Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Misadventures of the well intended

So today has been fun. In an attempt to find a short cut, we walked blocks and blocks and blocks to find the train station, almost lost a child, got on the wrong train, missed our stop, broke a suitcase and went for an exteremly long walk. Yes today was a good day.

So when we were planning our trip to London we decided to book a hotel close to the airport for the first night and the last and then one close to the city for the two nights in between. Of course this planning was done before we packed and without having ever travelled with lots of luggage and 3 young children. A short walk sounds easy when you are sitting comfortably on a couch booking plans on your laptop. Needless to say it was no walk in the park trying to transport 2/3 of our luggage ( thank God the first hotel let us store some of our bags) and 3/3 of our children from train to tram to bus and then walk a couple blocks. We did this relatively smoothly on the inbound trip and decided to try an easier route going back to the hotel near the airport. Nugget of wisdom "if it ain't broke don't fix it". I wish I would have remembered that.

On our last full day in England we experienced a nightmare. We got all of our luggage, which mysteriously kept increasing by one bag ever place we went too, and all of our children to the train station. We got on the first train and got off at a junction, now I debated about writing this next part but it's my blog and I write what I want to :). I said we should just get on the tram and go back to the hotel the way we came from it. My husband said the employee gave him different instructions, so we went with the bad advice.

Disaster number 1. We got on the wrong train. We were on and sitting comfy when I realized our exit wasn't coming up on the sign. We asked several people and we were indeed on the wrong train. We got ourselves together and began to collect our things when the train came to the next stop.

Disaster number 2. We were half ready and Shnook got off the train the doors closed and my heart sank. I jammed on the door open button and banged on the doors but they would bot open. Ted ran over and pulled the emergency handle and swish the doors slid open and I grabbed my baby. After lots of hugs and deep breaths, we were off again and this time on the right train.

Disaster number 3. We were on the train eating lunch and making sure everyone used the restroom. We kept our luggage close and sat near the exit, we are learning. However, when Shnook, yes same kid, went to the bathroom we came to our stop. Both of the other boys started yelling where is Shnook, remembering our last event. So we missed our stop because we weren't even chancing it. Shnook walked out of the bathroom smiling at the cool buttons for control it, completely oblivious of the fact that we missed our stop.

Disaster number 4. So we rode to the next stop, switch trains and finally get to our stop. We were hurrying and trying to get everyone off the train, panicking about the doors closing on us. Shmeep was pulling a brand new carry-on we bought in NYC and the wheel got stuck. I picked it up and together we yanked it free, breaking it of course. But, we were all off the train at the correct stop with all of our belongings. It was only 2pm.

finally off the train

We left our stroller in Brooklyn, which sounds like the title of a bad song I could wrote given our experience without it, and as a result our 3 year old was asking to be picked up every few blocks the whole trip. As we walked the mile and a half back to our hotel, (don't ask why we didn't get a taxi we were spent, brains fried) we just kept hearing this little voice saying "pick me, pick me". Teddy and I just started laughing, it had been a crazy day but we all made it through. Of course we learned a few things too, like never let your child get out of the train first, prepare to exit the train as it leaves the stop before yours, listen to your wife;), and very important buy a new stroller as soon as you realize you forgot it. Most importantly, hug your children and laugh with your partner because no matter the situation, it could have been worse.


  1. I imagined these things happening when I kept telling you or Teddy;"It is not going to be easy". You remember when I went to England with my 3 kids, by myself? I did not experience all these on the same day, but one child would not come down the escalator of the tube station once. The rest of us were at the bottom. He kept calling out for help until a kind soul brought him down.On a different occasion, we were traveling south to Sussex from London, and I dozed off. At midnight, we found ourselves in Hasting, all the way on the other side and had to back track till all hours of the night. But, you live and learn.
    Take care of yourselves and have a wonderful time. My love and kisses to all.

  2. Oh my goodness! My heart sank when I read the part about baby getting off the train. Eek! Great post. Loved the ending.