Sketch Every Day: 12.30.11

12.30.11: A day with trains.

Trains are a big deal in this family. Thanks to my father-in-law, my boys LOVE trains – watching them, riding them, running them, playing with them. And I have to say, I’m fascinated by them too…especially old steam locomotives, I find them to be beautiful and magnificent, marvelous machines from a by-gone era of transportation that most of us will never experience in this day and age of air travel, bullet trains and well, the automobile. Saying that Papa is a train aficionado, is an understatement. He must have steam and coal running through his veins, because he seems happiest when “chasing” trains, enthusiastically talking about these “ferro equines” (iron horses), or showing his vast model train collection. My husband recalls many childhood family vacations where traveling to see, ride or photograph some of these rare, historical machines in working order was the primary theme.

The first thing our boys ask to do, upon arriving at Nana and Papa’s house, is “can we play with Papa’s trains?” Papa has converted the attic space of their home into a model train room…to display, play with, tinker/fix, and run his trains. It’s such a thrill for them to watch the trains go ’round and ’round the track. Every time we’re up for a visit, Nana and Papa take us to ride the small steam train at Tilden Park, which the boys enjoy so much…they want to ride it again and again. The boys have been to many train museums and model railroad displays, but they haven’t actually ridden a real train for transportation (well, except for BART). So it was a real treat when Papa and Nana took us to visit the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento…AND we rode an Amtrak train to get there!

My sketch for today was done really quickly on the train ride back to Richmond, even though the ride was an hour and a half long. I wanted to enjoy the ride with my family, so the sketch was done really quickly in a few minutes. It was a nice surprise to get on the train and run into one of Isaac’s kindergarten classmates and his family, who happened to be heading from their grandparents’ home in Sacramento to visit family in San Jose. Small world, that we would run into someone we know from San Diego, who would be riding on the same train, at the same time and seated right next to us! ┬áIsaac was really excited to see his buddy, but I don’t think he realized what a coincidence it was…what are the chances?!

Here are some photos of our wonderful day of trains and walking through Old Sacramento, including some shots of pattern/texture I found interesting.