Author: Michelle

Summer Book List: Reading Roundup

Summer Book List: Reading Roundup

Ah, is there anything more delightful than summer reading? I know most people like to post a summer book list for you to gather before the season and read throughout the summer… but around here we’re not that organized! Instead, we’ve compiled a list of […]

Favorite Italy Blogs and Resources

Favorite Italy Blogs and Resources

I loved reading about Melissa’s favorite France blogs and podcasts even though we have no trips to France on the horizon. I thought I’d share a few blogs and specific articles that I’ve found helpful in planning our upcoming trip to Italy.   I blame (in […]

Gulfport Kids’ Train Museum Two-Fer

Gulfport Kids’ Train Museum Two-Fer

Of all the adventures Melissa’s and my kids had over early summer break, the Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum was the surprise favorite. Sure, when we told the kids we were headed to the beach or the Pensacola Children’s Museum, or the Airplane Museum, they knew to expect a good time. When I told my kids we were headed to “the Gulfport Train Museum” though, I think they were anticipating a very dry and boring museum. Then, when we pulled up, my eight year old exclaimed, “Is this it? It’s sooo small!” Melissa and her kids had visited before though, and they knew – this place is a hidden gem!

 

Kids enjoying the Gulfport Train Museum

When we entered the museum, my kids’ eyes widened. The first room is filled with Lego models of all sizes and themes. There are trains running in display cases as well as on tracks suspended from the ceiling. My doubting oldest child could hardly be pried from this first room (the Star Wars Legos section in particular!), but there’s so much more! The original building houses a gift shop and two large rooms filled with train displays. A boardwalk connects it to the other two buildings in the complex, which are also filled with train displays, ride-on toys, and train tables that the kids can play with.

Gulfport Kids' Train Museum 

Outdoor play area at the Gulfport Kids' Train Museum Trainscape at the Gulfport Kids' Train Museum

There’s a lot to do outdoors as well, so plan your visit for a sunny day! There are hand-pedal train cars for the kids to enjoy and a ride-on train for kids and adults that loops the outside play area (and goes through a spooky tunnel 😉 ). Our kids loved the pirate ship play structure and enjoyed seeing the themed trainscapes throughout the outdoor area. My favorite has Jurassic Park theme with dinosaurs (tied to train chassis) zipping through the flowerbed!

   Gulfport Kids' Train Museum

 

If you have any questions about the displays, the museum is filled with enthusiastic volunteers running the outdoor rides, answering the kids’ questions, and updating displays. As far as amenities, there are picnic areas outside to enjoy a snack or lunch, and each building has bathrooms available. With so much to see and to explore, we could hardly tear our kids away when it was time to leave!

 

Ride-on railroad at the Gulfport Kids' Train Museum.

All Aboard!

Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum

504 Pass Rd, Gulfport, MS 39507

Hours: Open Tuesday-Saturday 12-5 and closed Sunday & Monday

Cost: Donations appreciated

Parking: In front of the museum, but if it’s full we found some nearby on the corner of A Ave. & 33rd St.

Check the museum’s upcoming events page as they regularly host cool events like Lego brick builds, Ice Cream Day, or 36 Days of Christmas.

 

But wait, wasn’t this billed as a two-fer? That’s right! Anticipating the amount of energy necessary to chase our (combined) eight kids through the train museum, Melissa and I made a stop beforehand at Coast Roast. You should too! Only seven minutes away, Coast Roast is a great stop on your way to or from the Gulfport kids’ train museum. We sampled a latte and a hazelnut iced coffee and both were delicious! While their seating areas looked inviting, we made good use of the drive-through (parent win!) and headed for the museum.

Gulfport Train Museum Two-Fer  

Coast Roast (Gulfport location)

1601 25th Ave., Gulfport, MS

Hours: Monday-Friday: 6:30am – 7:00pm

Saturday: 8:00am – 7:00pm

How to Find a Foreign Language Teacher or Conversational Group

How to Find a Foreign Language Teacher or Conversational Group

Though the idea of being able to speak in a secret language with your friends has appealed since childhood, I think I really got the foreign language bug when we moved to Germany several years ago. We immediately enrolled our four year old in a […]

Italian Food in Pensacola: Franco’s Italian Restaurant

Italian Food in Pensacola: Franco’s Italian Restaurant

Looking for delicious Italian food in Pensacola? Look no further than Franco’s Italian Restaurant near downtown. This Pensacola institution is celebrating their twentieth anniversary this month, and Melissa and I enjoyed revisiting it recently with our moms.   One of the awesome things about growing […]

Where to Find Delicious Indian Food: My Pensacola

Where to Find Delicious Indian Food: My Pensacola

As we drove into Pensacola last week, I couldn’t help but notice a restaurant that caught my eye with its bold yellow and orange exterior: Dinner India. With both Melissa and I being enthusiastic about Indian food (Indian Butter Chicken is a family favorite), I made a mental note that we should try out the restaurant while we were in town. Friday night rolled around, and we decided it was takeout night; off to get an Indian dinner from Dinner India!

