I made two critical errors: #1 I packed my phone charger in checked luggage. This was a bummer because my battery life ran down, making GPS from the phone a challenge...and I have become engrossed in a book (John Rosemond, Parenting by the Book) using the kindle for iphone app (its free!). It is probably for the best because with nothing to read, I went to bed at 9:45.
This would prove to be a blessing since mistake #2 was attempting to share a bunk with K. Our accommodations were two 'roomette' sleeper cars with two chairs each that converted to a bunk bed set up.
The boys shared one room (R&P on bottom bunk, Daddy on top) and K & I shared the roomette across the hall. This was the view from our room to theirs...
K begged me to sleep with her. Since we do not do this at home I thought it sounded like a great opportunity to scratch her little curly head and cuddle as she fell asleep. We did have a hysterical bedtime conversation about the good things about being a girl. Our list included things like manicures, having babies and dressing up, so you can imagine how I laughed out loud when she offered the following to the list: "It's good to be a girl because you can cut up cucumbers and put them on your eyes while people rub your feet." Sounds great, especially considering in my 35 years of being female I have never had that experience!
Other than that precious conversation, the reality of bunking together was not nearly as sweet as I imagined. She kicked, flopped, stole covers and took up 70% of the bunk. At 3am I finally surrendered to my need for sleep and shifted to the top bunk. Thank goodness for 4 good hours of rest!
We revisited the dining car this morning for breakfast as we drove through the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. The sights outside our window were lush and beautiful. We loved being able to show the children a glimpse of Charlottesville, where we lived the first year of our marriage.
Union Station was chaotic and bustling--a far cry from our sleepy, sweet town. The children were able to enjoy their first cab ride (2nd and 3rd have occurred today as well) as we journeyed to the hotel.
Friends are joining us, as both Daddies have educational meetings to attend. We found it most economical to get a suite with an adjoining room so the 5 children could enjoy a sleepover while the adults had bedrooms. Imagine our delight to arrive and find we had been bumped up to a swanky suite for the price of the standard one. We were so shocked we called two different people at the front desk to make sure we had been taken to the right place. In the words of R, "Dey shu-wa do make da lamps fancy he-ya, Mommy."
It was especially rewarding considering the very cramped accommodations on the train!
The weather is wet and cold so we decided to spend the afternoon at the Air and Space Museum--a hit with the children, but especially with Daddy! Hopefully tomorrow will be pretty for some real exploring of the National Mall, monuments and the zoo.
But with this high class room and our lack of sleep, it appears an early bedtime is in order.