What is it about trains and little kids? I think you can tell by the look on Marlie's face that trains are bliss. Especially if one gets to ride a real, honest-to-goodness steam engine-powered train from Nowhere, North Carolina, through the woods, turning around just south of Notsureville and returning back to Nowhere an hour or so later. And when you're on a train, even 90 degrees of September with high humidity (thanks to Hanna) can't get you down. Especially when you look into the eyes of your daughter and see what I saw, your daughter who believes that every train is Thomas and Thomas is real. Just make sure to hold the slaw on your BBQ sandwich prior to that hour-long trip.
Back tomorrow once I'm fully recovered from the road trip to Stone Mountain, Georgia, the return part of which included six solid hours of heavy rain and the witnessing of a Georgia sheriff deputy hydroplane off the interstate as he sped by us to investigate a wreck up ahead. But despite the stress of white knuckling for that amount of time, I did find one brief moment of bliss, a take away from a stop to fill up with gas in an out-of-the-way town in Somewhereville, South Carolina. Witness the above which was part of an advertisement above the gas pump. Too bad for the "or" because I can't imagine having to choose.
Marlie took in her first baseball game last night. She enjoyed Cracker Jacks, the kiddie play area, the between inning music, and several walks toward the world-famous Durham Bull sign where she would point out all of the drains in the sidewalk. In other words, we're still a few years away from Marlie being interested in anything between the foul lines.
Tonight's question: Do we take a kid who is afraid of the sound of vacuum cleaners and car horns to a firework show? Probably not.
The SoT family took a field trip on Friday to the outskirts of Raleigh to see some living, breathing farm animals. The cool part was that not only did they have the farm animals there for the viewing and petting, but they had adult and baby versions of said animals. So Marlie got to pick up a chick, pet a baby goat, see a two-week-old calf, and stare lovingly at a foal. I don't know if I've mentioned before that Marlie has been learning sign language since she was no more than six months old. So she spent much of the day saying what the animal was, flashing its sign, and then imitating what the animal says. Not bad for 20-month-old kid, I must say.
While she may not appear all that happy in the photo above sitting next to the goofball that is her father, in reality she's staring at a line of tractors that had been set up for the kids to climb into. In fact, out of all of the things to see, the tractors came in a close second as far as her enjoyment, just below the free ice cream she received at the end of the tour.
For a video of Marlie checking out turkeys and chickens, go here.
How do you make a photo of a squirrel eating all of the seed out of your daughter's new bird feeder into something literary? How about a link to this Larry Brown recipe. No, I haven't hit that level of desperation yet. Yet!
Ah, the fair, where a kid can be a Teletubby. Notice the kickbutt shirt that cool dude behind her is sporting. I got the stink-eye from one or two people whom I believe had read the quote from Howl on the back. This is the state fair, after all.
And what would a fair be without a deep fried something that shouldn't be deep fried, in this case a couple of Reese's Cups. I love how they sprinkle a little powdered sugar on top. Just in case.
It should be mentioned that Marlie's first pony ride will forever be remembered for the pony directly across from us in the circle of ponies. During a stop in the action to allow the ponycarnie to clean some ponyapples from the hay, said pony became a little agitated and nearly threw a petrified little girl. Needless to say, I grabbed Marlie and made for the exit. You can never be too careful in an enclosed space with a bunch of ponies.