Train Ride – or – Why I Don’t Go Out In Public

The last post of 2006! 

Since I had the baby boy with me and I knew he was getting kinda bored, I figured it would be a good day to go ride the train from Grapevine to the Fort Worth Stockyards. The train departed at 1 pm and, of course, I got the idea after I got back from the grocery store shortly after 11ish.

We headed to the train depot shortly after noon. It seemed EVERYONE had the same idea. Why the bloody hell I didn’t get out sooner is beyond me. I should have known better, especially a holiday weekend. It was a struggle to find a parking space. We got there and got the absolute last two seats on the train.

Once on, it was packed. Like sardines. Awful! There were no seats left. I mean, there were a few for one person scattered throughout. But this is what kills me. Here I am with a small child and there are folks who have stuff in the seat next to them just because they don’t want to share the bench. I mean, give me a freaking break already. One guy had a big backpack in the seat beside him and it was CLEAR he was a single rider. So I was getting agitated by that.

I made it all the way to the last car and still no seats. I didn’t want to have to stand – or make the baby stand – for an hour and a half train ride (it’s a slow train). Finally, there was a lady sitting by herself with two people across from her. I asked if anyone was sitting beside her and she said no and graciously allowed us to sit down. I put the baby on my lap and minutes later we were off.

My agitation melted somewhat when the train whistle blew and his little face just lit up with such joy and excitement. He was so thrilled and excited to be riding the train. He counted every train crossing we passed. Once we got there, getting off was another matter altogether.

You know, you’d think they’d have it better organized, herding folks off the train. But the conductor and other workers just let people do whatever. As soon as the train stopped, people jumped up to get off the train. I kept a tight hold on the little boy and shielded him with my body so he wouldn’t get trampled.

The general public pisses me off completely. They would rather run over a woman and her kid than just wait two :censored: seconds. :yelling:

We get off the train and we’re in the Stockyards and it’s crawling with people. The sun had managed to come out some, but the wind was still chilly. We walked around for a bit and I realized I hadn’t brought any cash with me. And the baby wanted to do the Human Maze. So the hunt for a working ATM was on.

The :censored: ATM charged $3.50 to get money out of my account. THAT ticked me off too. But, it was for a good cause. It was so the baby could have some fun. So I bit back my string of curses, got the money, and off we went.

They gave us a card with the letters M A Z E on it and the object was to find the letters in the human maze, punch them out, and get to the finish line. Okay. No sweat, right? Wrong. We were in it for over 30 minutes. We managed to find M first – it was the easiest. Then came E on a platform that overlooked the entire maze. Couldn’t find A to save my life. The worker – who had tatoos up and down his arm and was kinda cool – took me out of the maze and put me back in. At the entrance he said, “Go right.” So I did and – TADA – we found A.

But Z was another matter altogether. We searched that stupid maze – I thought – all over. Never found that darn Z. And time was getting close to catch the train back. So we had to leave without the Z. The baby was okay with that. He had a great time. He got to pick a prize – he picked a rubber snake.

Back at the train, people were crowded up to get on. Of course. You’d think folks would be courteous and take turns getting on. But no. As soon as “All Aboard” was shouted, you’d think it was a stampede to get on. Which highly agitated me. I picked the baby up to avoid him getting trampled.

I was trying to be polite and wait my turn, but it was clear no one gave a damn whether or not I got a turn. A passenger opened up the back door of one of the cars and climbed on (there were steps but they weren’t exactly pulled out which meant climbing on). So I took matters into my own hands. I bolted for that and put the baby on the train. Then he did something that surprised me. He extended his hand and helped me up.

That was the only nice thing I can say for folks who rode the train. We found a seat and it wasn’t long before we were headed home. About 10 minutes he, the baby climbed on my lap and promptly fell asleep.

By the time we got back to Grapevine, it was dark. We were starving and we both had to use the bathroom pretty bad (must have been that large Coke we shared…). So I hauled ass home. I was going to cook dinner, but it was 7 before we hit the door and I couldn’t face it. We had leftovers instead.

The day’s activity was a reminder that the general public really does suck and there are reasons why I prefer to stay at home. It’s hard to do, though, when you have a little one who wants to go and do stuff.

It was an exhausting day. I got him in the tub and started taking down the Christmas decorations. There’s just something about having to get them down in a hurry after Christmas for me. I’ve always taken them down New Year’s weekend.

I thought the baby would go right to sleep last night but I thought wrong. He was up until after 10. Must have been that 45 minute nap he took on the train. I fainted on the couch watching HGTV somewhere between Design on a Dime and reDesign.

ANYWAY – today we’re going to take it easy. We got up late this morning and I cooked bacon and eggs and toast. I got all the decorations put away. All I have left is to take down the tree but I’m in search of one of those Christmas tree bags so I don’t have to fight with putting the thing back in the box. I also need a tall enough ladder so I can store stuff in the attic. But that will have to wait.

It’s another cloudy day and much cooler than it has been. Tonight I’m letting the baby stay up as late as he wants – until midnight or when he crashes, whichever comes first. I’m also going to open my bottle of Yellow Tail Pinot Grigio and have a nice glass of wine to toast the new year. And that’s about it. Just a quiet time.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy new year. Here’s to a productive and successful 2007!


By Michelle

I wish you all could be inside my head. The conversation is sparkling.