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Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday Mug Shot

Horseshoe Curve
Altoona, Pennsylvania

This week’s mug shot is brought to you by last weekend! We just got back from Railfest weekend in Altoona with Rina.

My twin nieces and I are very close and it was important to me that they met and liked David when we were first dating. I’m sure that the next thing that happened after they were introduced was that we went to parade was a big help in them deciding it was okay if I kept him! We share interests with each of them too and we spend a weekend with each of them individually to enjoy those things. They like that because the things they have in common with us are different and it gives them a week away from the “other” twin.

Rina’s interest in common with us is trains. We left Friday night right after David got home from work, staying in Cranberry, PA. Then Saturday was up at “oh-God-thirty” to chase Norfolk Southern Trains along the way into Altoona, where the Railfest was held. Rina’s favorite railroad is Norfolk Southern because of their bold black and white engines with the horse on the front, so a day chasing trains in Altoona, NS country, was a day well-spent.

Altoona is also the home of Sheetz and their fantastic MTO (Made To Order) take out menu. Rina discovered on our railfan weekend last year that Sheetz is a great place to find good vegetarian food, which is good news to Sheetz pretzel-melt loving me! We even found a veritable Sheetz Castle, that had a sit-down area and gelato! There were quite a few to go meals from Sheetz this weekend!

Sunday was our big Railfest day! We rode an excursion ride to Horseshoe Curve, riding behind 1940s era E-Unit locomotives. When we got to the station it was starting to rain. Rina said she thought it would be cool to ride the train in a thunderstorm and mother nature obliged! Once we got on board, the rain started coming down harder with a few flashes and rumbles. As if she’d commanded the whole thing to follow her script, the rain had stopped and there were even a few patches of blue sky by the time we got back!

I think the coolest part of riding Horseshoe Curve was looking out the windows and being able to see the front of the train...and turning to look the other way and seeing the back of the train! It’s a totally cool piece of track!

After the excursion train got back into town, we went over to the museum, where we walked out to the turntable to see the NS tuxedoed F-Units. I love those classy black, white and gold locos and I was excited to show them to Rina. She loved them! I have a picture of her just before she turned 7 standing next to a steam engine at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. Now I have one of her standing next to the F-Units at almost 14. I wonder what engine I’ll photograph her in front of at 21?

David worked the late shift tonight, so we had a few hours to play this morning before we headed back into Toledo. We got a few trains in Western PA and Eastern Ohio, before a final Sheetz stop to pick up lunch for the rest of the ride home. Rina had been eying the Chocolate Mint shakes all weekend, so the last of the railfan weekend treats for her, was a you mix-it shake from Sheetz!

Tonight we watched some TV and relaxed a little after an active weekend of early mornings and many, many trains! I think she said something about waking her up at noon tomorrow.


seamhead gypsy said...

I'm gonna have to ask you about this "train chasing" thing that you do. It sounds pretty cool! What fun it must have been for Rina to hang out with the two of you, not to mention how much fun it must have been for you and David as well!

I was in Altoona once with my brother a more than a few years back. The Altoona Curve had just moved into their new ballpark and we were lucky enough to see the Akron Aeros play the Curve. We traveled to 5 minor league ball parks in 6 days. We felt like baseball scouts! Anyway, I got a kick out of watching the ball game against the backdrop of the roller coaster and the rest of the amusement park out behind the outfield fence!

carjazi said...

Justa poppin in to say hello. I loved going to Greenfield Village as a kid. It was quite the popular field trip in the schools. Maybe for her 21st you can get a photo in front of a space shuttle?? I doubt it gets any bigger than that. Thanks for stopping by earlier in the week. There are more freebies up all week long, stop by and grab em. :) Have a great day.