Just like in The Hobbits Tale by Bilbo Baggins, Christy is going there and back again. This morning she is catching the 6:15am flight to Rhinelander WI. She is going home on planned trip we had on the calendar last year to officiate a wedding for a friend of our family. She will get to spend Father’s Day with her dad and be back Sunday night at midnight. All to turn around and go back a week later.
Don’t worry about me while she is gone, I got this single dad thing figured out now.
One of the joys of riding the train are the people you meet. Because we have a group of five you can’t eat with others or sit a viewing table. However we still got times to hang with others. Everyone minus Amelia were playing games and looking at the river. During that time everyone went to the bathroom and while they were gone I invited two others to join us
The attendant was walking through the car to find a spot for two kids to hang out. Seeing that they were alone I invited them into our family. They got on in St.Paul and were on their way to Lacrosse,WI to see their grandma. They were immediatly included in our family. When our kids got back they didn’t skip a beat. “Of course there will be more kids at our table.”
Once a foster family always a foster family I guess.
Last nights sleep was much better. Thanks for praying that no one would fill up the seats next to us. We all got two seats to spread out on, except Samuel took the floor.
It was surreal waking up in MN and having our past come back. Most of the towns we went through had a story or friend that lives there. We passed within a mile of the hospital that A & E were born and half a mile from our first home that we purchased. Seeing the Mpls skyline was also a treat. We also passed through the UofM and saw the campus church that we had our first ministry position.
After getting through the layover in StPaul and back on track we experienced the Mississippi river like we have never before. The train runs right alongside the river which gives a great vantage point to view the wildlife (Elliot spotted three deer) and the vastness of the river. It always fun crossing the river into the Promise Land.
We took some time in the viewing car today to drink hot chocolate (I gave in and just bought them instead of begging for hot water) and played games. The national Parks have a guide in the car to point out historical and interesting facts so we also listened to him. Samuel completed the junior ranger book and got his very own badge. He says he wil give it to papa Bill.
We have only a few more stops left and we look forward to getting off and seeing the family.
This was the long day and if we were to break it would have been today. But we didn’t. Oh yes I understand, as you do, that our kids are perfect and can find amusement out of anything. So endless praires and a random rusted out car alongside of the road was childs play for them to produce entertainment.
Elliot and I had a good time dreaming up what it would be like if we lived out in the middle of nowhere and had endless acres to work. We decide it would be too much work but it would be cool to have dirt bikes and atvs.
We did finally break down and pull the computers out to watch a movie. They were dissapointed to have to stop drawing on the Amtrak napkins but they gave into my idea of family bonding. The girls watch an old Survivor episode (exile island for those that care) and us boys settled in for a James Bond classic, the Man With the Golden Gun. Major mistake. I guess I remember Bond being so cool when I was young.
Oh well our first parenting mistake on the trip. So with benadryl in our stomachs and each of us getting two seats each, we say goodnight. Pray that no one gets on until Minneapolis so we can keep our seats.
We had on the plans to do lunch on the train today. We didn’t think it wise to live on carmel corn, bubblegum and pop tarts the whole trip. So when the seating became open we sluggishly took our sugar filled bodies down two cars to eat. We slamed the five of us into the booth for four and took it all in.
People say that you need to eat on the train, because it is part of the experience. By experience they mean the kind of overcooked macaroni, hamburgers that were cooked(check that burnt) last night and reheated this morning and can you eat quicker so we can get more people in type of experience.
It really wasn’t that bad. My sandwhich was delightful and Amelia’s pizza looked great. We just know how to pick them. Now back to our beef jerky.
Afternoons under the big sky means game time. We sauntered over to the viewing car to eat our carmel corn and play games. We stopped for a bit in Shelby, MT to change tracks and view a sleepy little town.