Saturday, March 31, 2012

Caboose Days

Earlier this week, I asked on Facebook if friends had any ideas for fun, touristy things to do here in Georgia.  I didn't care where -- in fact, I preferred outside the metro Atlanta area -- but I wanted to be sure that we didn't wake up on Friday and wonder what had happened to our Spring Break.  I got some great ideas, but in the meantime I also visited some Georgia Tourism sites, and stumbled upon the Southeast Railway Museum's "Caboose Days," which was happening this very weekend!  (I had an awareness of the museum, but we'd never visited it, and that they were having an event the opening weekend of Spring Break was just perfect.)

Today was supposed to be rainy and dreary.  It turned out to be muggy and sunny, but this morning when we left it was actually quite perfect -- a little overcast to give some shade, breezy, and warm enough for shorts.  Excellent!

The kids got to ride on a caboose, and our ride was a little strange because there was a controlled burn going on where they (oops) forgot to call the Fire Department.  So we had to pause a few times to let firetrucks go past -- it added to our adventure, for sure!  We also walked through about thirty different train cars, an old bus from the '40s, and an indoor exhibit.  The kids made necklackes, and colored pictures of trains, and they got to have "cookies and juice in a caboose," too.  It wasn't a crazy crowded day, either, which was especially nice. 

Here are some photos from our adventure.  I love, love, love doing stuff like this as a family and am so happy that it all worked out so well today.


Looking out the window at the start of our caboose ride.

Fire, fire!  I have other photos of the actual flames rising up, but the truck's cooler than the flames.  At least when you're 2 and 4, anyway!

Enjoying the caboose ride.

At the back of the caboose, trying to look out.  Possibly the cutest picture ever.

"Look, Mommy, a real live Shiny Dinah!"  (A Kindermusik story.)

Checking out a Pullman car.

Mail car.  The kid in the yellow shirt was tearing the place up.  I tried to not get him in the photo, but had no luck.

Up in the Cupola of the snack and juice caboose.

A kitchen in one of the cars.

Some of the cars were amazing in their luxury. I can only begin to imagine what they must have been like when they were new, and travel was a privilege.

This steam engine was made in Schnectady, NY, in 1910.  The kids posed near the wheels for a sense of scale.  AMAZING.

Checking out the firebox.  WHM is very concerned that there is no fire.

Looking for coal.  How can this "steamie" run without coal for the firebox?!

In the back of an Atlanta bus from 1941.

Driving the bus.

Part of our Craigslist score.  More trains!


  1. Had Darius been there, he certainly would have been the boy in the yellow shirt. I'm sure he has found his way into lots of photos that were not taken by us.

    Looks like a great adventure! Glad you all had fun!

    1. Jackie, I'm quite sure Darius wouldn't have been the boy in the yellow shirt. For starters, there were TWO boys in yellow shirts. No little Stella behind him, but a twin (or at least, someone really close in age). Besides, neither of them seemed to speak English, since that was the language their mom was speaking and they clearly couldn't process a single word. (I know we all have our moments of exasperation, but it's not as if we were on a tour. The woman could have yanked their hands and taken them OUT of the train car. She had no such inclination other than to feign exasperation and continue to let them run wild.)

      We did have a good time, and I'm sure we'll find a reason to get back there again this summer!