Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Quad E's First Real Train Ride

This past weekend the Quad E's went on their first real train ride. Here is the thing about living in the suburbs, at least where we live, you pretty much have to drive to get places. And even though Quad E's paternal grandparents live in New York City, we usually drive there too and don't take the subways when we are there. So the Quad E's have never been on a real train before. Sure, they have been on those small train rides at amusement parks but not the real thing.

My husband and I had talked about this during the summer and decided we wanted them to have the experience of sitting on a real train. New York City was just a little too far and expensive, so we decided that we would take the train to center city Philadelphia and go to Reading Terminal Market and Chinatown.

Of course life is always busy and we didn't get to execute our plan till this past Saturday. Luckily the weather was a wonderful 65 degrees and was a great day for the train and to walk around the city a bit.

Another good thing was children 4 and under ride free, so our kids just made the cut off, woohoo! So after arriving at the train station 15 minutes before our train we wanted to catch, we bought our tickets and stood on the platform waiting for the train to arrive.

During the time we were waiting, my husband ran through some basic train riding safety guidelines with the triple E's.
"See this yellow area? Don't cross it till the train comes to a full stop."

Of course during the trip there, since everything was new and the triple E's had no idea what to expect, they quietly sat on the bench and waited for the train to come. Waiting for the train back was a slightly different story, I'll get to that later.

"Here comes the train!"

The kids had a great time looking out the window and watching the scenery change while we headed towards center city. Even E4 enjoyed the scenery for a while before dozing off in his stroller.
When we arrived at Market East Station, we just walked down the street and arrived at Reading Terminal Market. Since it was a Saturday the market was pretty crowded so it was a bit crazy trying to get lunch and finding a place to seat. But once we did find a few tables that would fit our big family, we had a great lunch while enjoying some free live music! After lunch we got the chance to pick up some Christmas gifts and fresh produce as well.

We also took a short walk around Chinatown and picked up some Chinese pastries which was a nice treat since we don't usually get those too often.

Then we headed back to the train station and got ready to wait for our train to arrive. Now that the kids were a bit more familiar with their surroundings and what to expect, they were bolder and felt that they could walk a bit closer to the edge of the platform. Granted, they weren't really that close, maybe a good three or four feet away but as a mother I was really nervous, that they would trip and fall in or that the kids would start messing around and bump into each other causing one of them to fall in. I guess that's what happens when your a mom. So I quickly asked them to walk a bit further away from the edge of the platform. 

During the few minutes while we were waiting for the train, I seriously was going through scenarios and what our plan of action would be if one of the kids were to fall on the tracks. My initial plan was that I would jump in the get them and then pass the child to my husband and then he could pull me up. I had decided that it was a better idea for me to jump in because my husband would have the strength to pull me up and I wouldn't if the roles were reversed. Geez, am I paranoid or is this just part of being a mom?

The ride back was fun as well, since the kids were more relaxed and had a fun time looking out the window and pretending they were the animals in Dumbo since Dumbo rides on the circus train and the kids LOVE that movie! Overall, a great first experience!

*After I typed up this post, I read on Design Mom that she was doing a "Love the Place You Live" link up and thought this would be really appropriate for that theme! So if you stumbled upon our page from there, welcome! Leave a comment and don't forget to also check out our "honeycomb store"!

Do your kids like trains? Have they had a real train ride experience? If so how was it like?
Also, do you go through some crazy scenarios in your head sometimes like I did?



  1. We only have 1 child, and we prefer the car since public transportation can be unpredictable, and even take longer than driving and finding parking! I once took J down to D.C. by myself on the Metro. He was a bit scared on the train and held my hand. It was so cute! Anyways, it took FOREVER to get down to the aquarium! I kinda said to myself then that we wouldn't be taking the Metro anymore. Just took too long! But J was such a trooper! I treated him by letting him push the stroller on the Natl Mall. He did that for a solid hour before taking a cat nap in the stroller. Anyways, I said to Alan that we should take J on a longer train ride or plane ride, just to see how we'd all do, a parental test, but the cost is major factor like you said. As for crazy scenarios, you are not alone. If J were on a train platform, I'd have him stand right by my side with my hand clutching his. I am afraid to stand too close! What if a crazy person pushes me in? I heard a scary story about a mom and child at the Regional Rail stop in Chinatown. Guess she wasn't paying attention, but still holding her child's hand, but the child didn't walk over the gap and fell between the platform and train, down into the gap! Luckily, mom had the child's hand but seriously...stuff like that happens! Better safe than sorry, in my opinion. Glad your trip was uneventful! Will you do it again?

    1. Glad to hear that I'm not totally paranoid! Hearing all these stories about things going wrong, makes me always want to be prepared and if possible avoid any problems. With that said, I don't know if we will be doing the train ride anytime soon, just makes me too nervous. Maybe when the kids are a bit older and understand the dangers.

  2. so fun! Our five year old loves trains and has been asking to ride one. I need to research what we have locally..

    1. Julia, I'm sure your five year old would love it!