NC Transportation Museum

If you don’t want to read my rant of disappointment then please feel free to skip to the last paragraph!  Fair warning! 😀

Way back in December I purchased tickets from Living Social to visit a local transportation museum that included a train ride.  Since Scout’s obsession with trains is still going strong and the price was right: $24 for 5 people, I thought I couldn’t go wrong with this trip.  I mislead myself.  First, this place is in the boonies.  To get there, it took an hour and a half because you have to drive down every back road known to man.  The town itself is a rink-a-dink place with the dump site located just at the end of main street.  Secondly, they only allowed you to use the tickets right smack in the middle of January.  Not the worst scenario, but jeez, I should have read the fine print.  Then, on the only day Bubba was free before school started, we drove all the way out there to find it is closed.  Why?  Because their hours changed and we can only ride the train on Saturday.  So we triple checked the schedule, Bubba used a vacation day for work, and we made the long drive there for a second time.  Next up on my list of complaints was that the ride lasted a mere 15 minutes.  (Although you could technically ride 30 mins  by riding it back to the station.  Only if you wanted to skip the museum though.)  We had to walk the mile back to our car, while going through many closed, sectioned off, and uncompleted “museums”. 

This is getting ugly.  I need to switch gears before this post becomes a downer.  All that really matters is that the little kids loved the train ride and were thankful for the opportunity.  The kids equally enjoyed being able to chose a toy from their souvenir shop.  🙂  Our time wasn’t a total waste, but I don’t think we will ever go back.  Oh!  And another plus was being able to grab lunch at the local Cracker Barrel.  It was sooo good and it was pretty easy to eat vegetarian there.  (This was before going vegan.) 

The kids are easier to take out to restaurants now, making the lunch a pleasant experience.  No meltdowns! Woo hoo!


The Andy Griffith show is before my time, but like most people my age, we had parents that subjected us to reruns.  The show made a small town in North Carolina famous.  The fictional town of Mayberry is the actual town of, Mt. Airey.   “Mayberry” is often romanticized by people who daydream of living in that picturesque town where residents know your life story, everyone is friendly and traffic doesn’t exist.  The air is clean and the crime is low and people reside in cute farmhouses.  

Guess what?  Mt. Airey really is like that.  I didn’t think it would be, but it is.  

Visiting this little town that sits on the hills in NC has been resting on our bucket list since we came here.  In May, we decided to cross it off our list by making the 2 hour cruise heading north. 

Of course–in true Bubba and Liz fashion– we picked one of the hottest days in May (93*F) to walk around.  With two recovering sick kids to boot.  We were ready to leave after a couple of hours. 

What were we thinking?

I also had certain expectations of this town that were not met.  I assumed the museum would be large and fancy.  I thought the streets would be buzzing with vibrant shops reminiscent of the show and that the town would be large with a lot to do.

The town was pretty much opposite of that.  The museum was as big as the bottom floor of my house, and they didn’t allow any pictures to be taken inside.  They charged way too much money to see a couple of old uniforms, autographed pictures and a bunch of news articles.  That’s it.  Everyone there was complaining about the museum’s audacity to charge such a fee to view a bunch of nonsense.

Main street  was not filled with vibrant shops either.  Instead, it was filled with a bunch of junky gift stores.  We managed to find an okay pie shop to buy a few goodies for thirsty and hungry kids and took home a couple of souvenirs. And that my friends; sums it up.      

However, the town itself is very pretty and friendly; just like the show depicted.  It’s an isolated town in a very rural setting.  If you like that sort of thing, then this is probably a perfect town to call home.  Or visit.

Click through gallery for more pictures.

All photos were taken by me unless otherwise stated.