Friday, July 20, 2018

Five Loves on Friday // Family Traditions, Movie Recommendation, & Celebratory Scrumptiousness!

Hello, friends!  I haven't shared here on a Friday in a few weeks, but with very good reason.  I've been soaking up the summer with my family!  It's been a beautiful few weeks of quality time in and outdoors.  Many memories have been made while enjoying all of my favorite things about the season - family traditions, holiday hoopla, taking in the beauty of creation, and of course, savoring scrumptiousness!  I hope you've been enjoying the sweetness of summertime too!

Today I'm looking forward to sharing a handful of loves from the past week which will include recapping my favorite July family tradition, Railroad Days!

Railroad Days

If you've been around here for a bit you may know about this family tradition I'm incredibly fond of.  Each July our area a weekend of railroad themed family fun.  Fifteen dollars gains two adults and their children full weekend access to a handful of local attractions which include the historic home of our city's most famous General, railroad museums, a train station turned picturesque museum, and botanical gardens.  (Each of these venues would easily cost my family $40 for entrance any other day of the year so this is an amazing value!)  Guests are also provided with complimentary transportation between each spot. There's something so fun about taking a trolley around our own city while playing tourist!  This is staycation at its best!

Here is a little blast from Railroad Days past...

Our traditional Railroad Days sister snapshot at the Union Pacific Railroad Museum over the years...






We've been going since the summer of 2008.  These are all the years I had photos available for on our computer.  It's bittersweet seeing the growth and changes over the years!  Oh, how I love fun family traditions and adore these girls!

Okay, on to the loves from this year's Railroad Days and more! . . . 

One  //  Botanical Beauty
One of my favorite things about Railroad Days is spending a morning in the botanical gardens!  There is unending beauty to behold there!

Such a cool train display among the trees there!


Two  //  American Adventure Exhibit

A gorgeous train station turned museum that's included in Railroad Days hosts a different exhibit each summer.  This year it was the American Adventure.  Upon entering the exhibit each group is given a Life Chart.  You are then sent through a maze to make all the decisions you would face if you were part of the settlers who arrived on the shores of Virginia in 1607.  If your decision turned out to be a good one you would earn more health, food, wealth, or morale points.  If you made a poor choice you'd lose points.  Once one of your beads went below that red "Yer Dead" line it was game over for you! 

The first decision was where you would settle.  This would be followed by other questions like would you like to trade with the natives, what would you eat, etc..

It was explained to us before beginning the maze that we would naturally make wiser decisions in some areas than these settlers would at the time as we know things like you shouldn't eat tobacco or snakes.  To counter the points everyone would gain knowing such things, there were four Wheels of Misfortune.  This is what ended up killing us!

We never miss a fun photo op!  Love my silly family!

"Riding" the train (aka: touring a stationary train from another era)

Three  //  Celebrating National Ice Cream Day

On the second day of Railroad Days we always walk downtown to an Italian restaurant.  The endless pasta enjoyed during this annual tradition is one of my husband and our oldest daughter's favorite parts of the weekend!  However the carbs I craved were of the sweet treat variety!  It just happened to be National Ice Cream Day which was the perfect excuse for our family to share this chocolate chip pocket cookie (this thing packs warm melted chocolate inside) served with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce!  We celebrated right!

Four  //  A Quiet Place

We had been eagerly awaiting the blu-ray release of A Quiet Place which hit Redbox last week.  It did not disappoint!  While this movie did make me jump and gasp occasionally throughout, there was no unnecessary gore or bad language.  I love suspense, yet hate gory horror movies, so this film was perfection in my book!  John Krasinski (also known as my favorite, "Jim" from The Office) was one of the screenplay writers, executive producers, and a lead actor alongside his real-life wife, Emily Blunt.  They both did an incredible job in these roles!  While it isn't suitable for younger audiences, I highly recommend this flick to fellow fans of suspense movies.  There's so much more I'd like to say, but I refuse to give any spoilers away! ;)

Five //  A Long Weekend with my Love

This photo was actually taken at my hometown happy place earlier in the weekend.  Hooray for lots of lake time with my loves!

Jason took a vacation day on Monday extending our staycation family fun!  We enjoyed a nice leisurely day with lovely lake time, chats about vacation and dreams to come.  It was a simple day, very well spent!

Thanks so much for visiting today!  Wishing you a wonderful weekend to come!

Earlier this week on Chatting Over Chocolate:

Join me in the adventures to come!
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  1. Yay for Lake Days and Railroad goodness!! We watched A Quiet Place last weekend too and it was sooo good and well done. I wasn't sure about watching it but now I am so glad I did. Have a beautiful weekend full of laughter and fun dear friend!

    1. Thank you for always leaving the sweetest comments, darling friend! You make my heart smile! :) xo!

  2. That botanical garden looks beautiful and I love your lake photo! :-) I hope that you have a wonderful weekend! :-)

    1. Thank you, sweet friend! I hope yours was wonderful too!! <3

  3. Railroad Days sounds like so much fun. My kids would love that!

  4. I love your love of traditions and photo taking! What a fun time of exploring and celebrating! That exhibit looks so fun! I just love that museum! :) I've heard a lot of people enjoying that movie. I'm glad you enjoyed it! Happy Weekend, Bren!

    1. Your kind comments are always such a joy to receive, Nik! Thanks so much!! Hope your weekend was wonderful and that this week has been beautiful for you too! xo!

  5. Those railroad days look so cool and the botanical gardens look wonderful. #H54f

    1. It’s such a fun event and those gardens are truly a stunning sight! Thanks for visiting from H54F!

  6. What beautiful pictures! You are having so much fun. That’s what summer is about… Making those beautiful family memories… And eating ice cream of course

  7. That American Adventure looks like SO much fun! It's like Oregon Trail come to life! #90skid :)

    1. YES!!! The best comparison ever! :D Thanks for the fun comment, friend! Always a joy to hear from you!! <3

  8. What a fun round up! It looks like you've been having an amazing summer!

    1. Thanks, Becky! It has been a wonderful one! Hope you’re enjoying every bit of yours too! :D


I would love to hear from you today! I enjoy reading each and every comment I receive. (I do moderate them before they're published. Gotta keep it family friendly! ;)) Let's chat! B.Y.O.C. {Bring Your Own Chocolate!}