New England Vacay — Day 5: Trains, Chowda & Lobsta

Tuesday September 1, 2009

(I’m blogging about our New England Vacation.  You can use these links to catch up on Day 1 , Day 2Day 3, and Day 4).

Day 5 was Thursday.   We decided to take a train ride.  I had gone with the kids a couple of years ago, but thought this would be a fun outing that Mike would enjoy too.

We drove into Portland and made our way to the Maine Narrow Gauge Railway & Museum.   In case you are wondering what “narrow gauge” means, this exercept from their website explains:

“Narrow gauge” refers to the distance between the rails. The MNGRR was built with the rails 2 feet apart, which is closer together–or narrower–than the 4 feet, 8-1/2 inches that became standard in the United States. The MNGRR was built to this gauge to accommodate equipment that was operated in the state many years ago. Narrow gauge was built because the construction and equipment costs were less than standard gauge, and it allowed for sharper curves in the mountainous terrain.

The MNGRR has a museum, which we checked out before our train ride.   They have old rail cars you can explore.




There is also a little play engine for kids to climb into – it was  a big hit with all the kids.


The Thomas the Train play table is also a popular activity.


Finally, it was time to board – here’s our crew at the caboose.



We rode in the open air car.



The train runs on 1.5 miles of track along the Portland waterfront – you have a great view of Casco Bay.



When we got to the end of the track, the engineer stopped and let kids check out the engine.



After our train ride, we had lunch at Gilbert’s Chowder House, which is known, of course, for its “chowda”.



I have to say – it was pretty good.   After lunch, we came back to the house for some  down time.  The kids had a blast on the  play set in the backyard.



Then we were off for dinner at the Lobster Shack at Two Lights for our requisite lobster meal.


I packed PB&J for the kiddos because I knew they wouldn’t eat lobster and I didn’t want to pay for another  hot dog dinner.  Mike likes seafood, but doesn’t hold it in high regard.  He generally considers DIY meals like crabs and lobster as being too much work for too little payout.  Nonetheless, we enjoyed our dinner.


After dinner, we all had fun exploring the property.


The Lobster Shack sits atop a rocky shore.   Since the tide was out, there was a lot of rock to scramble on and explore.


My sweet girl took this shot of me and the baby monster.


Daddy helped the little guy navigate the treacherous terrain.


I love this shot of my three – I think it might be my favorite of the whole trip.   The beauty of the backside shot is that you don’t have to worry about who’s making faces or not looking the camera.


Not that I’d say no to a front side shot if I got one (but see what I mean?)


We ended out our lovely day with ice cream, tantrums and bed time.   Only one more full day in Maine …

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2 Responses to New England Vacay — Day 5: Trains, Chowda & Lobsta

  1. 1
    Suzi says:

    I love the backshot of the group too! Nothing better than a picture of your little ones gazing out at the ocean. Just out of curiosity – how much does a lobster with fries and slaw cost in New England? 🙂

  2. 2
    Renee says:

    That looks like another fun packed day! Great pictures, especially the backside shot.

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