Sunday, June 30, 2013


For anyone who sometimes find themselves taking the scenic route back from Pennsylvania to NYC: do yourselves a favor and stop at Northlandz, in Flemington NJ next time. We avoided all the hideous traffic on 95 and got to see the world's biggest model train set. It's kind of insane.

First, you get your tickets and ride the little train around the grounds. This is really exciting if you are, say, not quite two years old and think that "tootoo"s (trains) are the coolest things on earth, next to large bodies of water and cats. (The older folks enjoyed it too, I have to admit.)

Riding the tootoo

Then you go in the main building and follow the unguided tour of the world's biggest train set. You end up walking about a mile in total, through countless little rooms. In the first room, there's a sign that says "This room represents 1% of the show." In the next room, there's a sign that says "You have now completed 2% of the show, 98% to go!" Probably to help give people a sense of the scale of the thing, so they don't dawdle too much at the beginning. Cause it's HUGE. Here are a few highlights from our hour-and-fifteen minute tour:

One of countless little detailed towns

One of the smaller trestle bridges

The big city!

Part of the amusement park

Looking down into one of the canyons

Oh, and then there are some very creepy doll collections

There were so many little detailed touches, like these people being rescued from a plane crash

There was so much to see. There was a running joke about outhouses built in unreasonable places, there were tiny models of a mountain-top monastery, a toothpick farm and a crooked car dealership, there were  little cubbyholes with antique train equipment in them, as well as paintings of trains, paintings of random other things by local artists, a collection of Star Wars memorabilia, a collection of antique radios, and a giant performance room with three antique organs in it, among many, many other things.

I love this kind of place, and I can't believe we didn't know it existed before. Totally worth the trip, y'all!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Zen and the art of scootering

Perfect weekend