Sunday, July 31, 2011

Living in July: A Trip to Chicago

I've been MIA for a few days because our family took a 4 day trip to Chicago.  I should clarify, we never actually went down town (we're not much for the hustle and bustle), so most people wouldn't actually consider that a trip to Chicago, but we were close, so that's what I'll call it =) 

Trevor showing off his golf skills at one of the hotels we stayed at.  Notice Mackenzie in the background...she likes to cheat =)

This highlight of the trip was actually a stop that we made on the way home.  Trevor loves trains (really anything that goes!) and I happened to find a steam museum that was a few miles off of the expressway, so I figured it was the perfect place to stop!  It was pretty much in the middle of nowhere, so I was thinking "are they really going to run the train just for us?!?" but much to my surprise there were lots of people there!  I have no idea where they came from, but they were there =)

The main attraction at this place is that you can ride three trains.  There is a mini train that you actually sit on top of, a little train that you barely fit into, and a close to normal sized train.  We chose to ride the big train (it's $5 per person to ride, but kids under 3 are free...thank you Trevor for not turning three until next month!)  It took us on a 20 minute ride through trees and around ponds and across the Michigan/Indiana boarder.  Trevor was tickled pink over the idea of riding on an actual train.  Mackenzie loved the "toot toot" of the trains telling of their coming and going.  I absolutely recommend stopping for a ride if you happen to be passing near there.

They also had a little gift shop selling train paraphernalia where they had a train table set up for kids to play with while their parents browsed.  Of course both of my kids loved it.  Trevor said that he was sad when we had to leave because he really wanted to keep playing.  He was visibly upset we had to go, but I praised him for controlling his emotions and expressing them in a good way (unlike the other little boy who was throwing himself on the floor and screaming when his parents told him he had to go).  This experience made us think that getting Trevor a little train set for his upcoming birthday would just thrill him!

Getting ready to board the train.

So excited!

Hard at work at the train table in the gift shop.

Mackenzie getting the hang of it too!

If you've ever had a train set for your kids, what do you recommend?  After looking online and hearing thoughts from some of my friends on facebook I think I'd like to get just a basic figure 8 set of the Thomas the Train brand and add onto it in the future as gifts for birthdays and such, but I'd still love more personal recommendations!

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