"When a soul recognises the will of God and shows a readiness to submit to it entirely, then God gives Himself to such a soul and renders it most powerful succour under all circumstances." - Rev. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Ridin' the train!

Last weekend I was super brave and took the train to my parents' house. With Landon. By myself.

I don't remember the last time I was so nervous about something! Only because I was the lone adult with an active toddler and had never ridden the train before. [Okay, so I did ride a train through the Smoky Mountains like 20 years ago? Or something. And I did briefly ride a train from New Jersey to New York about 10 years ago. But I really don't remember much about either one.]

So! Train ride. Since I'm not sure if many people have ridden a train before, I'm going to just go ahead and share my thoughts for those of you considering it (especially with kids!).

  •  Cost
Honestly, the main reason I decided to take the train this particular time is because it was a lot cheaper. My parents were coming to New Orleans for the Saints game on Monday, so I knew we'd be able to ride home with them. So a single one-way adult ticket (Landon was free) was much cheaper than gas money! If Logan were with us and we rode round-trip, the train wouldn't have been cheaper than driving. 
  • Flexibility
The last time I drove home from my parents' house (3 hour drive), Logan wasn't with me and Landon was not very cooperative in his car seat. It was not fun. So the fact that both Landon and I had freedom to walk around the train was pretty nice.

There was also a lounge car that had tables as well as window-facing seats, so we spent some time there. Landon enjoyed the change of scenery, as did I!
  • Movement
This is what I didn't think about - that a train sways unexpectedly. Which is fine for adults and older children since we can balance ourselves. But toddlers? Not so much. All Landon wanted to do was walk around, but since I didn't know when we would sway, I had to keep a hand on Landon at all times...otherwise he'd fly across the aisle or into the window. Landon didn't want my help, being Mr. Independent and all, so that was fun. Not.

Really, though, it would have been fine if another adult was there to give me a break. We were on the train for 4 hours so it was a little exhausting.
He wanted my camera!
  • Space
I can't say anything about sleeper cars, since I didn't actually see one, but I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of space in the coach seats. There was plenty of floor space in front of our seats for Landon to play if he wanted. Although Landon technically should have been in my lap, there were extra seats so he had his own! That was nice. 
  • Bathroom
This was what I was not looking forward to - changing Landon's diaper in a tiny bathroom. And my, it was tiny. There was actually a changing table that opened over the toilet, but Landon barely fit. Plus there was the added fun of a moving train. And I was lucky enough to have to change him twice! He loves to poop in a clean diaper. Sigh.

And then there was the issue of having to use the bathroom myself. Since I was the only adult, I had to bring Landon in the bathroom with me. Into the tiny, tiny bathroom. Fun fun fun. [Let me just say that I would not want to bring a kid that was potty-training. Nope nope nope.]
  • Food
I made sure to bring plenty of snacks for Landon. You could bring your own food - I saw a few people with Subway and other things. We weren't on the train during an actual meal, but right before we got off, they started taking reservations for those wanting to eat in the dining car. I'm curious as to how good the food is and how much it costs!
  • Final thoughts
There were definitely some unpleasant aspects (i.e. bathroom), but it was definitely nice to be able to cuddle with Landon (when he let me), and I even was able to read a few pages in my book at one point when Landon decided to sit still. Towards the end of the ride he even calmed down enough to let me read to him. And I'm sure many toddlers would have fallen asleep at some point. I could have slept myself! Not Landon, though...

I'm sure Landon enjoyed the train a lot more than being stuck in a car seat for 3 hours, and I know I would have enjoyed myself a lot more if Logan had been with us. But of course, riding the train probably isn't the most cost-efficient way for every trip. It definitely has its perks though! If I ever had to travel alone (no kids), I'd totally consider the train since I could just read and write and do whatever I wanted the whole time. But maybe I'm just weird. :)

1 comment:

  1. How fun! Great job at being so detailed about the trip. Trains seem so ... scary...mostly because we don't ride them regularly. However, it sounds like a pretty decent trip and definitely a nice option when needed. Can't wait to hear more this weekend! :)


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