Our letter T week has started out grrrrrreat! As Tony the Tiger would say. I got to bed kinda late last night and so I knew that I needed to have some great activities today to keep us going and not cranky. After breakfast we got dressed and headed over to the local light rail train. James is my boy who loves moving things and trains just make him happy. He waits eagerly at the station for the train to come. When the bells sound he jumps up and down, screaming it’s coming and he waves at the driver. They are growing up so fast. They can now get on and off the trains without much help.
The ride down and back actually is an education in itself. At each stop they stood up and loudly proclaimed to anyone in the car “Train stopped. People get off. People get on.” Some passengers thought it was funny but there was a grouchy old man sitting directly behind us that didn’t appreciate their commentary. At each stop the announcer said the name of the end destination on that line. By the time we got to our stop the boys both knew that new word.
About halfway through the route, we got off at an underground station to transfer to the streetcar system in the McKinney Ave district. It was dim in there, so my pictures turned out too dark. We took 2 escalators and an elevator to get to the street level. One of those escalators is a very long ride. When we got to the top we had a few minutes before the trolley arrived so we went to ride on the inclined elevator. My boys are fearless but today Lance said no to getting on the inclined elevator. He happily watched the pulley and weights going up and down but he didn’t want to ride it, too bad for James because he really wanted to ride.
When we got back upstairs the trolley was waiting for us. This wasn’t just any trolley. It was The Green Dragon built in 1913. I just loved riding on it and so did James. Can you tell from the picture that he’s excited and happy being on the trolley?
We had the nicest drivers and friendly passengers. The boys looked at all the sights in downtown & uptown. I told them about their great grandma growing up in Dallas and that she had probably ridden on this same trolley too and looked out at the same buildings that they were looking at. I actually think that this would be a fun date night with my husband. We could get a sitter, get dressed up, ride the trolley and eat at a restaurant that my grandparents and my parents have all eaten at then top it off with a stop at the ice cream shop. It would be fun & nostalgic I think.
They found some change on the floor so we took it up front and dropped it in the meter box although the trolleys are free to ride. We passed by the new park built over a freeway in downtown but it was too cold to hop off the trolley and play. The boys were begging to push the bell button to make the trolley stop. It was really cold this morning but the trolley we were on was heated. So we will have to go down to the new park when it gets a bit warmer. At the halfway point the trolley stops and goes back the other way down the tracks. The old wooden seat backs flip over to the other side of the seat. Lance loved that the seats flipped. We left one facing another so we had a little area to ourselves.
Our boarding/unloading stop was at the trolley turn table. We stayed on the trolley while the big wooden circle turned the trolley around. Both boys thought that was neat. We hopped off and headed back down underground.
We had some time before our train was due so we had a chance to look at the tunnels that the trains drive through. They both wanted to jump down on the tracks and go into the tunnel. When we got on our train and it went through the tunnel they both smiled and James yelled tunnel. James is usually my quiet spoken boy, but I guess trains and tunnels brings out his vocal side.
We had a good time and the boys practiced saying so many T words. We had many mercies this morning but the best was meeting so many friendly people. In our self-absorbed society it’s rare to find those nice people, but today we meet a man who was riding on the trolley for fun and he narrated the whole route for us, a young woman shared a huge bag of jelly beans with my boys on the train, the trolley driver was patient with my boys and someone gave me a paid ticket this morning for the train. I am so thankful for the whole trip this morning. It was worth the effort.