We moved east for many reasons, but a big one was to be closer to family and friends so that we could travel less. When we lived in Texas, if we wanted to see anyone, we had to get on a plane, which is terrible for so many reasons:
First, there’s the packing – 3-year-olds require massive carseats, strollers, every piece of clothing and every toy they own, 84 activities and about 92 snacks.
Then there’s getting through the airport – crowds of people who aren’t looking where they are walking, and any one of them could bump into or knock Sienna over in a second. (with FOP, she can’t have any falls) Then there’s the lines to check the gear, lines to get through security, furious unpacking of carefully packed bags to be allowed through security. Don’t even get me started on surly TSA agents who question Sienna’s helmet. We’ve moved away from having her wear it all the time, but I still bring it back for airports because I feel like they are so dangerous. Then there’s the waiting at the gate, which is either endless because we left enough of a buffer for the aforementioned lines, or non-existent because we are sprinting to the gate at the last minute due to traffic, lines, snacks, or 7 potty stops. Somehow we can never time it just right.
Then there’s the flight itself. Everyone has to sit still. No one can make noise. Even though 12 new shows have been downloaded on the Kindle Fire, WE FORGOT CURIOUS GEORGE. Curious George is viewable in the cloud, but even though we are technically IN a cloud, we won’t be able to access George. The drink cart provides about 5 minutes of entertainment, but then we are always left with three hours and forty five minutes of stir-craziness.
Don’t even get me started on the germ landmine of flying during flu season. Sienna can’t get flu shots because shots cause muscle trauma, which triggers FOP flare-ups. She also can’t get the flu mist because that has also been shown to cause flare-ups. Sneezes… Sick people cooped up on a plane breathing the same air… Sienna touching any surface she sees… It all gives me chills. Especially this week, when we all got sick just from regular non-travel life.
So, since our move, we have been celebrating our lack of need to fly as a family.
But then the holidays crept up on us. We have a set of grandparents (AND Sienna’s great grandmother!) in Florida, and we really want to see them.
Shoot. Christmas is during flu season.
Well… Florida IS still on the east coast.
There must be another way.
Rare Dad remembered that there is a special train that travels from DC to Florida. You take your car with you, sleep right on the train in little private rooms with beds that fold down, and you wake up in Florida.
Bingo! Sienna LOVES trains! Since her daddy takes a train to work every day, she has become very excited about trains. We sometimes pick him up at the platform on Friday evenings and she goes wild.
So, we will be packing up the car, making a 5-hour drive to DC, spending the night on a train, popping out in Orlando and driving 2-3 more hours to our final destination.
This is totally the best idea ever. Everything is going to go smoothly and this will become an annual family tradition.
What could possibly go wrong?