This is something Megan had done with other visitors, but not us, and not Weston. He wanted to experience the “oldest continuously operative short line railroad” in the nation before moving, so off we went. In case you’re ever in the area and want to try this attraction yourself, you can find their website here.
They’ve removed Condition #8 and added “Chartered in 1832” but otherwise the back of the tickets (or at least some of them – others had coupons or advertising) hasn’t changed in a few years. We thought these “rules of the road” were pretty clever.
On winter days, you’ll want a coach car, complete with a stove for heating. We went on a very hot day, when an “open car” was available.
|The “open” car|
However, we didn’t see the benefit of paying extra for that option, so chose the regular coach car with open windows. Afterwards we felt we had made a wise choice. Our car had soft, reversible seating; the open one had fixed, wooden benches. In addition, there’s also an option to choose the dining car and eat lunch during the ride.
|The backs of the seats were on a hinge of some sort so could be moved to face either direction.|
It’s not a very long train ride, just a few miles from Strasburg to Paradise and back, but that’s the perfect length for a family of little boys, and their grandparents too. The countryside is beautiful!
Once we reached Paradise, we waited while the engine moved from one end of the train to the other. Can you imagine how fascinating that was?
Along the way we passed the Cherry Creek Adventure Farm. Apparently it’s known for its corn maze in the fall, but we saw it when the corn was just knee high.
If we had wanted, we could have packed a picnic lunch and stopped for an hour at their picnic area. Isn’t it beautiful and quaint?
However, we had other plans for lunch – the buffet at Shady Maple Smorgasbord.
Note that Weston’s favorite cookie is a Whoopie Pie, which may or may not have been invented by the Amish, but is definitely associated with them now. However, there weren’t any in the dessert cases when we went. Megan asked why not and was given a few found in the freezer. Wasn’t she resourceful, and isn’t she a great wife? Although we ate way too much, we had a wonderful time.
These pictures don’t do them justice, but the walls of the restaurant were lined with Abner Zook’s 3-D art. It was pretty incredible and you can read a bit about it here.
Before leaving the building, we walked through their humongous gift shop, but without little boys because can you just imagine the havoc they could wreck?