Tuesday, January 22, 2013

When Little Boys Go to Heaven

When little boys go to heaven, it might look a lot like what the Pacific Science Center in Seattle looked like yesterday when the model train show chuffed into town. The idea to take the boys there flew into my funnel in Spokane, and it turned into the spot where Elise could reunite with a friend from pre-school and her two little boys.

Pete at the helm. 

Besides various model railway layouts, including a miniature layout of the Island of Sodor made from Legos, the boys could drive their own model trains. 

There was also the largest train table in the world. I have said before that the train table at Barnes and Noble can create and shatter dreams. We have left Barnes and Noble on several occasions with a tantruming toddler in tow thanks to the train table. Fifty tiny engineers played around this table, so the recipe for mayhem was sown. 

The table itself was a work of art. Everything was craftsman, from the trees which resembled scarves wadded into balls and held in place by rubber bands to the hand-carved hospital tower, tunnel and bridges. The topography looked as though it had been carved by a cartographer. 

The table's creator was conscious enough to not allow greedy engineers to let their trains get too long. Though his technique leaved a little to be desired. He watched over the table and whenever anyone's train grew longer than three cars, he promptly confiscated the access cars. While his motive was golden, his technique was not, and when a parent complained to the owner of the table's wife, she explained that he was a Boeing engineer and simply, "Not very good with kids." 

The train table was adjacent the insect exhibit and butterfly garden. Clementine was oddly attracted to this giant, animatronic praying mantis. 

Besides a glass bowl filled with cockroaches, there was this exhibit:

We weren't impressed. We've seen bigger and we've seen them in real life.

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