It was somebody’s birthday yesterday….
Isn’t he cute?
My little Ethan turned 4 years old and to celebrate, we went on a train adventure.
Well, we didn’t really go on a train..at least a train that was moving.
We went to a train museum.
Since the weather here has been insanely hot (115 degrees!) an outdoor party was out of the question.
And our house is kinda small, and honestly I didn’t really want to throw a party. So we decided to do a fun family trip, just an hour away to the Casey Jones Railroad Museum.
We all climbed in the car and made it almost all the way…until we had to stop for a bathroom break. We stopped at a rest stop, then decided we should eat lunch before we got to the museum. Always a good idea with kids- feed them first so they aren’t cranky and you aren’t stressed!
It was a pretty nice rest stop! We found a picnic table in the shade..
I’d brought along homemade whole wheat pitas, pepperoni, Monterey Jack cheese, and some watermelon slices for lunch, along with water to drink. Eliana really enjoyed her pepperoni. She was also worried about the big trucks going by (see her concerned face above?) Ethan was more interested in playing on that stump than eating lunch. I think he was just really excited to see the trains!
We arrived at the museum…
They had a life-size, real steam engine that you could climb on! It was pretty cool for me, and I’m not even 4. Ethan had such a good time!
So did the rest of us.
There was also a whole little village there, with a general store. We decided to check it out.
Inside, there were all sorts of things you’d expect in a general store. The usual knicknacks, coffee mugs, ugly porcelain dolls, lots of breakable stuff that you don’t want your kids to knock over as they are excitedly walking through the aisles..thankfully nothing was broken by my kids. This time.
We rounded a corner past a whole wall of cute plush squirrels and possums and turtles and saw..
An ice cream parlor from the 1890's. (or replicated to be one, with modern conveniences.)
Of course, we had to get some ice cream. They make their own waffle cones there and I must say, they were really really good! Nice and crunchy and sweet. Ethan got his cup o’ ice cream for free, because it was his birthday! That was a nice surprise.
I love Eliana’s face in this bottom picture- I think she’s making a pucker because the ice cream was so cold.
After ice cream, we decided it was time to leave the general store. We picked up our stuff, and headed for the door. But not before we had to pass every kid’s dream…and every parent’s nightmare.
Barrels and barrels and barrels and barrels of candy! I am so proud of my kids! They didn’t even get upset that we weren’t buying any. (must have been because they just ate a ton of ice cream.) I saw those barrels and just braced myself for the biggest tantrum stand-off of my mothering career, but thankfully didn’t even have to worry- they just looked at it and touched a few pieces and put them back, then walked on by. I’m sure the biggest tantrum stand-off will come another day. (or maybe has come and gone? I can hope, right?)
You might think our day was over after all of that fun, but we still had more fun up our sleeve! Next, we went to Gander Mountain, because there isn’t one where we live and we like that sort of thing.
Ethan found some hunting blinds while we were perusing the store, and promptly climbed in one and started yelling, “I’m a turkey! I’m a turkey!” Where does he get this stuff?? It was hilarious.
After all of that turkey hunting that went on at Gander Mountain, we were hungry so we went to a local Mexican restaurant. I can’t say it was awesome, but it wasn’t terrible either. Just..okay. Honestly I think I can do better at home, but it was still fun- we hardly ever eat out. We brought in the birthday cupcakes I’d made the day before for us to enjoy after dinner. Ethan of course, being the birthday boy had to guard them diligently so no one would eat them.
And peek in to make sure they were still there. And blow one of those blow things. ( I didn’t know they made ones that don’t make any noise! Those are the ones I got though, without knowing. (yay!! )
After our dinner, it was time to head home. We caught a nice summertime thunderstorm on the way..
Aren't those clouds just gorgeous! God is a wonderful painter.
Whew! Yesterday was a long, fun day. I’m kinda tired just thinking about it again. We had lots of fun celebrating our little man turning four; we love going on family adventures like that! Hope you enjoyed my tons of pictures !