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Location: Northern California

Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Saturday, February 03, 2007


Coo coo ca choo choo

Train Town
Originally uploaded by marytsao.
This is turning out to be quite a very nice weekend. Hurray for clear skies and even temperaments! As my new notepaper from Daiso Japan reads, "It is a fine day. The sky clears and we are given a magnificent view."

[Updated to add something that Mike did today that I want to remember: When I was doing my Pilates DVD in the family room, the kids came in and started swarming me like they tend to do. Mike was in the room, too, and even though he had been making fun of the breathing exercises, he realized that maybe having kids hanging off me when I was doing The Hundred was annoying and anti-relaxing, and he made the kids go play in the other room. I appreciated that!]

Today I was all set to take the kids alone to Train Town in Sonoma. Mike had work to do or something. But when he saw us bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and standing at the door with our coats, he had a change of heart and decided to go with us. Of course that made our field trip that much nicer. While I love the company of my kids, I always welcome a field trip companion who can use big words and doesn't need help going to the bathroom.

The roads were clear and we made it to Sonoma in good time. It really is beautiful up there, whatever the season. This time of year the grape vines are bare, but the rolling hills and green countryside make it difficult to believe that California's lush wine country is located only about an hour away from the bustling city of San Francisco.

Sonoma is a great day trip from The City, even if you have kids in tow. If you're visiting with another adult and you're inclined to do some wine tasting, most wineries have lawn and picnic areas where you can mix life's three greatest blessings: kids, food, and wine.

Train Town is located about a mile from downtown Sonoma, on the way into town. It's a small, vintage amusement park that boasts a twenty minute train ride as its main attraction. It's also home to a carousel and a few other carnival-type rides. It's not an expensive place to visit, but there's only enough there to keep a family entertained for an hour or two.

Downtown Sonoma is right down the street from Train Town and is home to shops and a couple of family-friendly restaurants. In the middle of the town square is a park with two playgrounds: one for ages 2-5 and one for ages 5 and up. Oh, and bathrooms. Glorious, public bathrooms!

We didn't go this time, but Sonoma County is also where Safari West is located. We'll probably make that our destination next time we go on a family field trip to whine country. (Sorry, I had to throw that in.)

Tomorrow I'm having lunch with mom friends and then the family is going to a Super Bowl party. If you guessed that I'm bringing Ruffles potato chips and Onion Soup Mix Dip as my appetizer offering, you'd be right. Monday can be the first day of the rest of my diet, right? Go, Bears!