Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Our Train Trip

Sunday was a beautiful day, especially when you have plans to ride a train! The LM&M is a 1930s model that hasn't been modified much. So there's no bathrooms, heat, or AC but with the mild weather and sunny skies it was just about perfect. We sat in the third car, right in front of the open-air gondola and after the conductor punched our tickets at our seats we were free to go back there.

I love this picture. We were some of the first people on the train and Lou had George waving out the window to all the other kids while wearing his conductor hat.

Out in the gondola

Lou, annoyed that I'm so picture-happy today

The car was packed and it was so cute to see all the little kids minutes away from bursting with excitement over being on a train and the chance to meet George. We had a half hour ride out to the Junction where there was going to be coloring of Curious George pictures, games, and a jumping air castle (please let me know if this is not the technical name), and, of course, pictures with George.

No one told Ben that he had to wait his turn.

We get off the train and he is sprinting to the 5' George, holding onto the arm of his 12" George and I'm not exactly sure what the exchange was because I was trying to leap out of the train car to go after him. Benny had locked in on his target, not even acknowledging the fact that the people who were in cars 1 & 2 were waiting patiently for their turn to take a picture with the extra-large monkey. All I saw was Ben holding up his stuffed animal, pointing to it and then pointing back to the larger-than-life monkey, then back again. The big George was shaking his head and shaking his hands, then I guess he somehow figured out what Benny was trying to say because then he was excitedly nodding with whatever it was Ben was saying. I caught up with Ben and was able to take him over to the jumping castle without incident.

A shot of our train at the Junction

Louie and Benny loved the jumping castle, even when it started to collapse and the parents stood there idly watching it deflate on top of our kids. I was kind of freaking out (in my head) and had images in my head of having to cut through the netting with Kevin's mini-Leatherman to help the boys escape. None of the parents were doing anything and there wasn't anyone "attending" to the play structure, so I went to help grab kids through the flap that was slowly getting sucked into itself. At that time our friendly conductor was passing by and I'm not sure if one of the parents was standing on the hose or what, but suddenly the castle was pumped up and all was fine. Whew!

Our friendly conductor

We decided to walk over to find out what else was going on and luckily the rush to get pictures with Curious George was over and we only had to wait behind two kids before it was our turn. Charlie wasn't too excited about it (although he's a huge fan of the soundtrack, he has not yet become addicted to the TV show and movie). And I think George was a bit nervous to have Char-Bear on his lap.

Next stop was coloring and Lou and Ben enjoyed picking out the right sheet to color and we had to figure out how to use the Twistable (?) crayons. (What's that all about??) Then we found the "Monkey Lady" who asked the boys if they wanted to (a) answer a question or (b) be curious. One of Lou's personalities is that he acts like George and makes noises and motions with his hands rather than speak. I've gotten pretty good at figuring it out and told Monkey Lady that he wants to be curious. His mission was to pick up as many rocks as he can by the time she counts to five. I saw other kids doing this earlier and they had probably 89 pieces of the gravel rock in their hands and my kids are picking out their favorite rocks and in five seconds Lou has five rocks and Ben has four. The each get a piece of Laffy Taffy for their efforts.

The conductor yells "All Aboard!" and we are making our way over to our train car.

Saying goodbye to George

It was just enough for our little guys. They had a blast, and you can be sure that Mommy & Daddy had fun, too.

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