All Aboard, For Coffee

Having bopped around Nova Scotia for a few years before finally settling on the area we now inhabit, this little family has catalogued knowledge of quite a few fun and quirky things to visit in our province. Some of them are places that we have already visited and others are places that we would like to get around to, one of these days. A place that had been visited by all of the family, except Trainman himself, is the Bike & Bean, a now defunct train station which has been converted into a bike shop and café. The rail trail that it sits on is a great walk/ride, as it connects the capital of city of Halifax to pretty much the entire South Coast of the province. A recent, relatively balmy, spring day afforded us a great opportunity to hit the trail and explore the “trainyness” of the café.

The first thing that Trainman noticed, as we arrived at the Bike & Bean was the orange caboose attached to the bike shop end of the building. He literally screeched at the sight.

We paused to check it out and allow the boys to be goofy for a while…as per usual.

Next we disembarked the bikes from the Thrive Mobile and hit the trail for a spell – shout out to the couple who helped pump up the back tire on Trainman’s fancy wooden trike, thereby avoiding complete tragedy.

For my fellow history buffs, here’s the heritage placard that is posted on this section of the trail.

We spent about 45 minutes on the trail, a personal non-meltdown record for the little Trainman. Everyone was parched upon our return, so we re-holstered the bikes and popped in to hydrate ourselves and check out the internal fabric of the train station cum café.

Mama Structure Sleuth got her customary Earl Grey tea and the boys embraced the joys of soda that they are actually allowed to drink, a.k.a. San Pellegrino. Mama is always impressed with how the conversion of this train station building has mostly managed to retain a station-like atmosphere, despite it so obviously being just a café now.

Sadly, pictures of the inside were difficult to get due to the tangle of people and my feeling odd about snapping multiple pics of random families enjoying their time together. Guess you’ll just have to use your imagination.

The paninis were delicious, a real treat for us. It was a little disappointing that the bike shop owner could not find it in his heart to let me carry the train-obsessed toddler through the inside of his orange caboose but, every once in a while you find one of the 1% of Canadians who don’t bend over backwards to be ultra nice and helpful. C’est La Vie. We peeked in quickly and went back to check out the exterior once more.

The rain was starting to set in as I packed up my wee sugar-high people and headed back home. The drive was punctuated by multiple repeats of the question, “Mama, can we go there again sometime?” “Of course,” I continually replied. But, they just kept asking, I suppose to make certain that I hadn’t already forgotten.

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