Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bliss: Blissfield Railroad Days with Philip

Riding the rails on the Adrian & Blissfield line,  with Elissa and Philip.
We passed old trains, vintage & colorful, shops, a park, a building
featuring Michelangelo's "hands touching." went over a bridge, enjoyed the
 scenery.  Then we had lunch, walked around town. One storefront features
a large Zebra that drew us in.  Elissa looks fashionable in large glasses 

and white hat, always adored by her favorite person in the whole world! 
Blissfield, Michigan, is just a few miles up the road from Sylvania, so on Sunday Elissa, Philip and I took a ride up through farmland to the annual Blissfield Railroad Days.  It was a cool but sunny day, fluffy clouds dancing in a blue sky that caught Philip's attention.  The farms looked wet (we've had lots of rain this spring) and slowly greening;  a few cows were grazing, a few horses; the old red barns looked pretty on the horizon, one graced by bright yellow daffodils.We live in the city, and we're city folks, but in 10 minutes we can be in the country, enjoying the far-flung flat farm fields and quiet beauty.

Blissfield is a neat little town, once a bustling railroad stop connecting Toledo, Elkhart, Indiana, and Chicago. There are so many towns like this in the Great Lakes Basin, as I now call it since that lecture at Lourdes about the National Great Lakes Museum.  Blissfield also has lots of intact historic buildings in and around its downtown, dating back to before the Civil War and into the 20th century.  The railroad still runs, both freight and passenger trains, although nowadays it's mostly known for its excursion and dinner trains.  Railroad Days brings in lots of people, to ride the trains, eat, explore, and shop. Antique malls entice visitors. We began at The Packrat. As friends have posted on facebook, the name "Packrat" has Elissa written all over it!  I think Philip might be following in his Gran E's footsteps, because he ooh'ed and ah'ed in every shop, and selected and bought three fabulous little toys.  We followed our energetic and enthusiastic shopper all over town.

Of course the best thing was taking a train ride on the old Blissfield and Adrian line, Philip's first but not his last, that's for sure.  We went a short distance between Blissfield's two train depots.  Local model train collectors opened their homes for visits, but we got engrossed in the antique shops and whatever model trains they had running, until it was time to head home.

"Blissfield's rich railroad history comes to life in this annual event,"  the event organizers proclaim. It did for Elissa, Philip and me. We'll go back next year, and take in more of those model train displays.    

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