Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The District: Day One

Our overnight train ride from Atlanta to DC was a success. The children really, really enjoyed it. I was worried they might be a tad young to appreciate the adventure of it all, but they seemed to be a perfect age for it. 

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.


Helen Joy said...

How fun! I remember being about 5 or 6 and my mom and dad taking us on an overnight train ride to DC. It was so exciting!

Mom Guide said...

Welcome to the District! If you get a chance check out the Smithsonian Natural History and the big merry go round near the Smithsonian.

kellymartinau said...

I just finished that book - oh my goodness, I LOVED it! Completely changed so many of my views of parenting! Wonderful book! I think you'll get so much out of it!

Pam said...

Great time with your family! Thanks for posting pics. Traveling by train would be so cool (for a short time)!

Mom of Eleven said...

Have fun, remember to check out the Peeps store!

C Rogers said...

Hi, this is my first visit to your blog and I'm so excited. I am a mom of twins (age 5) and a sweet daughter (age 7). I'm getting ready to start my own blog this week. In what city did you first board the train? One of my dear friends also has triplets, so you have my utmost respect and admiration. (And I enjoy having someone I can look to and say, "At least all THREE of mine aren't melting down now..."

Mindy said...

Sounds like great fun! I cannot WAIT to hear what you have to say about Rosemond's book. I have a mile high pile of books to get through but that one is definately on my TO GET list.

Chelsea & Nick said...

I feel like I'm on this trip with you guys. LOVED your precious bed time conversation, too. What fun memories you all are making on this trip.

Chelsea & Nick said...

Okay that first sentence sounded kind of weird/ stalkerish. Let me clarify: Your descriptive WRITING makes ONE feel as if HE/SHE were seeing the trip through your eyes.

No I'm not ON the trip with you. Sorry. Ha.

Anonymous said...

What a fun trip! Your bedtime conversations remind me of my own with my little one. Have a wonderful time. I can't wait to see what your kids think of all the sights of D.C.