You must do the things you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Next stop: Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum

After our super cool morning at the art museum I was ready for more adventures. There was a brochure at the museum for the Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum and I thought that would be a fun addition to our day. The map on the brochure didn't show all of downtown and the guy at the art museum didn't know how to get to the roundhouse museum, but I thought it would be fun to wing it and see what happened.

Yes, I found it! I told the kids I was ah maze ing and had them chanting Mommy is amazing! (it's ok to laugh at how ridiculous that is).  Bad news, they didn't open for another hour. Good news, the homeschool store that's having a going out of business sale is on the same road but other side of town so we could kill some time there. Score!

Endured an hour of frantic shopping with about a million of my (now) closest friends. Back to the roundhouse. Paid our 9 bucks to get everyone in and headed for the Christmas trains exhibit.

Note in the picture below that the train table is kid height. Then note that there is nothing between the kids and the trains. I'm sure you can see where this is going...nowhere pretty, dear friend.

The kids happily watched many trains go by and oo'd and aah'd repeatedly. Then one of the conductor types flipped a switch which caused the engine that traveled the track closest to the kids to have steam come out of its smoke stack.

Pretty stinkin cool. So the kids, lined up along the track, put their hands over the train - about 6 inches above it actually - and watched as the steam wafted around their hands.

Crotchety Conductor Man (CCM) yelled for them to keep their hands off the trains. Um, dude, we didn't touch the trains??? I then leaned over and reminded them to keep their hands away from the trains.  Well, the cool steaming train went by again and Shane put his hand above the train to feel the steam.

As I was telling Shane to put his hand down, CCM bellowed very loudly for Shane to not touch the train.  I am very glad (and amazed) that I didn't give him an earful because I was really angry. I turned and calmly said he didn't touch the train. The man then yelled at me that he told him twice not to touch the train.

Never get into a shouting match with an idiot because the bystanders won't know who's who. So I ushered the kids out of the room and back to the front desk and told them what happened.

The two men there were very apologetic, but they said they weren't surprised at all because they've heard that complaint numerous times. Say what?? You have a shrieking lunatic in charge of the Christmas display and you haven't done anything about it? I was debating whether or not to ask for a refund or go back in there and give CCM an earful. I decided to do neither. The kids really wanted to see the trains upstairs so we did.

train table where they could flip the switch to start and stop the train

There were other displays - higher up and lined with plexi-glass - of trains that were pretty neat to look at. They also had two tables of wooden trains to play with.

This picture sums up how I felt about the whole visit. meh

Good - The museum is small and it looks like the displays are set up by local collectors who were there working on the displays. I suppose if you were an enthusiast you could chat them up. And the kids enjoyed the displays.

Very bad - I have to say though, if you're in the area and have other things you can do those other things. I really can't recommend a museum - especially one that is a kid magnet-  that allows such an awful person to work or volunteer there.

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