Our family before it all went wrong.
So, for any of you that read my blog…you will notice a recurring theme. Travel has not gone very well for our fam. I’m not sure if it is the Big Man telling us that we just need to hang at home for a while or what…but it may have finally taken this last misadventure to finally sink in.
Earlier this summer we had the “missing our flight, stuck in an airport with a breast feeding newborn for ten hours and three standby flights” trip; then there was my “girls weekend where I tried to come home early to spend the day with my hubby on our anniversary and my car breaks down and I’m stranded in the boonies” trip; and finally, the Great Train Escapade. Or “How To Push My Husband To His Absolute Limit Before He Kills Somebody” trip.
We thought we were golden with the train ride. Planes and cars, not so much – so how could we go wrong on a train? In fact, fellow mommy blogger, Shelley, and her family went earlier this summer and LOVED it, so of course our kids would love it, we could relax on the journey, walk to our hotel from the station and it would be the trip of a lifetime. Oh, it was a trip, let me tell you.
We boarded the train with the optimism of kiddos on Christmas morning. Even I was doing a little jig. So much fun! Seeing the countryside! Baby J could get out of her carseat! We could dine in the restaurant car! Oh boy, I couldn’t wait.
Train left the station and all is well. Boys were in heaven and had to go the bathroom every five minutes (they just wanted an excuse to go down the stairs). We immediately got Baby J out of her car seat and Shane and Jade went to check out the café cart (which was just that, a cart).
About an hour later the novelty started to wear off. Boys got tired of going to the bathroom, Baby J was getting fussy and wouldn’t get into her car seat (we jumped the gun on that one) and Shane was starting to realize how slow the train was actually going. (Sidebar: One of my hubby’s hot buttons is inefficiency…and this wasn’t exactly a bullet train). Right about the time everyone started complaining. (except me of course), the train came to a halt. Make that a three hour halt. In the middle of nowhere. Apparently a freight train derailed and was blocking our track and we were stuck with a capital S. At this point we could have driven to Fort Worth (and we still had halfway to go). Shane was not a happy camper and it is safe to say that he took it the hardest of all of us. (Another hot button: not being in control…you can see where this is going).
So what else could a mama do? Drink a Bloody Mary courtesy of my seat mate (a cute college girl who I think had just come in from a party before the train left…those were the days). Drink while my baby cried, the boys got lost (yes, got lost on the train…some elderly couple found them hiding in the luggage rack…) and watched as my husband started to seethe. It was not a pretty sight.
Fast forward eight hours. The train has run out of anything remotely edible, not even an ice cube, I’ve run out of formula for Baby J and am running out of ideas to entertain the kids while keeping Shane from killing someone. We finally rolled into Fort Worth (after another long stop so the crew could switch out because they were on overtime…seriously??) . We were tired, dirty, starving and scared of Shane.
My friend (God love you Allison) picks us up (mind you, we’ve totally missed all our afternoon pool party plans), and Shane is so mad that he wants to walk to the hotel to cool down. Good in theory (like this entire trip) until my friend pointed him to the wrong hotel. We won’t even go there. It is way too ugly for my blog.
We finally made it. (By the way, the Omni Hotel in Fort Worth ROCKS. I highly recommend it…great for kids. ) It took Shane until the next day to calm down. Which, I neglected to mention, was the day we were coming home (who planned this trip anyway?). So after a visit to the Fort Worth Zoo (another highly recommended spot…fabulous zoo where I used to work!) and only a few minor mishaps (one son dropped a backpack full of toys into an exhibit while on the brink of a breakdown Shane had to climb in and retrieve it, and the other one tried to take a dead bird home ((unbeknownst to us)) as a pet)…we had to get back on the train (after washing my son’s hands for an hour in scalding hot water while explaining why he can’t take home a dead bird).
I better have gotten all the traveling out of my system…because my friends, the Fernandez Family is staying home. At least until they invent another form of transportation.