Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Traveling with Children

I took the train to CT last week to visit my family. My last train trip with five year old Caroline was one of my worst travel experiences. This was before we had a DS or DVD player. All she had to occupy her was her motion sick mother. Three hours into the trip she'd lost interest in the coloring books and stickers. She didn't want to listen to Stuart Little (it wasn't as good as I remembered). She wanted to bounce on the seat and crawl on the floor. As I was bent over hissing at her to get up, she complied and bounced right into my head with such force that my sunglasses broke. Now I had a headache to go with the nausea, then the train broke down and we lost AC. We finally made it after I vowed to never get on another train again.

Well, 7 years later, I decided to chance it again. No surprise I was ridiculously nervous. I spent hours trying to cram a weeks worth of clothes into small bags, I gathered as many things as I could think of to entertain the girls. Luckily, we now have DS's and DVD players. I went through every worse scenario in my head, so much so that I woke up at midnight the night before our trip and repacked our suit cases into smaller bags so we could carry them on the train more easily.

In the end, all the planning worked out really well. As I watched people struggle with furniture sized luggage (Obviously they didn't read the Amtrak luggage criteria like I did at midnight), I was very glad of the revised suitcase plan. Lily was so charmed with the idea of the train. She and Caroline were so good! They watched movies and colored and cuddled and had a wonderful time! The lady in front of me made sure to tell me that I had "two wonderful little ladies." I couldn't have been prouder!

The trip itself was wonderful. We had so much fun with our family. We went to the beach and went kayaking. There is an amazing playground right on the beach and Lily had a blast. My step mother planned a special sewing craft with each girl. We also got a chance to see the new amazing town library that my uncle helped plan. One of the neatest parts was that Caroline got to go into NY with my uncle and Ellen to see the King Tut exhibit. She and Ellen are both very interested in ancient Egypt. Ellen will be going to NYU next year, so hopefully, next summer Ellen can take Caroline into NY again. While they were in NY, my step mother and I took Lily to a children's museum. She had so much fun playing in the water room.

I was so glad that I was able to take the girls to the place where I grew up. It is wonderful that they have the chance to spend time with my family.


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