Hello and welcome back everyone, this weekend was a beautiful weekend since the weather God’s favored us with 2 awesome days, I can’t complain about the 90-degree weather and at least it was not humid…yet! Our weekend began by having a friend over and her 3 kids on Friday night. When Abby and I moved to Iowa, Tim and Kalyn were the first couple that we met and it’s great that we have maintained that friendship throughout the years, I say that because the Van Maaf’s no longer live in Pella. Tim’s military career has taken the Van Maaf’s to other locations and this time it may be abroad. Whatever their next adventure takes them, we wish them the best of luck. Eyra was super playful with our guest until she tired herself out, Friday was a record night as she fell asleep the moment we laid her down on her crib. I wish every night was that easy but for some reason, every night is a struggle.
The following day (Saturday) we decided to do something that we have been wanting to do for a long time. Some of our friends told us about this place and I have to agree with most of them, it was for sure a neat experience. Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad! I know people who say that living in the Midwest can get boring, that may be true if they do not look around. Abby and I have been amazed at all the places that we have gone in Iowa alone and the list is still pretty long.
Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad is small in comparison to other museums and attractions along the U.S. It is not the Royal Gorge in Colorado or the Pullman Rail Journey from Chicago to New Orleans but it is the history and the preservation that makes this place special, it’s always amazing to see what small towns have to offer.
Abby booked our reservations and she bought the first class tickets to ride on the train. There are apparently 3 different sections on the train. One section is a complete open train cart that the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad offers so its visitors can enjoy a more scenic adventure while on board. Another section of the train is an enclosed train cart with normal seats and open windows for those hot summer days and the first class section is a climate controlled, double decker train cart and that’s where we were. I can honestly say that; I am glad that Abby booked us on that cart because it was 91 degrees outside.
Eyra enjoyed every minute of the train ride, she went back and forth, switching places with Abby and myself. She laughed, made funny faces, giggled, played, cried on occasion and my all-time favorite, she snuggled a lot. I never really realized how big the train engines and the carts are until you get on one, I remember getting on a couple of trains from Paris to Barcelona but I can’t remember them being this big, I am sure they were but I never put that much attention to them until now. Abby decided to get her picture taken right next to a train engine to show in scale how big this puppy was.
Once on the train ride, the train didn’t really go fast, we went maybe 15mph or maybe less. The beginning of the ride was a bit rough, overgrown weeds, unpainted houses and rusty train carts but once we got going, the ride turned out to be a fun ride.
You cannot believe how much the train cart rocked from side to side, I felt like I was riding on the back of a pick-up truck on an old county road. There were a couple of times that the rocking caught everyone by surprise. Along the ride, there is a section where the train crosses a bridge and judging by the distance we appeared to be at least 10 stories high above ground. I am so glad that the train wasn’t rocking then, otherwise I would have not agreed to go on the ride at all, I am not scared of heights but in this case if something goes wrong, it would be a shitty way to go.
Abby, Eyra and I goofed off a lot on the ride and at times, we didn’t even look outside of our window, we seemed to focus on ourselves and have fun and there is nothing wrong with that. Every time we saw the river, Eyra would yell “water” and point at it. 2 weeks ago, Eyra got her own teepee in her room and she loves it, mainly because that’s where her stuffed animals chill. Well… Along the ride we saw a teepee and Eyra was so excited when she saw it, all she kept saying was “house”, and she would look at us to see if we saw it. We never thought that Iowa would have this many trees, we said that once before when we camped at Ledges State Park and also when we hiked at Maquoketa Caves but we were left in awe to see how green everything was.
The ride took about 2 hours’ round-trip and it was nice but we were definitely ready to walk around the museum, specially Eyra. The museum was really neat, it talked about the history of the railroad and its impact not just only in the Midwest but around the world. Eyra was of course distracted by some toys and that’s mainly where she stayed until Abby decided to play peekaboo with her. I wouldn’t mind going back since we heard that the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad offered lunch and dinner train rides on its train carts. I do recommend this place, it’s nice, reasonable and most importantly some portion of the money goes to the preservation of this fantastic living museum since the repair of the locomotives can reach $140,000.
Sunday arrived and Mother’s day was here, Eyra bought Abby some awesome roses, one or two roses made it with no pedals as Eyra was plucking them but it was the thought that counted. I made us breakfast (cough, cough), not true, I bought us breakfast that morning and took Abby shopping, it was mainly a relaxing afternoon. Abby is a wonderful mother and a great wife, I know many spouses say the same thing about their partners but Abby is the bee’s knees, she is the cream cheese to my cheesecake and she is Eyra’s absolute everything. To all of the mom’s out there, we wish you an amazing day. One day of appreciation is not enough for all of the sacrifices mother’s make during their lifetime. I love you mom, more than you know.
Where will we go next? Stay tuned.
To be continued…