When we visited the Handmade Expo at Ipswich recently, we were thrilled to find out that a vintage steam train was running just nearby.
I didn't even know the Swanbank Vintage Steam Train existed until I was invited by bubbachenille to check out the expo and the train rides.
The train usually operates between Bundamba and Swanbank Stations, but on the day of the expo they offered shorter rides to Box Flat and return, at a reduced price.
The kids have never ridden on a true steam train before, and they were so excited as we boarded the train. (Disclosure: Part of that may have been due to prior consumption of fairy floss...)
Even though the scenery wasn't that exciting for adults (we passed backyards, sports fields, paddocks, unloved buildings, and dumping grounds rather than say, waterfalls and rainforest).
But did the children care? No way! If anything, the scenery made the ride more exciting. Graffiti-d tunnels? Old tires piled up in the middle of nowhere? Horses? It was kiddie heaven.
C. and H. loved exploring the old carriages, looking out the windows and feeling the air hit them in the face, standing outside and breathing in the noise, movement and steam.
As kids do, they made instant friends with whom to share the experience, and there was a really happy, friendly atmosphere on board.
I loved seeing how much the children loved the experience, and for me personally, it was a reminder of how much fun it is to live in the moment and experience life through their eyes.
The ride was educational as well. The kids delighted in trying out the old-fashioned seats, peeking inside the loos, and learning about transportation in the past.
My favourite part was seeing the excitement and enjoyment in their faces. My least favourite part was being asked if this was how I used to travel in the 'olden days'!
Really, I'm not quite that ancient ...)
Miss H. dubbed this 'cow pat pond' ...
An unloved station...
...and carriages ...
The kids loved standing outside and watching the world go by
They loved the old-fashioned, disgusting loo (which was out of bounds, but curious kids could still sneak a peek).
Oh, this is the fairy floss kicking in...
Miss 7 takes in the scenery
And waves to the trains' fans ...
We stopped traffic
The kids wanted to know what a 'lavatory' was ...
The Guard kindly retrieved Miss 7's pink beanie after she accidentally dropped it on the tracks while disembarking.