02 March 2011

Taking a Trolley Ride

Yesterday we needed a change. I realized that about 9am.

So Vince and I had a quick pow-wow and decided a field trip was in order (that is one great thing about having your hubby work from home!). And off we went! We didn't even have our day planned out when we pulled out of the driveway, we were truly winging it~a rarity for me, for those who know me. I'm such a planner. But not this day. Nope, I was one crazy, spontaneous girl!

First stop: a ride on the local historic trolley and a visit to the trolley *museum*.

Don't their faces say it all? They could not have been more excited (especially Mr. B) about riding the trolley! We were riding in a 1923 trolley~just the kind they formerly ran in Fort Smith at that time. There haven't been trolleys here since the 1930's, but in recent years they have started running one or two on a short distance of track for tourist purposes.

Since we were the only ones on the trolley at that time, we got to have some extra *perks*, such as learning how to switch the lines. It was interesting!

Over by the trolley *museum* there are quite a few old railroad cars, too, and the kiddos were giddy with excitement. This little red caboose was THE highlight of the day for them!

I mean, look at those faces! We thought their heads might explode because they were smiling SO big~ha! It was so fun to watch them explore the caboose, which contained the living quarters for railroad workers. There were seats to climb up into, beds to check out, little sinks to look at, not to mention the tiny toilet. heehee

They were also thrilled to see this old engine, which made them think of The Polar Express, of course.

We also got to look around the trolley *museum*~more of a large work garage than museum, but also very interesting. There are two more trolleys that are being restored in order to also begin running for tourists.

I love the brick that you find everywhere downtown~all from the local brick company. These looked particularly old, even though I'm not sure if they were.

Then it was time to finish our trolley ride! And this time Vince got to take a turn at the wheel....er...gears. I must say, he did a very nice job.

And then it was my turn! I really hadn't planned on driving a trolley yesterday, but the trolley man was so insistent that I felt I must. And besides, it's not everyone who can say they've driven a 1923 trolley, right?

After learning to switch the lines, I got a (very brief) lesson on the gears. Then it was time to roll!

I have to admit that I didn't do nearly as well as Vince. We came to a Y in the track and I guess I panicked and couldn't find the brakes (oops!). Luckily the trolley man was right there to take over:) But, hey, I at least tried!

We wrapped up our trolley ride quite safely~with me relaxing in a passenger seat!

And that was only the beginning.

Next we took a drive through our local historic home district, grabbed some Subway and headed to our nature center for quite a while, made a couple of shopping stops and played at one of our favorite parks before wrapping up our day of fun. We all loved every minute of it! It was a much-needed change from our daily routine.

Sometimes you just have to be spontaneous, right?

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