Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Grand Tootsie Train Adventure

My grandson, Matthew, I was told, wanted trains for his third birthday in November. Real Trains, thank you, not that "Thomas the Tank Engine" stuff. Well, what could be a real-er train than to take him on a train ride??? So . . . . . . on Sunday, 12 December 2010, Matthew and Tootsie embarked on the Grand Tootsie Train Adventure.

We drove 45 miles east of Gainesville to Palatka, where we caught the Silver Meteor headed south to our chosen destination, Winter Park. It hasn't rained in yeah however long but it had to chose that particular day. Thankfully it was just a misty sort of rain but it also was blowing and cold as whiz! Since it was so cold and wet, I wasn't inclined to linger outside to take pictures of the train station, so that will have to be an adventure for another day. Unfortunately, it was that same cold misty rain the whole day until we arrived back in Palatka, where the sun was shining! :o/

The train ride was about an hour and a half long, just long enough to go to the dining car for lunch. Didn't think to take a picture of that, either, but I did take a picture of Matthew shortly after we embarked.

The train station in Winter Park is the same one which was there when I was a little girl, and is right in the middle of town. When we stepped off the train, we were literally in the middle of the street.

The conductor thought it was pretty cute that Matthew wanted "real trains". After we arrived and the train was ready to go on its way, he put his conductor hat on Matthew so he could shout "All aboard!" for him. However, Matthew really didn't see the necessity of such suspect behaviour as that and he declined the invitation. He rather got lost in the hat.

Between the train station and the main street of Winter Park is a park several blocks long with benches and fountains. Not the best entertainment on a cold, misty day, even if it is a nice park. The smaller of the two fountains is beside Matthew's left ear. The second picture is the other fountain. Not bad for being taken out the train window as we were leaving!

After my mother and her parents moved to Winter Park in 1935, her father opened a jewelry store on Park Avenue. If I am not mistaken, that shop was to the right of center in this picture. The fountain at Matthew's left ear in a previous picture is also in this picture. It is a war memorial. PawPaw's shop, if I am correct, was about where the red awning is to the right of the picture.

Alas, all things must come to an end, our trip being no exception. We waited on the platform as the Silver Meteor chugged slowly round the bend into view.

I was quite fascinated by the double-decker cars. As near as I can figure, those are the sleeper cars. The lower level is for sleeping, the regular seats occupying the upstairs.

At last we arrived back in Palatka.

Matthew was one tuckered out little boy - he was asleep before we even were out of Palatka on the final leg home to Gainesville. He does look like he enjoyed his Grand Tootsie Train Adventure . . . . . . .

. . . . . . even if Thomas did go, too!


Cheryll said...

What a wonderful adventure! Thanks for sharing your pic's!
Merry Christmas!

Val said...

Hi Sandi, the train adventure sure looks like fun. I will be joining you on the pin cushion-sew a bit adventure.