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Galesburg, Illinois

We saw a notice of some sort of railroad festival going on in a small railroad town called Galesburg, Illinois. It’s about a two hour drive from Iowa City and when we asked Nyan if he was interested, the answer was – of course – a resounding “Yes!” So off we went.

It’s not the most vibrant town ever, though it has a very active railway, a couple of adjacent museums and some old train cars on display. Some scenery from the town:

As it turned out, most of the festival activities were on another day. But the museums had special tours and activities going on. So we checked out the kid’s museum, which wasn’t very train-centric, but was still fun. It was full of dress-up-and-play areas (grocery store, fire house, vet’s office, etc) and various activities, like building ramps to slide balls along. And there was a tractor simulator!

And a little table with jets of air coming out, and you put the ping-pong ball into the jets of air so they seem to be floating. Nyan enjoyed that too.

As mentioned, Galesburg has a very busy railroad running through it, and we happened to catch a really long grain train rolling through.

The train museum was maybe the highlight though – inside was full of memorabiliia from a hundred years of trains. And outside were a Pullman car, a mail car and a steam engine, all of them real, all of them open for walk-throughs, and all of them having special guided tours this day. The steam engine was huge, impressive, and a big hit with our young engineer.

All in all, a very pleasant day. Let’s wrap up with some random pics: Nyan and Daddy being silly, Nyan signing the museum guest book, and all tuckered out on the drive home.

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Posted by on July 18, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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A Super-Fun Day with Grandma and Grandpa

Maybe the best day ever? Probably right up there, as you’ll see…

It was a warm day in the middle of summer. Mommy was in California for some business meetings, Daddy was in New York for some business meetings, and Nyan… Nyan got to cruise around Iowa with Grandma and Grandpa. First up was a visit to a real live dairy farm.

Nyan wasn’t all that keen on touching the cows, but he and Grandma (and Nyan’s stuffed pal Woody) did have some fun at one of the cut-out photo op places:

And an unexpected bonus: visiting the dairy farm at the same time was a group of farmers who were driving their tractors around the area. It’s called, a tractor brigade or a tractorcade (we’re not quite sure, and to be honest, this is the first time Daddy has ever heard of such a thing, though he’s told now that this is relatively common among farming folk. Kinda like a gang of farmers, I guess?). Whatever it’s called, it means dozens of tractors lined up in the parking lot. For an almost-four-year-old boy who’s into tractors and all other things mechanical, it was heaven.

But the fun wasn’t over. Far from it. Next stop, the small town of Independence, Iowa, where an old steam engine (and its caboose) sits outside the old train station. Once again, our hero was just a wee bit happy. First time he’d ever seen a real live steam engine in person!

He took a long nap during the 90-minute drive home. Tuckered out but very happy.

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Nyan Thomas in Chipping Ongar

What’s a Chipping Ongar, you ask? Well. Chipping Ongar is a small rural town in the middle of nowhere, about half an hour or so to the north of us. The London Underground (a.k.a. the Tube, a.k.a. the subway system) used to run all the way out to this lovely little town, but low ridership meant the end of that; the line now ends closer in to the city proper. But some railway buffs (and there are many on this island) took over the stretch of rail, and on weekends and holidays, they run a pair of trains — one decommissioned commuter line, one classic steam train — back and forth on a 15-minute journey between two old stations.

Our boy loves trains, so we figured, why not take a ride on the Chipping-Ongar Railway? It was a (predictably) good call as it was a fun family day.

Here’s the lad, before the ride:

And here he is on the ride itself:

 

He was very concerned that the train window was dirty (and also wanted to drink Daddy’s coffee):

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Some photos of the lad on the train (and a bonus shot of Mommy too):

When Nyan wasn’t riding the rails, he was riding Daddy’s shoulders:

 

A few random non-Nyan shots:

 

Oh, and yes, we took a family selfie (which Nyan decided to photo-bomb):

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Besides the train fun, we had a lovely lunch at a local pub called The Cock. Nyan had fun spreading the sugar on the table (to the management, sorry about that, but at least I managed to stop him before he mixed salt into the sugar bowl!) and took a wander around the pub, as you can see here:

 

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2014 in Photos, Video

 

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Ridin’ that Train

Here’s a quickie, our boy riding a Thomas the Tank Engine ride at a local supermarket.

What we really love about this is how the train is moving back and forth at a speed not much faster than the snails out in our back yard. But Nyan doesn’t care; he’s happy as Larry on his train – and holding on for dear life ’cause, apparently, the train is going so fast!

Until, of course, he gets distracted by a kid playing nearby…

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2013 in Video

 

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Today’s Photos: Train Coming!

One of Nyan’s favorite things to randomly say is “Train coming!” It’s often heard while he’s playing with one of his toy trains, but he’s just as likely to say it when there’s no train around. Odd kid sometimes. In any case, he does love trains – so he’s always up for a ride on the Tube (that’s the London subway, for you Yanks). Here’s just a few shots from a recent trip on the Tube.  Note that on one particular ride, he insisted on sitting in a seat all by himself.

(Click any photo to enlarge and start a slideshow.)

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2013 in Photos

 

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The ‘NY’ in ‘Nyan’ doesn’t stand for New Yorker…

… but you may be forgiven for thinking so after you learn how quickly the young man took to the New York subway system…

Last Sunday, Beatrice was meeting a friend in Manhattan for a late lunch. I just assumed she’d leave Nyan with me – give us boys an afternoon of bonding over, I dunno, football and other manly type things. But as she was getting ready to leave, she asked, “Should I take Nyan?”

We just sorta stared at each other, pondering, the question hanging in the air. You see, he hadn’t yet been on the subway, period. No real reason, other than perhaps us being protective (overprotective?). We worried a bit about the germs, but mostly about the cacophony of clanging and banging that comes with the trains. Would it freak him out?

After a few seconds of pondering the question, we both agreed that it was time to give it a try: time for Nyan to ride the rails. We loaded him into the Baby Bjorn, packed the diaper bag full of diapers, bottles and other goodies, and off they went.

Did he fuss? Did he freak out at the noise? Did he cry the entire time?

Let this picture speak a thousand words:

No, dear reader, he did not mind one bit. Well, that’s not entirely true: at first, he was indeed fussy. But, Beatrice quickly realized, that’s because she had loaded him in to the Baby Bjorn facing her – thinking he would want the security and comfort of being nestled very close to his mommy. Nope, not our boy. He wanted to see what was going on! So she flipped him around in the carrier and he spent the entire ride looking around the train car, making faces at the other passengers, and generally charming everyone.* Beatrice took a couple of self-portrait pictures, but was having trouble with it, so a lady across the way offered to take some snaps.

After seeing how relaxed he was on the subway, I think it’s fair to say that our boy is becoming more of a New Yorker with every passing day, for better or for worse. (Really, though, as long as we can keep him from growing up a Knicks fan, it’s all good, I say.)

* This being New York, of course, some people were immune to his considerable charms. Like a lady sitting a few feet away who saw Nyan and snorted, then said derisively to her friend (though of course loud enough for Beatrice to hear): “Humph! I would never take my baby on the subway. Think of how dirty it is!” Yeah, yeah – stuff it, lady. Our boy needs to see the world, and that starts with Manhattan and the N train on a Sunday afternoon.

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2011 in Photos

 

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