Was the train really smooth or bumpy? It was pretty smooth unless you walking between cars. In that case, you open the door, then open the second door. That space between the two doors was really rough. There were times when walking that you really needed to hold on to the seats around you. If you were sitting it was no big deal, just like riding a plane.
What did we pack? The question should really be, what didn’t we pack?! No in all honesty, I packed 1 ½ suitcases for the kids and myself, which included diapers and wipes. I have a list of things that I pack each time we go anywhere, call me type A but I’ve never gotten to my destination and needed something. With 3 kids, I need organization, especially when packing for a 6 day trip! I didn’t get there and have to buy anything because I forgot it. If anyone is interested in my packing list, I'm happy to post it here! I stalked and stalked blogs and pinterest until I came up with a list that works for us. I modify it based off of where we are traveling and HOW we are traveling but it's a general list that we use every.single.time. I've never had to run out and immediately buy something because I forgot to pack it. I guess there are times when my super type A personality really pays off!
What was in our carry on? Each kid had a backpack, yes even the two year old. So each kid had a backpack and I had my own carry on. I had an adult coloring book and colored pencils (wishful thinking!), a change of clothes for everyone, including myself, medications, a first aid kit, my wallet, chargers and a Tula (baby carrier). Here is what was included in their carryons: A coloring book, 6 crayons, post its, scotch tape, a few workbooks from the dollar store, kindles for each kid, headphones, a small blanket, a fleece hoodie, tick tack toe, dice, a game sheet, old maid, playing cards, Christmas crafts from Michaels, foam monster sticker crafts, paint chips (the free ones from home dept), a random bag of stickers, a small bag of legos for each child, a Dr Suess book, sleep mask for each kid, two matchbox cars each… Pretty much we packed it all. Honestly, we used nearly everything for the way there or the way back. For kids the ages of our three, it’s important that they are stimulated and occupied. They didn’t play the kindle the entire time and they didn’t watch a movie. Although they could have if they wanted too.
How were the bathrooms? In our car, there were 4 bathrooms. They are ALL downstairs. The stairs are slim and steep. It was a little difficult for my 2 ½ year old during the bumpy ride to get up and down the stairs. He held on to the rails and refused help. I stood in front of him on the way down and behind him on the way up in case he fell. He didn’t. Bella didn’t like the bathrooms. She said “they make me anxious when it’s bumpy”. She held on to the rails in the bathroom. There were 2 smaller plane sized bathrooms. There was one “vanity bathroom” that had a toilet, sink, two stools and a large mirror. The kids liked standing in the vanity area when I was using the restroom. The toilet had a door that closed. Perfect space if you wanted to freshen up. The biggest bathroom had tons of space, we all stood and didn’t have to touch each other. There were changing tables in 2 of the 4 bathrooms.
How were the other passengers? Honestly everyone was really friendly. One of the train attendants, Ben, made a lasting impression on the kids. He joked with them about their stuffed animals being on the train and said “this is a people train, not an animal train”. They thought he was funny. He helped us ONTO the train and OFF of the train. The attendants overall were very helpful and friendly. I felt like I had more help from them then I did from flight attendants when I’ve traveled alone with kids. Many of the passengers commented how the kids were doing or asked about their trip. One even commended my parenting style, I was pleasantly surprised.