Yesterday the kids and I went on an adventure. I had to give a presentation on the Billings Ovulation Method for an Engaged Encounter group at the Franciscan Friary at Pantasaph. It’s beautiful there, by the way. By car it would’ve taken about 40 minutes, but I don’t have a car, so we went by train, which would take nearly 2 hours. Being Sunday, there were fewer trains running, so we had to leave at 8.00 in order to get there in time. It took a total of three trains to get there, too. So I packed diapers and wipes and books and snacks and toys in the bag, along with the handouts and USB drive that I needed for my presentation. Kieran had decided that moose had to go, too.
I got the kids dressed and ready and fed and out the door, and we got to the station with plenty of time. Kieran loves trains, so he was quite excited; I’d strapped Charlotte on in the Kari-Me, opting for that over the mei tai because it would be easier to get her in and out on the train. We got on the first train, which was quite empty, being the first train of the morning through that station, and got into the city centre to change trains. Charlotte had fallen asleep, but she awoke on the second train, so I got her out and we had snacks. We made it to Chester without a problem and waited for the final train into Flint, where we would then get a taxi to the Friary. Kieran was very excited about the taxi. Charlotte was tired of being strapped on at that point, and even the sight of all the sheep wouldn’t distract her. There were even sheep grazing in the middle of the golf course, with golfers just walking around them. It was a beautiful drive up to the Friary, though, and the taxi driver was incredibly nice.
Once we got there I was met by one of the presenting couples who took us up where we could sit down and I could have a cup of tea. The kids were thrilled to be able to run around, and it was decided that they would watch Kieran for me during the presentation. I figured that Charlotte would likely fall back asleep after all the running, and she did, so it worked out perfectly. Both kids made friends with one of the Friars, who pointed out that my children have Franciscan second names, something I’d not thought of before. After lunch, we turned around to come home.
The train back was considerably more crowded, since there wouldn’t be another train through that station for 2 more hours, and consequently there were no seats. Thankfully it was a Virgin train, and we only had a 13 minute journey on that one from Flint to Chester. I was prepared to tell Kieran that we’d have to run for the next one (4 minutes between connections at the station), but, praise God, the platforms were just next to each other, and we got on the next train without a problem. We did miss our connection in the city centre, and so had to wait nearly half an hour for the next one, but that wasn’t bad. The kids were good as gold the entire time, with Charlotte sitting with me and Kieran watching out the window and talking about trains and tracks and magnets (he recently read about mag lev trains). After all that, and after we’d eaten an earlier dinner, I felt I owed it to the kids to let them run around outside with the neighbourhood kids, and so we did. It was a long day, and an adventure with both kids in tow, but it worked out, and I’m rather proud of them.