Monday, July 29, 2013

A weekend full of grandparents and trains

Aside from a visit from a dear cousin, this weekend was pretty quiet and boring. But my parents were in town last weekend for a visit that happened to include a lot of trains.

On Saturday, we hung out at my parents' hotel for a low-key day of pool fun. Alice had a great time floating around in her grandma's purple pool floatie and playing with Grandpa. Ivy turned into quite a little water bug and kicked and splashed all around.
I wish you could have seen the kicking and "swimming."
On Sunday, we finally made it out to Golden Road Brewing for lunch.
We ate out on the astroturf lawn where Alice enjoyed playing fusball with another little guy her size, as well as a game of Alice-sized Connect Four. Next time, I want to play the life-size game of Jenga!

We liked the laid-back, family-friendly atmosphere, and the good beer! The brewery and pub occupy a chain of repurposed warehouses next to the train tracks and we realized the patio is right in the loading bay. I don't know that I've ever eaten in a loading dock before, and it actually happened to us again somewhere else, later that week. The train even barreled through a few times, startling Ivy pretty good once.

After lunch, we headed to the LA Live Steamers Railroad Museum.

Ivy and I hung back while Grandma, Grandpa, Jon and Alice took a ride on the tiny, narrow gauge train that runs around the grounds on a 1/8th scale track. I heard it was a really fun trip all over the park.

After their train pulled back into the station, we all went over to see Walt Disney's barn.
Walt's Barn
Originally built at his Holmby Hills home, the barn was where Walt worked on his own narrow gauge train that ran around his Beverly Hills property. It was where he did lots of his "imagineering," and was some of the inspiration for Disneyland. It was great fun to see such a well-preserved part of his personal life, and so many mementos from that era of his dreaming and doing.

After we were all worn out there, we headed home to regroup. Earlier that morning, Alice had met her goal and filled up half her sticker chart of chores.

She'd been super motivated because the prize was a train set, suggested after we noticed her affinity for all the train sets she's come across at stores and friends' houses. So we left Grandma at home with Ivy, and Grandpa, Jon, Alice and I walked down to the neighborhood train store to pick out her very first train set.

 The store has a great kids area, including three little tables totally decked out with tracks and cars and goodies. Alice had a grand time playing there and would have stayed as long as we let her. We let her play for a good, long time and Jon snuck an engineers cap on her head while I snuck photos. Adorable.

 And then we strolled home with her very first train set...
... Where Alice promptly got to work laying track. She loves putting the pieces together and making new configurations. 

She can pick out new parts and tracks and accessories every time she fills up her sticker chart halfway. She loves reading through the little catalog pamphlet that came in the box to think about what she'd like next. We hope she can build up her set and enjoy playing with it for many years!

We hadn't intended to have such a train filled weekend, but it was sure fun! What about you? See any good trains lately?


  1. I love that she's so into trains! Such a big kid. Impressive sticker chart too. Go Alice!

  2. Charlie was in love with all things trains from 18mo-3yrs. I'm talking, obsessed. It makes me sad to think that the trains are almost never touched in our house these days (Lucy isn't very excited about them) but I have high hopes that #3 will be a train lover as well. Lord knows we aren't getting rid of our precious wooden train goodies any time soon!

    Glad Alice in enjoying her first set, clearly she deserves it!

  3. We took Charlotte to the little train in Griffith Park this weekend. I wasn't sure how she would like it, but she grinned and laughed during the entire ride. So sweet! Can't wait to take her to Walt's barn!


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