Well, while I do love going doll-crazy, and my little guy, Max, seriously loves babies and our dolls, this past weekend was two days dedicated to his true passion: trains.
Now, you may have heard of this train named Thomas. Yes? And his Sodor friends? Well, Thomas is basically a celebrity in our house. Max's favorite thing in the whole world is trains. Any trains. Sure, Thomas is probably his favorite, then steam trains in general, but he'll take them in any form in a pinch; streetcars, diesels, toys, monorails, zoo trains, etc. He can also make a train out of just about anything. Carrot sticks at lunch? Yep. Some pine-cones at the park? Sure. Piles of soap in the bathtub? Uh-huh.
So last weekend my husband Matt and I took a break from dolls and other hobbies to take Max on a Super Train Adventure, and I thought I'd share. :)
Our first stop was the Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad in Elbe, Washington. We got to take a ride on their old steam engine logging train which took us out to a picnic on Mineral Lake before chuffing us back to Elbe. There were gorgeous views of Mt. Rainier, wildlife to spot, and a friendly conductor willing to take pictures.
|The MRSR steam train|
|The train view of Mt. Rainier (the camera doesn't do it justice, of course).|
|Complete with friendly conductor!|
Next we headed over to our room at the Hobo Inn, which is a series of old cabooses converted into guest rooms. We stumbled on them last year and Max has wanted to go back ever since. This year we got to stay in a red caboose (last year's was yellow) and he was thrilled. I did feel slightly bad because a bird family had made their nest on our room's porch and were very disconcerted at having us so close to it.
|This is our caboose room. Yes, they really sit on railroad tracks!|
|The whole restaurant is fun of model trains and train decor. Max was in heaven.|
|The annoyed mama bird and the nest on our porch.|
Breakfast the next morning was had in a converted dining car lined with model trains. Hard to go wrong there. Then we headed North to the Snoqualmie Railway Museum for the Day Out with Thomas event. There was live music, tons of train tables, Thomas activities, pictures with Thomas and Sir Topham Hat, toys to purchase, and of course a ride on a train pulled by Thomas himself. The ride took us out to overlook the beautiful Snoqualmie Falls before heading back to the station.
|Max grinning like a fool with Sir Topham Hat. The whole family posing with Thomas himself.|
|We got the best seats on the train; comfy chairs in the boxcar facing out on the view.|
|I didn't manage a nice photo of the falls, but here's the river below.|
|Max's version of the barbed-wire arm tattoo: train tracks!|
|Driving the model trains. He's informed us that he will be getting some of these. Er, maybe some day.|
It was a pretty magical weekend. Max can't stop talking about it. A few people we told about it thought we were crazy. They weren't the ones with kids. Other parents were more likely to understand that sometimes you just have to embrace your child's passions with a whole heart. And I have to say, it was pretty darn fun. How do you encourage your child's passions?
P.S. Ok, I said I took the weekend off from dolls, but that's not completely true. I did, after all, have some car time to fill. Next week I'll show you what I was working on. Want a peek?