Tiny Trains In Berkeley

Akane and Bryn went out birthday shopping today for a certain little someone and so we got to spend a Sunday with Riku! What a treat, as there are many things to do in the city that are only available on the weekends in the winter months. Tilden Park in Berkeley is one of them.

Bryn dropped Riku off around 10 a.m. and said he was ready for his nap. Well, putting him to bed immediately wouldn't please Riku a bit, so I made him a bowl of porridge with strawberries and fed him while he sat at the table sorting out his cars. After a quick look at one of his picture books, he was more than happy to snuggle in with his bed buddies, and fell asleep within minutes. Riku has a little cold and obviously needed his sleep, as he slept for two hours!

I had told him, while putting him to bed, that when he woke up we were going on a train. After a lunch of soupy udon noodles, grated carrot, mushrooms, spinach, and tofu (which he really liked), plus three of his alphabet cookies, off we went!

The weather was perfect; cool enough for a jacket but sunny with a clear blue sky. We watched one train go by, and then went for a little walk down a ramp to another train yard. We have been there many times in the past with Bryn and Caillie but have never seen a train running down in this area. It is free and consists of a much smaller, very narrow "train" so we sat with our legs tucked in closely beside us, and off we went with an "all aboard" and a whistle. Riku was a little subdued with his cold but was obviously pleased as can be to be on the train.

We walked back up to the larger train, arriving just in time to get a place at the very front, with a great view of the engineer and the steam. A dog ran beside the train throughout the entire trip and Riku was as interested in the dog as he was in the train... except on the two occasions when we went through a tunnel. The whistle blew, the steam was escaping high into the trees, and Riku was fascinated with it all.

Following this adventure we went off to run a couple of errands, ending up at an IKEA store. I had hopes that Riku would be tired enough by this time to nap in his stroller but the store was just too big, too crowded, and too interesting for this. He played at a table and chair set with beads on wires, and had much fun playing in a short version of a bunk bed, with a slide to get down to the floor.

Riku was very entertaining in the car on the way both to and from Berkeley as he kept repeating "W, X, Y, and Z" over and over. It was very funny, as he just kept it up although started pronouncing "W" as "double-ee" which made me laugh. Doug and I sang the song "BINGO" to him which he liked very much, especially the clapping, and I sang "Down at the Station" to him, which Kelly and I used to sing to Bryn and Caillie at this age.

Back in the car I fed him some dinner and he had been snacking early on as well, so of course he fell asleep within two minutes of his house! Arggh! He took my hand and dropped off; I carried him into the house, changed his diaper, undressed him, and put him into his pajamas, with some help from his daddy. Riku was happy to see his mommy standing there, waiting to nurse him, and I left hoping he wouldn't get his "second wind" but would nurse and go to bed. His nose was running more towards the end of the day so we shall see how he is tomorrow. We'll spend most of the day at home and I have a surprise for him...


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