we started our journey with crepes and coffee and love from a good sister. Then we had our last good bye from friends sending us off at local sprouts. my mother and sister said goodbye to us at the train station and there were tears and hugs for all. We have a addition to our party!! My brother brian is joining us for part of our trip! We are taking him camping, and then on to seattle where we will stay over night in the hostel and send him on a plane back to maine the following day. We are so grateful that there were so many people supporting us on this trip. i cant tell you how many times i heard people tell us they wished they could come with us, i think it would have filled the train if they all could have come :) We made it to boston and got on the T to our hotel with ease and the boys enjoyed the ride despite the fact that they unanimously had to pee as we were getting on the subway! Thanks to my dad we had a very nice hotel right around the corner from the T exit and with warm weather, travel worn hearts and full bladders, we went up to our hotel. Did you know they have very nice cookies that they give everyone who stays at the doubletree? We were hoping to explore boston but travel at a childs pace is slow and exploratory. we made it to dinner at least! i believe the place was called vapiano and it was amazing and totally changed my opinion about the food in boston which up till now i understood to be greasy and lackluster. after dinner we walked around looking for a bookstore but having no luck decided to get back to the hotel for bed. our last night with lots of fluffy white pillows i was grateful for the rest. Namaste, Nicole
This morning we woke to find that the day looked like rain and we had to boogie out the door if we were to avoid walking in rain . yea that did not happen, more to follow on that note. So we went to breakfast in the hotel restaurant and all ate very well to prepare for the day. everything was going well and we were on schedule until clayton and i got stumped on the packing of food and transitioning some weight around in our packs. however we knew we were only a few blocks from the station and were not panicked. we left our hotel room with half an hour to travel the 10 min. it takes to get to the station...however we forgot about the rain! we tried to get onto the T to get to the station with out getting wet however we could not seem to figure out the purchase of tickets and made the dire mistake of turning out of the station and trying to walk with 3 kids, while wearing heavy packs and trying to use our iphone to navigate unfamiliar streets in one of the worst downpours i have ever been in. I have to say however that i have the most amazing children in the world. Sensing our situation they not only did not complain but they trekked through it all and kept our pace sloshing through puddles! our iphone had a hard time working the gps ( i am assuming because of the rain). So we were having to stop a lot to check it. You would think that some one could have helped us out but we were in china town and the only souls out on the streets were not speaking english! However we made it to the station 5 min. before the train was scheduled to leave and started running. I found out later that clayton and brian got there with the train still there (we were only 50 feet behind them) and the guy said they were not going to wait for us and as we caught up to them the train took off. I realize the train waits for no one but i felt that the early departure and the fact that we were clearly right there was overwhelming. I had never run so hard and fast in my life with an extra 80 lbs of weight on me in the pouring rain in an unfamiliar place with all my little babes did not leave me in a good place mentally i was shaking! and then to find out that the next available train to get us to glacier national park did not leave till the following week put me through a little bit of hell. So i called my mom. There are not many worse things to injure your pride than to be a woman grown and having to call your parents and admit failure due to incompetence. She however has a very cool mind and is a savy traveller. I think i should start asking wwmd from now on. She suggested i rent a car and drive to albany to catch the next train on our route. genius! I called AAA, bless them and after i told them my story they booked a rental for us. So we hopped on the bus to the air port and then caught the shuttle to budget rentals. Easy right? we had 5 hours to drive to albany and it only took three. WELL let me confess my disgust with the way systems work nowadays...you MUST have a credit card. ew. or if you dont you must have good credit ew ew ew. for those people reading this blog thinking that this is some way to protect the car rental companies from harm i would like you to be stranded with 3 kids your husband and a teenage brother that you are responsible for and then tell me what you think when no one can budge for emergencies. Enterprise would have budged had they cars available, i prefer enterprise and tried them first but alas no mini vans! So with some crazy money maneuvering that required me to go to the part of boston that resembled latin america where no one speaks english either but have some big saintly hearts and were willing to help in small ways that made a big difference to me.I was able to fix the situation and get back to my family in rental car land. However, by the time i made it back we lost the opportunity to catch the train in Albany!! Clayton already made this realization and had decided that we were to drive to chicago instead. Mind you this is 16 hours driving straight to make our train the following day!! holy moly batman this is where i am now as i write this, riding into the night with my family. You might say its been a bad day. It was. But the boys are watching movies and we are staying calm with our starbucks and listening to them laugh at scooby doo. I am writing this to you in my notes on the ipad and will post them when next i get to a wifi connection. Wish us luck! ~Namaste, Nicole
Ps, please forgive choppy writing and grammatical errors. I don't consider those things at the best of times let alone the worst.