Chuffing down the track.

Yesterday Steven and I took Eliot to Monticello, where there is a railway station that offers train rides every weekend. One weekend out of the month, the train is pulled by a steam engine. It's pretty super cool, especially if you happen to be a four-year-old boy who loves trains.

The ear to ear grin in these photos speaks for itself.

"Take Eliot for a train ride" was number one on my uber-list this year, so it's kind of ridiculous that it has taken me this long to do it. I still want to take him on AmTrak at some point, and I'm sure he'd love the El or the St. Louis Metro...all adventures that await us.

But the steam engine was just right for our maiden railway voyage. We sat in an elegant old passenger car at first, and then moved to the caboose for the return trip. It was probably a 45 minute ride, total.

Eliot still wants me to hold him and carry him around, and he likes to sit on my lap whenever possible. Yesterday, his perch atop my knees was particularly important because it gave him just the right amount of extra height to gaze out the window of our train car as we chuffed along the track. I love this photo. I know when I look at it years from now, I'll still be able to feel the cool breeze and smell the watermelon shampoo scent lingering on his short, big kid haircut. I will remember the two of us looking out together at the same sights, and I will remember how his perspective allows me to see old scenery with new eyes.

It was a good day.

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