A couple weeks ago my mom arranged quite the treat for all of us! She got in touch with a sweet retired couple from church who she’d heard had a train that ran around their property and set up a time for all of us to venture down to south Huntsville to tackle a ride on the Heart of Dixie Railroad. Driving there, my expectations were low, but oh my goodness – I couldn’t believe my eyes when we pulled up.
Heart of Dixie Railroad
Right smack in the middle of a suburban neighborhood was a home with a white picket front yard fence and train tracks. We parked on the street and Joyce, the owner turned conductor, immediately emerged from inside. She handed us little printed paper tickets, and within a minute or so we heard the train blow and come whirling around the side of the house with Mr. Dexter welcoming us aboard.
Sadie and Carly, the one year olds, were a little skeptical at first, but Hadley (almost four) was timidly all about it. Dexter told us a little bit about the train and that everything we’d see, he built designed and built himself. Color me impressed!
I can only imagine the years and years of work that went into planning this railroad. Every detail is meticulously and perfectly done, at least to the naked eye! And Joyce and Dexter are so incredibly humble and act like what they’ve created is no big deal. They were a joy to be around!
I loved how babies and grownups alike could all ride the train safely.
After we did a couple loops, we hopped off and got a tour of Dexter’s model train depot. What he’s built has to be seen in person to be appreciated. I’ve never (ever!) seen something to intricate and perfectly made. Without us even asking, Joyce grabbed a few step stools for the kiddos to climb on to see the train in action.
Here are a few videos I originally shared on my Instagram Story from our afternoon at the Heart of Dixie Railroad. So much fun, and CHECK OUT THAT TUNNEL. Holy moly. Some people blow my mind with how talented and creative they are.
One question we were bursting to ask was “What do the neighbors think?” My mom finally asked, and Dexter smiled, responding that they all tell him that they love to see him having fun. I love it.
You guys – I want Dexter and Joyce to be spotlighted on the TODAY show or something! 🙂 I’m telling you – we were seriously gasping with awe every two seconds. Everything they’ve created is so well done, and their heart for sharing it with others is really sweet. Their children and grandchildren live out of town, so this is what they enjoy doing with a bulk of their time while retired. Talk about GOALS. I don’t necessarily want to build a train around my yard one day, but seeing them work together on this as a team and just live life actively the way they are was wonderful to see. They’re definitely a light to others, and it was a treat to be around them.
Thanks to my mom for setting this up! We loved it!