Sunday, June 12, 2005

The Magic Of Taking The Train...

The girls and I arrived safely in Quebec EARLY this morning after a wonderful train ride up to my Mom & John’s. Both girls just love taking the train, especially when we can get the bedroom with the 3 beds. When I looked at how long the school year was this year and how badly Nick needed time to do all the end of year paperwork, file writing etc., I decided that instead of going to Columbus and leaving him in charge of everything, I would pack up my work, pull the girls out of school for a week and leave him with an empty house, no fixed schedule and the chance to work late or eat out of a pot over the sink to save on dishes whenever he felt like it.

So as soon as Erin’s last school project for report cards was completed, we got ready to go! We boarded the train last night before supper in Moncton and waved goodbye to Nick, then settled into the sleeper room. Bethany has to take the couch that converts into the bed because I need place to hang my toes over the end of the other bottom bed and Erin always claims the upper bunk bed, but this time she was kind enough to let Bethany come up for a few minutes of play time.

Our meals were included on this section of the trip because the only way the 3 bedroom car was available was as part of a special “touring package”. It meant that we went down to the dining car for dinner (a luxury we probably would have avoided otherwise) for a wonderful gourmet meal. They did have a children’s menu for Bethany that offered her a small personal pepperoni pizza, a glass of cherry kool-aid and a pudding cup, but not being used to the rocking motion of the train caused an immediate kool-aid catastrophe on the first sip. Boom! Bright pink drink all over the nice white linen napkin in her lap and halfway down her shirt. She began to cry, of course, in that 6 year old mix of sadness & embarrassment spurred on my by cry of “Oh, Bethany!” but then a lovely waitress came over to comfort her and told her that often SHE was a mess by the end of the night if the train lurched while she was serving food! She brought Bethany another warm roll to munch on and made such an impression that Bethy went up to her later to say “Thank you for making me feel better!”.

After dinner, we went for a ride in the observation car to watch the sunset near the Baie des Chaleurs. Erin, or course, was hoping to see the famous burning ghost ship, while Bethany was more interested in the new game of Pokemon Emerald that I’d purchased for us to play on the trip. Knowing that excitement would keep them awake and wiggly, I didn’t push the jammies until almost 9:30. They wanted to have a paint the nails party, but I managed to explain that Mommy couldn’t possibly do a good job while the train was so wobbly. I am severely challenged at putting nail polish on when everything is still...

Finally, around 10:15, both girls each told me a story before I told them one and we all fell asleep to the rocking motion of the train. Waking up at 5:30 am to get a quick breakfast (also included in our ticket worth eating) wasn’t too bad because Quebec is on EST... so it was 6:30 for us. I am sure that we’ll all be in bed early tonight!!

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