This summer has been so full and fan-cas-cick (as Bubba would say) that I’ve had a hard time stopping to record the memories here. In spite of my mama’s frequent reminders that she’s waiting for a post, I’ve tried to live more in the moment and less for recording the moment when I get home. I know that means that plenty of the memories are going to slip away, but I’m trading that for well rested and two empty hands and more snuggles. It’s ok.
Thankfully Jay carted the camera this weekend on our train trip, so, Grandma, you can thank him for these few moments not forgotten.
On Saturday morning, we rode the New Tygart Flyer in Elkins, West Virginia.
Papa’s dad and brother both worked on the railroad, so he had answers to all of our train questions.
Bubba’s funny little speech patterns are one of my favorite things these days. I’m hoping for another “Bubba Speaks” post soon, so I’ll save most of them, but this one’s too good not to share. These days he uses the word because to actually mean so. He’ll say things like, “I’m hot because I need to go inside,” or “I’m hungry because I need to have a snack.” For the whole hour waiting for the train, he reminded us over and over, “My hat has a train on it because I will wear it.”
While we waited for the, “All Aboard!” Chica, of course, made a friend. I constantly feel myself tiptoeing down this fine line with her that divides friendly and annoying, open and reckless. I love that she has never met a stranger, and it’s so perfect in these moments. But other times I worry. Worry that she’ll get hurt. Worry that she’ll be too much. Jay joked as we watched her that she certainly didn’t get her ability to make instant friends from me. Even though I worry, many times I wish I was more like her.
So the people who run this train certainly aren’t dumb, and it appeared that they stuck all of the families with kids in one car and fed them lunch first. Brilliant!
Even though there were lots of new things to see and do on a train, 4 hours is still a long ride for a little guy. My normal keep-Bubba-busy questions have gotten a little old, so I tried something new this time. Instead of, “Bubba, where’s your nose?” I asked, “What part of your body smells?” Without skipping a beat, he spreads his leg and pats his hiney with and expression halfway between, “Easy, I know that!” and “Are we really supposed to talk about that, Mom?” We have gotten plenty of laughs off of that one. (You can bet that’s a story Nana will be telling in her office for quite a few weeks to come!)
Chica’s funny for the day came after the announcer let us know over the speakers to keep an eye out for the upcoming high bridge and rapids down below. When we got to the bridge, Chica was quite distressed that she couldn’t, “See the bottom of the trees.” After a few questions from Daddy, he determined she was looking for rabbits. Oops.
We eventually found some rapids and waterfalls which provided a great place to take pictures.
Chica was immediately fearless and ready to hop from rock to rock. As you can see, I wouldn’t let Bubba go. He wasn’t too happy about that. I promised myself I would take them somewhere else this summer to play in a creek, pack a change of clothes, and just let him go.
While we were here, I couldn’t help but think of our adventures last year in the Grand Canyon at Havasu Falls. There were many places we explored on that trip where the water was just this deep and fast, but the rocks weren’t slick because of the travertine. Chica learned the hard way that rocks underwater here = slick!
While exploring the falls, Bubba kept saying he wanted to go back and give the “white girl” a hug. I quickly figured out he meant the bubbly girl in the white shirt who came by periodically to check on our train car. He was brave enough to ask her for a hug, and then Nana asked if we could snap a picture. They both ate it up. Watch out, ladies.
Too much mackin’ on the ladies can wear a man out, however, and he slept happily on Daddy for much of the return trip.
When we returned that afternoon to Elkins, we checked out their city park and then ate at a great place called C.J. Maggie’s. Our day ended with a play directed by Chica on the “stage” outside the train station. Bubba was a good sport and went along with it. Mostly he was just excited he got to be the monster and chase her without getting in trouble.
Look for more pictures and memories from Day 2 soon!