Today we celebrated International Rail Safety Awareness Day at the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum in Calera, Alabama. We love a good bargain so the offer of a free train ride and free admission was was too much for us to pass up.
It was very hot outside, but we did not let that stop us. The boys got safety whistles (oh my), Alabama maps, railroad crossing fans, popcorn, chips, drinks, and a goofy paper conductor's hat - they were thrilled!! We listened to a veteran train engineer discuss railway safety (we could tell he didn't normally present to children - too many graphic details) then we took a half-hour train ride out to the Timberline Golf Course.
The boys enjoyed climbing in all the old train cars out on the yard.
Walmart had one of their 18-wheelers available for the children to explore. This one had bunk beds in the sleeper! The air conditioning was also turned all the way up so everyone lingered in there as long as they could.
The Alabama State Troopers were there with one of their new sporty cars. #2 wanted to see what it would be like to sit in the back. #1 said he really did not need to know how that felt!
The train whistle sounded and we heard cries of "All Aboard!" We presented our tickets (which were given to us after the safety presentation) and we boarded the train. The boys had never ridden a full-size train so they were very excited at this point.
We all started out sitting in the car with open sides.
We even got to experience how loud the Locomotive Whistle actually is!
They look so thoughtful here....maybe they are thinking "I wonder where our next 'One State, Two Boys' adventure will take us.
Before the train departed Christy and #2 opted to sit inside the air conditioned train car.
Stephen and #1 stayed outside to enjoy the breeze.
Stephen snapped this picture as we were pulling out of the station.
Just a thought.....what do you suppose is the purpose of that little nylon strap?
Before we left the boys explored the rail yard and snagged an ice cold bottle of water for the road.
Doesn't the paper hat just MAKE these pictures?
What a fun way to spend an otherwise lazy Thursday afternoon!