Original plans for Saturday included a trip with my sister Jeni to a bridal shower in New Richmond, four hours away. We unfortunately had to cancel because Jeni and Dave have been having car trouble. I was a little sad but also glad I wasn’t going to leave my family all day!
So instead we went to the Mid-Continent Railway Museum in North Freedom, which is about an hour away from here. We’ve wanted to go there for a long time.
The draw of the museum is the ride in the restored old-time train. Its a 7-mile ride on a former branch of the Chicago & Northwestern line with authentic-dressed conductors. We started by getting our tickets for the 1:00 train. Then we needed to get lunch. North Freedom isn’t really a bustling metroplex though. In fact, the population, according to the line, is 649. There’s not much to North Freedom. Using my fancy new phone I found there was the “Railroad Cafe” in North Freedom and no other food until Baraboo, about 5 miles away. We were a little short on time and looking for something interesting, so we braved the Railroad Cafe.
We were pleasantly surprised. It was an old fashioned diner and we were the only customers, at noon on a Saturday. That worked just fine for us.
Allie enjoyed some crackers and fries. We got her a grilled cheese but she wasn’t into it. The only hangup of the restaurant was that it didn’t have a changing table in the bathroom. I had to get creative and change her on the floor! It worked fine though.
The food was quick and it was good. We finished in plenty of time to get back to the train.
This is the historic depot built in 1894!
The weekend staff is volunteer! I’m sure its a labor of love for these people. Fascinating.
Allie liked looking out the windows at all the other trains. She really loved the entire experience, though we had taken a calculated risk, however, in skipping nap time. She had a mini meltdown before the ride started. Luckily she recovered nicely and we all enjoyed our ride.
The way her face lit up when the train whistle blew was priceless. This is the only real picture I got of the expression, hence the picture with only half her face!
After the conductor punched our tickets, we let Allie hold on to hers. Her ride was free, but she still got her own ticket.
After the ride Allie ran around a bit while Mama used the bathroom. You gotta leave time for running around!
The other part of the museum is the coach shed, where they display the other restored trains. Its so interesting, but it was difficult, really impossible, to spend much time looking at the trains with Allie, especially with a tired Allie in tow.
Allie enjoyed walking between the trains though. She especially liked going up and down the stairs on the platforms.