Friday, November 13, 2009


...go "CHOO-CHOOOO!" - says, Dakota!

I think most kids have a fascination with trains at this age, and Dakota is certainly no different. I actually find it really cool that she likes them so much because my late Grandpa, as well as my Uncle David, used to work for the railroad. And, of course because I love them too!!

The best place to watch trains is at the famous Cajon Pass, which we always pass on our way to and from Vegas or Laughlin. I've been stopping at this spot way before Dakota's time, but now make it a special point to stop there so she can enjoy the trains too. The first time I took Dakota there was when she was 7 months old. To my surprise, she liked them and displayed her excitement in typical 7 month old baby fashion....stared at it for literally a minute, then squirmed, flailed, and kicked, and then stared some more. Haha! These next couple of pictures were taken on our way back from Grandpa's new house. It was just me and my girl...

The cool thing about this little turnout is that you won't find any commuter trains passing through. Because let's face it, those just aren't as loud, boisterous or cool as freight trains.

The other day, I took Dakota to the Fullerton train station so that we could look at some "choo-choos," which she repeated over and over the entire drive over. I guess if I want to save my sanity, I should wait until we're about 2-3 minutes away before telling her what we're going to do.

Once there, we sat on a bench and waited about 10 minutes before seeing our first train, which was the Metrolink. Dakota got a little excited when I told her a train was coming, but when she saw that it was a measly seven car commuter train, she didn't show much emotion. Don't get me wrong, she still waved as it passed, but clearly missing were her flailing arms, screams and squeals, and lots of stomping and parading around. I was a little bummed and thought the novelty of watching trains go by had worn off. We waited around another 20 minutes or so, and finally got to see a freight train. Once she caught a glimpse of it in the distance she was over the moon! Here are a few pictures of us at the train station. Sorry, there aren't any pictures with a train in the background, but since we were about 20 feet from the tracks, it was a no brainer to put the camera down and have a firm grip on one of her limbs!!

She the light from a freight train engine about 3/4 miles away and started waving...

By the way, a lot of the things that I do with Dakota are things my dad did with me as a kid. There were so many fun things that me and my dad did together, and things that some people might consider a little boring. Looking back, it wasn't always about doing things that were cool and exciting though, but rather things that we could do together. It was about the quality time between a little girl and her Daddy! Of course, that quality time turned ordinary activities into extraordinary experiences and ventures. Some of the things we did together included watching airplanes fly over at LAX, watching surfers ride the waves as we watched from the HB pier, collecting pennies and other coins (you should see our collection), going to air shows, car shows, and yes, even coin shows. LOL. The things we did together meant the world to me, and are some of my fondest memories, which is exactly why I love doing ordinary things with Dakota. Even if she is a little too young to appreciate and fully understand everything I show her, it's about the time we spend together. And one of these days she'll have her first memory, and maybe, just maybe, it will be of me and her watching the trains =)


The Bradshaw's said...

Ahh what a sweet post. You are absolutely correct - it's not the money you spend or the fact that you went to "THE perfect" place the MOST important thing is that you did them together!!
Thanks for reminding us all to slow down and enjoy the simple things! :-)

I think Austin's the only one without the "Choo chooo" fetish. His is "Carr!!!!!!!!" and has to touch in the parking lot LOL

Heather said...

LOL, that is so cute Tanya. Austin is so funny. If it's not trains or cars, it's trucks, tractors or airplanes. lol. You should take him to a railroad crossing or train station. I bet he'll LOVE it. =)

The Kuhns said...

Ok Heather this post of course touched my heart and made me cry a little too much =( I think growing up I didnt get to do alot of things which is why I am always doing stuff with the kids even if its just taking them to the park. I love the idea of taking them to watch trains, we dont really have many trains around here =( But when we go to IHOP its right near the Pgh Airport and Nathan loves watching the planes. I love this age! And Dakota was so little and look at her peachfuzz hair in the first pictures!

Nichole said...

Thanks. 1) you make me miss home and 2) this makes me regret never getting a hold of you.
But on a happy note, I am glad to see that she enjoys trains :)
If you are ever up north, downtown Sac has a great RR museum. Very hands on and interactive :)