Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Trians, Trains and Trains

A week or so ago it was National Train Day and one of our local train museums had free admission for the day. Aside from them allowing people to blow the horn on one engine, which the boys really didn't like, it was a pretty nice day.

There were several lanes of track with numerous cars on them. One length was opened for people to walk through. There were fans going so you didn't notice the heat - much. A couple cars toward the back had air conditioning, so that wasn't too bad.

Coach Car, nicely refurbished.

Sleeping Cars were interesting. This was more of a private room, but even so space is at a premium. The table folded up and the couch folded out to become a bed.
Berths folded up into the wall during the day and the ladder was stored in the tiny bathroom. Cramped quarters to say the least, but I tried to explain to the boys how this was how people with more money travelled and most people did their best to sleep in the coach seats. That didn't sink in this time around.

A couple of Tanker Cars seen from the hallway window of one car

This was the Turquoise Room. A section of one car separated by accordian doors on both sides with a hallway bypassing the room (the window slats behind the boys show the hallway from the room, but people walking the hallway can't see in. This room was for movie stars, corporate execs and prominent politicians. It had its own porter and it was very close to the kitchen, so personalities didn't need to leave at all - except to go to the bathroom.

We took a little ride in a caboose. Mostly the public was not allowed in this part of the train as it was for workers only.
Erik relaxes at a trainman's workstation in a caboose. This is where he would record what cars were picked up or dropped off and at what time for each station.

Jake was sitting in the Trainman's seat in the caboose. Here one can get a pretty good view along either side of the train and probably try to scare the boys who stood and watched as the train went by (or rather those boys who did a bit more than watch - throwing rocks at the train or getting closer to the tracks than they aught).

Monday, May 25, 2009

Lego Train - Back on Track

Finally, after years of being disassembled and pieces dispersed among countless lego bins, the Lego train is back together and running! Will have to show our lego shelves (yes plural, three shelves) of pieces and some finished works another time. We are hoping to have a summer of Legos now that Jake is into building things...Not sure if we'll ressurrect old sets or just try to be creative with all the thousands of pieces we have, but I'm pretty sure we won't be getting any more any time too soon. Unless we get a train set for Jake, that is.

So far just the train - my short-term goal was to separate pieces by color and put into bins while finding pieces to the train set. That's mostly done, so now I'm hoping the boys will be able to build a sort of town around the train set.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Erik's Last Day

Last day at Bethany Christian School, that is. After a little middle school awards ceremony, I asked Erik if there was anyone he wanted pictures with before he left. Once he left it may be the last time he sees many of the kids there as he starts a new school next year. He said he just wanted a picture with his principal, Mrs Hunsaker. She was gracious enough to stop for a photo.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Hunt's Tomb

The white pyramid on the title picture of my blog is Hunt's Tomb. Governor Hunt was elected Arizona's first governor. He served seven of the first nine or ten terms of office. They recently did a major overhaul on his tomb replacing all the old tile (two layers) with new and made a whole bunch of other improvements. Most notable is the lighting at night. Powered by batteries charged with solar panels. It is an Arizona landmark and finally looks the way it should have looked for many years.