One of the things I really wanted to do when we were in Bowling Green, KY, last month was visit the Historic Railpark and Train Museum at the former L&N (Louisville and Nashville) depot.
We started with a guided tour of five restored train cars. First, we got to see the engineer’s point-of-view from the E-8 Engine:
Next, we went through the 1921 Railway Post Office Car, and learned the story of Owney, a stray dog who became a postal mascot:
The Duncan Hines Diner Car (yes, that Duncan Hines…a food writer after which the cake mixes were named. He was a real person, and a Bowling Green native!) may have been my favorite car…I felt like I had stepped into a scene from White Christmas!
It was interesting to see the different classes of travel available in the Towering Pine Sleeper Car, as well as how cleverly they stored things in the walls and ceiling of the train. This time, I felt like I was in an episode of I Love Lucy!
Finally, we walked through the L&N Presidential Car, which was reserved for the president of the railroad, and contained a dining/conference room, kitchen, sleeping compartments, and a bathroom:
After the tour of the interior of the train cars, we walked around outside to see how they were all different.
We also saw the L&N Caboose and a Hospital Car, which is in the process of being restored:
There is also a museum inside the old depot:
The big waiting room of the depot is still beautiful. We learned that in addition to the segregated waiting room, there was also a small waiting room set aside for single women who were traveling alone. We especially liked the tile floor, which was laid with intentional mistakes here and there:
I’ll be honest…I didn’t really know what to expect before our visit. But it ended up being an amazing tour! It was like stepping into the past for a bit as we walked through the various cars. And the exhibits in the museum were very informative, and had some great items on display. I loved our visit, and I hope to go back someday and see the medical car once it’s finished!
When we travel, I like to look for fun experiences we wouldn’t necessarily be able to have back home. One such experience in Bowling Green, KY, was visiting Chaney’s Dairy Barn, which offers family farm tours on Mondays and Fridays during the summer for $8 a person.
It was a hot, sunny day, and we were very grateful that our wagon ride from the ice cream parlor to the farm, even though short, was covered!
We got to see a seven months pregnant cow and two calves, including one that was less than a week old! We just missed out on seeing their new robotic milker, but we did learn a lot about how technology is used on dairy farms!
Ladybug even got to help out with a demonstration…she had her finger hooked up to a milking machine, which she thought felt very weird!
After our visit with the cows, we returned to the ice cream parlor for our free scoop of ice cream (a highlight of the tour!) and a look around the gift shop.I tried the most Kentucky sounding flavor they had…bourbon crunch. It was delicious!
This was a really fun place to visit, and we learned a lot while we were there!
The second day of our trip to Bowling Green, KY, was a Sunday, and we discovered that the Hardin Planetarium, located on the Western Kentucky University campus, had a free show on Sunday afternoons. Of course we had to go…the show was focused on New Horizons and Pluto!
There were some great displays in the building, and the show was fantastic! I think we all learned something, and we also found out that the shows change about every six weeks, so there is clearly always something new to see at the Hardin Planetarium!