Thursday, September 3, 2015

Family Field Trip: NC Transportation Museum

Jackson has school every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. I've decided to make Wednesdays family field trip days. I already have the next few weeks planned, weather permitting. This week, I decided to take the kids back to the NC Transportation Museum. Jesse's dad mentioned the train museum this weekend, so I had it in my mind to visit again. James has developed quite an interest in trains. He loves all of the toy trains and train puzzles we've accumulated, and his face lights up anytime he sees a train on TV.

Unlike last time, the transportation museum did not recognize our children's museum membership. I was pretty disappointed about having to pay admission. At least the todddlers were free, so I only had to pay for Jack and I (which was still $20 I didn't plan on spending).

As soon as James saw the first train, he grinned ear to ear and started to point and yell, "choo choo! choo choo!"

Last time I enlisted the help of a friend to board the kids on the train. I felt comfortable going solo, but the other parents around me seemed less confident in my parenting. I got the usual, "Are they all yours? Do you have any help? You sure have your hands full." However, Amelia was standing beside me and started crying when the train blew it's whistle. I was carrying Maddie and holding James' hand. One lady looked at Amelia, who was right beside me, and said, "Oh, poor girl. Where is your Mommy?"

I waited 'til everyone else boarded the train so I could lift the kids up one at a time. We went to the cart that had table seating. (I don't know if that's what you call it since there weren't any tables, but it's the kind where two booths are in opposite directions so four people can sit together.)

Last weeks temperatures were a tease for fall. This week has been a muggy 90+ degrees.  Since our cart had no AC and I couldn't keep the windows up with the kids, it was a hot ride. No one seemed to mind.

Amelia got upset again when the train blew it's whistle. She spent most of the ride in my lap. (She stopped crying as soon as I gave her a pacifier.)

James was so serious the entire ride. He smiled occasionally, but mostly he just stared and pointed at various things. He was especially concerned with the ticket collector walking around.

Jackson brought his LeapPad and spent the whole time playing a shape game. Every so often he would glance up to view his surroundings.

The girls ended the ride happily.

After the train ride we ate a light lunch.

We spent the next two hours touring the museum. Maddie walked most of the time, by choice. Everyone else alternated between riding in the wagon and walking.

I explained to Jackson that a long time ago people delivered milk in glass bottles to your house. His response was, "Well, they could have gone to the grocery store." It's hard to fathom a life without the convenience of Walmart and five different grocery stores within a 15 minute radius.

I didn't let the kids ride on the roundtable since that's an additional fee, but they had fun walking around it and checking out the various trains.

Somehow we always miss the aviation exhibit. It's kind of hidden and the farthest walk from the parking lot, so I guess we're always exhausted and forget about it. Since this was not the free field trip I had intended it to be, I made sure to get my money's worth. There was a full replica of the Wright Brother's plane. Amelia kept waving her arms around and shouting, "bye, plane".

Sometimes I think our life is one big episode of Daniel Tiger. Jackson was singing, "There's so much to explore when you're outside." He kept pointing out little details that I wouldn't have noticed otherwise. He's an observant little fella.

This is a cute photo, but if it were a video, you would think Maddie was being murdered. She did not want to go back in the wagon but she was walking so slow I just wanted to go faster.

After we saw all there was to see at the transportation museum, we walked across the street to a diner. There were no working water fountains and the five of us had already gone through the 80 oz of water/lemonade I packed. I had to pay 86 cents for water at the diner. I was hoping they'd have ice cream, but they did not.

While the diner was a waste, it did give us an excuse to walk one more block to the fire station. We checked out the equipment, gear, and trucks.

Our last stop was the gas station, where we scored three Push-pops and a Klondike bar for $4. Note to self: Jackson can not handle a Klondike bar out of the wrapper. Oh. My.

The Push-pops were a hit, but oh so messy.

I had to strip James, Amelia, and Maddie completely naked in the van and scrub them clean. Between the sticky orange ice cream and the black dust from the trains, they required a makeshift bath. They slept the entire ride home, though Jackson stayed awake and played his LeapPad.

As long as it's not raining, I plan to spend next Wednesday at the farm, picking apples and checking out farm animals.

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