Monday, October 15, 2007

In Search of The Great Pumpkin

Wow - we had a great weekend. Some time ago, my MIL sent me a link to the Mt. Hood Railroad website. They had several different train excursion options, from dinner trains to sightseeing trips to murder mystery events, and several themed options for kids/families. The ones geared toward kids include The Little Engine that Could, Thomas the Tank Engine, The Great Pumpkin Express, and The Polar Express.

Hood River, OR is quite a drive from our town - especially for just a weekend trip. But, we just couldn't resist this opportunity to give the boys their first train ride, the beautiful fall colors, and the possibility of "The Great Pumpkin."

We arrived a bit early to get our tickets from will-call, and make sure we knew where we were going. We had some time to browse the gift shop, overflowing with Thomas, Little Engine, Peanuts, Polar Express, and just plain train gear. Then, with still more time to spare, we walked down the artsy, fun main street of Hood River.

All Aboard!!!

We found our seats, and waited in eager anticipation. The engineer came through and rotated our seats, so that we sat 2 x 2, but facing each other. Chance and Colton took the two window seats, while Matt & I enjoyed watching them take in the experience.

We passed beautiful, beautiful fall foliage on our way to the pumpkin patch. Chance was entranced, and took about 3 or 278 pictures of trees - close-up trees, far away trees, blurry trees. I won't bore you with all of these, but suffice it to say I'll have no problems finding background shots for the scrapbook pages!

We did get to pass some neat, old buildings. Some related to the railroad, some unrelated that we just got to pass by. Barns, farms, storages, etc. This was my favorite . . .

Finally, after about a 1-hour ride, which included a short, but rousing rendition of "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown", we made it to the pumpkin patch. Snoopy was there to greet the kids and take pictures with them. Each little munchkin got to pick a pumpkin from the patch. There was an art table, a place to write a postcard to The Great Pumpkin, a maze, a hayride, and a few vendors selling treats and fresh produce. What a fun, fun time!

After a hayride, a successful pumpkin hunt (we found 2 "great" pumpkins), several races through the maze, some postcards to the Great Pumpkin, some apple cider and cookies, we were ready for the train ride back to the station. What a fabulous day! If you're close enough to give it a try, we recommend the Mt. Hood Railroad!

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