Ana, however, fell asleep for her nap on the way there and didn't wake up until later when we had left and were at a cafe in Balboa Park eating.
What got the kid excited? There was a tile train track on the floor with names of financial donors to the museum and Enzo thought it was fun that we pretended the stroller was a train on the track as we toured through the train displays. Seriously, playing with the Thomas toys and cruising the tile track in the stroller were the main exhibits for him. Kids are funny.
And then we hit the big prize. We stopped in the gift shop where Enzo became amazingly excited about an "up and down train." "Papi, an up and down train!!!!!! Remember my up and down train broke? Look at this up and down train, can we take this with us?!!!!" It took a few questions of mine and his attempts at patient answers before I understood. But then I got what he was explaining to me. This particular toy train had the side rods (I just looked up the proper name on the internet, also called coupling rods) that connect the wheels and go up and down as the wheels roll just like real steam trains have. He was SOOO excited about this. I handed him the money his Grandma and Grandpa gave him for the trip and he paid the nice lady at the counter for his new Up and Down train.
Best money spent on the whole trip, it was. That train practically became a part of the family for the rest of the trip. It was always close at hand if not actually in his hand. He held it at all times in the car seat whether to play with or to hold as he slept. At nights it was next to the bed on the night stand. It joined us for every meal. At parks it traveled every concrete edge. If he needed to put it down to climb a ladder for a slide he would run up to me, place the train in my pocket, and then go. It didn't get placed on the floor at beaches or parks if he wasn't playing with it. And now, back at home as I write this, it is his favorite toy and is his main train on his wooden train tracks.
I loved having so much time with the kids. It was wonderful. And each day, it was wonderful to meet with Tami for more exploring and dinner and family time.
(Ana climbing the flag pole supports in Old Town.)