Kika, Gabi and I were invited to join SL and her family as she checked "train riding" off her bucket list.
A real train, with a bathroom and a dining car and Dr. Seuss-like conductors. This particular horseshoe curve train's claim to fame is that this engineering feat built in 1854 decreased train travel time from Southwestern Pa to NYC from SEVEN days to just one day.
We got off the train right after experiencing the famous curve in a little town called Altoona, Pennsylvania.
Things you might do in Altoona if you have uhm, seven hours to kill before the next train swings by:
1. Eat at a diner called Tom and Joe's.
I had THE BEST Rueben sandwich there.
2. Walk off what you ate around the city. The town is full of steep terrain. We hiked up one aptly called "Gospel Hill." Could have also been called "Cardiac Arrest Hill."
3. Visit the nearby beautiful cathedral for its magnificent dome ceiling, stained glass windows and for your 'three wishes after you recite your 3 Hail Marys, 3 Our Fathers and 3 Glory Be's when you visit a church for the first time.'
4. Go to an admission free museum of art. Amidst closed businesses and a few condemned buildings, it was like an OASIS. (spelling bee word)
5. Stop in at the local McDonalds. Everything tastes better when you are having fun.
6. Visit the Boyer Factory (home of the Mallo Cup). If you make prior arrangements, you can tour the factory. If not, take a virtual tour online while eating the candy you purchased. (yep)
7. Go the the Railroad Museum. We were not able to do this because it was not yet open for the season.
8. So, make up games in little parklets. Before you know it 5 hours had gone by and it's time for dinner.
9. Eat at Texas Hotdogs. Everything was delicious. And Cheap.
10. Head back to the train station.
If you stay awake for the next 10 minutes you will be able to ooooh and aaaah the Horseshoe Curve on the return trip home.
If you remain awake for the next two hours, enjoy the sights and scapes from the railroad perspective while appreciating traveling with a group of people who can have fun with nothing more than just air.