ATX Bucket List: Austin Steam Train

Now that our impending move date is drawing closer, I've been itching to get things crossed off my family's Texas bucket list. At the tippy top of that list was the Austin Steam Train.

We had been meaning to do this for a long time since Jude (like most little boys) is all about trains. It's just hard for us to make plans to do fun, all night things because of Noodles.

Poor Noodles. She's always the foil to our adventures, as we always forget to make plans for her when we're planning a night out or a vacation. I love her, but I'd have a lot more checked off our Texas bucket list by now if it weren't for her.

Enter: DogVacay. From their site:

DogVacay is a website and app that makes finding great pet sitters simpler than ever. Pet owners can search for pet sitters nearby, book stays and pay online, all with a couple clicks. Our hosts watch your pup in their own home and treat him like a member of the family while you're gone, so you can finally have peace of mind while you travel!

So, it's kind of like Airbnb, but for dogs. And it's great! DogVacay made it possible for me to have a nice, sit down dinner with my family at Blue Corn Harvest and take a three hour train ride through hill country afterwards.

After we dropped Noodles off with host Melissa R for a last minute booking, we high tailed it up to Cedar Park. (This above photo, incidentally, is one of the photos Melissa snapped of Noodles enjoying her backyard while we were away).

Caroline was so happy and Jude is jumping for joy.

I think Lucy was just pleased to be out of her car seat.

Mesmerized by the passing scenery.

 But they were perhaps more so impressed by the snack car and using their Austin Steam Train Association dollars to buy M&M's and rootbeer.

 Our train car was the very last one and although the snack car was perfectly delightful, my favorite part was standing out on the back breezeway. The fact that you're allowed to stand back there must be a very well kept secret because only one other family joined us.

At the half way point, there's a little layover at a train depot built in 1912 in Bertram, Texas. While stopped, Jude wanted to take a closer look at the locomotive engine. It really was majestic!

I love that this may end up being one of Jude's earliest childhood memories.

It was so nice to not have to rush back to let Noodles out or worry if she had an accident in our house while we were away for so long. With Noodles well taken care of, I was able to relax, take in the scenery, and watch the Texas sunset from the back of a moving train: 

All this fun is thanks in part to DogVacay who made this minivacay possible for me and my family. If you have a summer bucket list you're trying to complete and there's a dog preventing this, check out DogVacay. New customers can enjoy $10 off their first booking with code ADOREDAUSTIN. Go here to get more info and check them out on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, too. For more info the train ride, check out