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Choo! Choo!

by Meghann on December 21, 2011

Choo! Choo!


When i was growing up my uncle had this beautiful train set and snow village that he brought out every Christmas. It took him weeks to set up and probably just as long to tear down. Every year my siblings and I would spend hours being mesmerized as the train went around and around the elaborate village. We took our turns finding the post office, skating rink, train station, and various other snow village landmarks.

After my aunt passed in the mid-90s the train set slowly stopped making its annual appearance every Christmas. I can’t even remember the last time it was brought out or if my uncle even still collects the tiny snow village pieces, but the memories are still there and every time I stumble upon another family’s train set or village, I always think of him and the living room filled of fake snow and glittery pieces.

Derek has similar memories from his childhood. His parents purchased a beautiful train set when Derek was three and every Christmas the boys would bring it out and set it up around the Christmas tree.


Their’s too had been in storage one Christmas too long, but this year they thought it was time to break it out and continue the tradition they started 24 years ago.


I’m not sure Maggie (the dog) was a fan, but it was a nice trip down memory lane for everyone else. I loved hearing the stories behind each of the train components and all the memories that went with them. πŸ™‚

Did you have a train set? Did you know someone that went all out?

This afternoon I had a mini bowl of mixed-nuts for a little snack.


Before I met Derek at his parents’ place, I was in St. Petersburg to visit one of my favorite babies.


Oh, and I was there to see his mom too. πŸ˜‰

Callie and her family are heading out of town for the holidays this weekend and I needed to drop off a few things before they got the hell out of dodge.

Dinner out was in order.


I swear, Tampa and St. Pete are blending into the same town. If it’s a popular restaurant in Tampa, they’ll build one in St. Pete (and vice versa).

Ciccio’s is a popular restaurant in South Tampa that I’ve ate at once or twice in the past. They recently opened a St. Pete location and Callie had been dying to give it a try.


I ordered the thai chicken bowl, but wasn’t too impressed.


I had asked for the sauce on the side and brown rice, but when it arrived it was covered in sauce and had yellow rice. Not that big of a deal – and I ate it anyways without sending it back – but that did leave a sour note about the plate. However, the flavor was good and thanks to extra large portions I have enough leftovers to make another meal out it.


The real treat came after dinner when Callie offered me a piece of her father’s homemade apple pie.


Wow! I was sold on the homemade buttery rich crust that practically melted in my mouth. Too bad we finished off the pie pan, otherwise I would have gone back for seconds. So. Good.

I’m following Callie’s lead and heading home tomorrow as well. As soon as I finish up all that laundry waiting for me in the closet. Yikes!

Can you believe Christmas is just a couple of days away?! Get excited!

1 Jessica @ Sushi and Sit-Ups December 21, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Aww I love the train memories! How fun that a train set was a part of both yours and Derek’s childhoods!
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2 wymberley December 21, 2011 at 11:20 pm

I just asked my husband what he thought of getting a train for our tree. Poop! he said he was not a fan of such a chore. What a lame-o.
I get very frustrated when a place gets my order wrong after I watch them write it down. Even worse is when they don’t write it down and brag about a great memory…and get it wrong. I would have sent it back. But i’m mean!
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3 Sabrina December 21, 2011 at 11:45 pm

I never had a train, and I can’t recall anyone in my family who did. I’ll have to ask my boyfriend, but I think his grandfather may have had a train collection/hobby. From what I understand it can be a very expensive hobby.

Happy Holidays! πŸ™‚
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4 michelle December 21, 2011 at 11:58 pm

December flew by. I am a little shocked that Christmas is so soon but it feels different this year since we are celebrating it thousands of miles from home in a new country. Different, but good.
michelle recently posted..Running Goals and Other Random Things

5 CheezyK December 22, 2011 at 12:11 am

My father-in-law has a train set that he built over many years while my husband, his brothers and sister were kids. It goes on a board that’s as big as their billiard table! Unfortunately as the kids became teenagers and wanted space of their own there ended up being no room in the house for it. Now that they’re ’empty nesters’ I think he has plans to bring it back out, clean it up and get it going again. I’m really looking forward to seeing it in all its glory – he’s an electrical engineer and I hear it has all the bells and whistles!
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6 Carissa December 22, 2011 at 7:39 am

I love those special family memories! I was an only child and just a girl so I didn’t have a train, but I can imagine boys loving it.
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7 Emily December 22, 2011 at 7:50 am

Maybe you and Derek should think about Snow Village for yourselves? J and I have one, and the other nice thing about it (other than its pretty and has lots of memories because my mom has one too!) is that J has built in nice Christmas gifts for me! πŸ™‚
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8 Hope December 22, 2011 at 8:00 am

That is so cute that you and Derek both had trains in your childhood! I love special memories like those. πŸ™‚
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9 Sarah December 22, 2011 at 8:11 am

Oh gosh that baby is so precious πŸ™‚ Christmas is so soon it’s crazy! I feel like I’m not in the christmas spirit yet though.. I’ve done all my shopping and everything. Not sure what the deal is..
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10 Courtney December 22, 2011 at 8:42 am

How fun! I never had a train set, but reading this post makes me wish I did!
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11 Corey @ Learning Patience December 22, 2011 at 9:53 am

I love the train connection! I never had one but I always thought they were SO adorable around the tree at Christmas time! πŸ™‚
Still can’t beleieve it’s almost Christmas..probably because the sun is out here and it 90 degrees. πŸ™‚
xoxo from Trinidad
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12 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats December 22, 2011 at 12:33 pm

we used to have a train like that, and I have NO IDEA what happened to it! It was so cool! I should go ask my dad…
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13 Hillary December 22, 2011 at 1:50 pm

My boyfriend’s dad is a super train buff, and he goes ALL OUT at Christmas every year. It’s kind of awesome, actually!

14 Lynda@ Hit The Road Jane December 24, 2011 at 12:13 am

Omg I have vivid memories of a train set around our Christmas tree when I was a kid. I still remember the distinct smell given off by the electricity as it moved along the track. They rock!! Thanks for the post, I think I need to bring it back into my life too πŸ˜‰
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