chased by doting parents pushing expensive strollers of gargantuan proportions. It didn't matter, we were all so excited, I couldn't even get annoyed with all the privileged suburbanites. I'd never really taken a proper train before, sure I'd ridden the El in Chicago and the trolley in New Orleans and some zoomy things at lots of airports, but wowzers this was the real deal.
Each train had that same machine shop metal and grease smell from my childhood, and the you could see where the patina of a million hands had rubbed off the enamel of the hand rails. It was easy to get lost in time imagining commuters in the same seats with far more etiquette than I'll ever see on public trans.
We spent the whole day riding grand old trains around in circles and smiling. We did do some of the the other activities; mini-putt, scavenger hunt, tattoo tent and half a magic show. We must've stopped to eat at some point but really, it was so fun I don't even remember the snacks.
We were almost the last kids to hobble back out to the parking lot at the end of the day and we'll certainly go back again next year.
It has me thinking though, about summer vacations. It would be nice to get to a place without having to drive, to enjoy the country side going by and the rocking of the tracks. I've looked at the "family car" on Amtrack and it's a regular little cabin, much like I imagine they are on a cruise, though I don't really know. The biggest ship I've ever been on was a ferry where the passengers only get their own car to sit in. I think me and the kiddos could like hanging out in a little family car, politely playing cards and eating string cheese at night, wandering out to the riding car in the day and playing I-spy. Funny how imagining us on a train naturally includes imagining us all being polite.