Deerfield Beach, FL, December 2011
About this photo: Thematic explores the nutty world of the grocery store for just a few more hours. Click here to get your retail vision up - or pop back at 7:00 p.m. Eastern (hey, that's tonight!) when we launch our all-new theme, pairs.Tucked into the back of a commuter rail station is a sliver of history that's almost too easy to miss if you aren't looking closely enough. It's called the South Florida Railway Museum, and I went there with the boys and my father-in-law on one sunny afternoon because boys and trains have always been an ideal combination.
The museum, lovingly built and maintained by teams of dedicated volunteers, grabbed their attention as soon as they got inside. Imagine a bunch of guys who've spent their lives working the rails - and in some cases second or third-generation railway workers - spending their free time building intricate displays in miniature. Their mandate: Tell the story of how trains helped build the south, of how transportation has influenced the lives of those who may have never even set foot on a train.
The kids loved the trains and the intricate settings, of course, and spent an inordinate amount of time observing them from every possible angle. But it was how they listened to these passionate industry veterans that really got me. Everyone had a story, everyone wanted to share it with us, and our sons were only too happy to soak it all in.
We hung around for a good chunk of time, always finding something new to see and discuss. It was the kind of low-key place that turned into a delightful find, the kind of place I hope to return to on our next visit to see how their next set of upgrades turns out. For the museum, like life itself, is a never-ending work-in-progress. I'm guessing the lessons our sons picked up from this visit extended well beyond trains.
Your turn: Have you ever discovered something really neat in a decidedly out-of-the-way place?