 

Indian Food Pensacola

We scouted out the menu online ahead of time; online reviewers raved on Dinner India’s garlic naan and Chicken Afghani, so we decided to order both of those items plus Chicken Tikka Masala, all without any heat (more on that below). It was fabulous! As we opened up the rice boxes, the scent of the aromatic cumin seeds filled the room. We did wish that we had gotten it mildly spicy (other online reviews scared us off), so we will try that next time. The garlic naan was indeed deliciously garlicky. The Chicken Afghani was chunks of deliciously tender chicken cooked in a mango sauce; the mango was unexpected and somewhat sweet, but a fascinating flavor (we’d order it again!). The Chicken Tikka Masala was a tomato sauce with a smidge of cream, again with the crazy tender chicken and lots of delicious spices. The portions are generous; the two entrees with the side of naan fed three of us comfortably. Next time we plan to try a goat dish, a curry, and the samosas (fried flaky dough stuffed with potatoes and/or meat). There will definitely be a next time; our mouths are watering writing this post, and we’ve added Indian food to our Pensacola rotation.

Dinner India Pensacola

Dinner India

201 S New Warrington Rd
Pensacola, FL 32507
(850) 466-5770

OPEN: 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM Tuesday-Sunday (closed Monday)

Tulip Time in Holland, Michigan

Tulip Time in Holland, Michigan

Last weekend, we day-tripped over to Holland, Michigan, for the 90th anniversary of the Tulip Time Festival. Holland is about three hours west of Detroit and the festival this year is from May 4-12. (Good news if you’re wanting it check it out next weekend […]

Outdoor Adventure Center, Detroit

Outdoor Adventure Center, Detroit

Ever stumble upon a gem of a place and wonder “Where has this been? This place is awesome!” That’s how the kids and I felt about the Outdoor Adventure Center when we first checked it out last month. (And also how we felt at the […]

Reading Round-up: April 2019

Reading Round-up: April 2019

With Melissa having shared her March Reading Round-up, I’m taking the baton for this round-up with my favorite books I’ve reads from March and April (so far!)

 

Written by Mike Rowe‘s mother, this book is a hilarious collection of stories about Peggy’s relationship with her mom. I listened to the audiobook, narrated by the author, and it really helped pass the time on a car trip.*  4 stars

*Did I mention that audiobooks have a soporific effect on my youngest three? Winning all around!

 

I really enjoyed this history of the world for children! It does a great job of explaining world history from the Stone Age to the Atomic Bomb in a way that children will understand. Because it’s written in a conversational tone, it would make for a great read-aloud! I feel like my eight year old is still a bit young to want to read through it, but maybe in another year or two?  Four stars

 

 

Did you know that the author of Pippi Longstocking wrote about her experiences during WWII? This was an enlightening read for me – hearing about Sweden’s neutrality during the war from the perspective of a civilian who kept a detailed diary of wartime happenings. You also get a glimpse of her unravelling marriage. Four stars

 

 

I know, I know.. another World War II memoir. 😉 This one was gripping from start to finish! It follows Betty Lauer, a German-Jewish teenager as she masquerades as a Polish Christian through the war, barely evading death for years on end. Five stars

 

 

This was in my arsenal of audiobooks for our trip to Louisiana and back and, really, what’s better for a long road trip than 15 1/2 hours of Beverly Cleary books? 😉 It was one of their favorite books they’d read (heard?) in a while! With half of these read by Neil Patrick Harris, try them and I’m sure you’ll agree. 5 stars

 

Read a good book lately? We’re always on the hunt for a new one, so let us know in the comments!

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Sanders Chocolate Factory Tour

Sanders Chocolate Factory Tour

We’re always on the hunt for fun, inexpensive things to do with the kids in the Detroit area. A free tour of the Sanders Chocolate Factory filled that bill, and I can’t say it took a lot of arm-twisting to bring the kids on this […]


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