In 2013, I’m going to steal an idea from Danielle over at 52 Brand New. If you haven’t checked out this blog and you have kids, I recommend you visit it soon. Each week, Danielle writes about an experience that’s brand new to her children. It’s a fun, inspiring blog! Check it out… 52brandnew.com.
Now, I don’t intend to try out something new each week, but I’m going to begin to highlight those experiences that are “firsts” for my son. A couple years ago, my husband and I created a list of things (places to see, activities to try, foods to eat, etc.) we would like for him to experience, and we’ve been steadily working through this list. It’s a work-in-process, continually being updated.
First Trip of 2013: A Ride on the California Zephyr
The first brand new experience for my son in 2013 was a train ride on Amtrak’s California Zephyr, on the stretch from Colfax, California to Reno, Nevada. Now, we’ve taken my son on miniature train rides in our area (such as the Steam Train at Tilden Regional Park), and he’s also taken a very short ride on a real train (the California State Railroad Museum‘s Polar Express, a one-half hour trip from downtown Sacramento to the “North Pole” to visit Santa). But this is the first time we actually went somewhere on a train, with packed bags, a night in a hotel in Reno, and all. This is a trip I took several times as a child with my parents and grandmothers, from which I have fond memories. My parents wanted to do the same thing for their grandson, so off we went late last week.
We’re fortunate to have such a scenic train ride nearby. The California Zephyr is considered to be one of the most beautiful train trips in all of North America. The train runs daily between Oakland, California and Chicago, Illinois. The four-hour stretch we experienced, over the Sierra Nevada Range included scenic views of snow covered mountains and valleys, Donner Lake, and the Truckee River. It was absolutely gorgeous.
How did my son feel about it? He said it was “fun and boring.” I asked him why it was fun. His answer? “Because we saw so many pretty things and all that snow!” Why was it boring? “Because there was too much sitting.”
By the way, there were a couple of other firsts on this trip. For one, my son had never been in the state of Nevada before. Secondly, this was his first time inside a casino (we stayed the night in Harrah’s Reno). I love what my son had to say about the casino… “Why does everyone in here need to be smoking?”
I want to give a big “thank you” to my mom and dad for taking us on this trip! It was a great experience!
I look forward to many more train rides with my son in the future. Oh, how I hope to share train travel in Europe with him someday!