Posted by: heartfull | June 26, 2008

All Aboard!

Last week my mom called me, wondering if the kids would like to go on a short train ride. She proposed leaving from our city’s train station and riding westward to the next stop, approximately 50 minutes away. We would then eat dinner, walk around and get on the next eastward bound train (3 hours later.) I informed her that the kids would love this. In fact, John and I decided to go as well as it sounded like a blast. My mom bought tickets for Wednesday.

Tuesday night, I came home from a walk at 9:00 pm to find Chip on fire with a temperature of 101.6. Shit.

My mom came over Wednesday morning to take the girls to swim team so that Emmy wouldn’t have to put Chip in the car, and the poor baby became hysterical, thinking Grandma was taking the girls on the train with out him.

By Wednesday afternoon, it was down to 99.5 and we decided to dose him up on Tylenol and take our chances or risk a trip to the hospital for a broken heart.

We arrived at the Kirkwood Train Station at 4:00 pm

which gave us just enough time to get a frozen custard at the stand next door.

While we waited at the station, we explored the model train and train station displays

and signed the guest book

until the train arrived. I can promise you, I don’t know if I have ever seen my kids so excited. Chip squealed in delight when I stopped him mid-chatter and had him listen for the distant train whistle, announcing its eminent arrival.

We boarded

and settled in for a terribly exciting ride through Missouri

which included bridges, cliffs, tunnels, rivers and a trip to the snack bar (which required walking between car trains – a perilous adventure for the kids.)

Upon arrival in Washington, we found one store still open at 5:30 pm – the Hobby Shop, and bought Chip a balsa glider plane. Then we found a drugstore still open and were able to locate the clearance rack which just so happened to have a couple souvenirs on them – a thimble for Mare and a plate for Bird, both priced at $1. We headed over to Cowan’s Cafe, the oldest restaurant in town, which, truth be told, left a little to be desired. Though the chocolate peanut butter pie at the end did improve my overall impression.

Looking at our watches, we realized we still had 2 hours until the train left. All-righty then.

We headed down to the riverfront and snapped some photos of the girls standing in front of the swollen Missouri River.

The photo above doesn’t do the river justice. That water was moving fast. I always forget how powerful the rivers are until I get up close and personal, especially during a time of flooding.

At 8:00 pm, we headed back to the Washington train station to wait for the eastbound train. And wait we did. And then? We waited some more. Finally, at over an hour late, the train pulled in and six very tired tourists climbed aboard for, what felt like, a quick ride back to Kirkwood.

I’ll pay the price today – the kids will be exhausted. But it was so worth it.



  1. I couldn’t believe the amount of emus the train hit on the way back. I think the train needs some bird whistles.

  2. What a great trip! I have been thinking of taking the train to New Orleans and back with the kids. I may wait untilt hey are just a bit older, though. How did your little guy do on the trip?

  3. Glad I suggested it! I had as much fun anticipating the trip and going on it as the kids (both big and small) did.

  4. I cant believe how big the kids are now! It is nice to see an updated picture. You all look great. The trip sounds like a lot of fun. My kids would love something like that as well.

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