I've been trying to think of something different to do while Matt was off, and I decided to book a train trip to Toronto to see the big aquarium.
No one has been on a train, besides me, when I was about ten years old (I think), and I knew everyone would get a kick out of it.
The train departed at 5:30 am, which meant that we had to be up and out the door no later than 4:15.
We got out the door smoothly and figured out the train station all by ourselves. Yay!
The kids, they were tired.
A couple hours into the ride, the sun was bright, and everyone woke up and started to really enjoy themselves. We had a lot of fun, and had the very back of the car, and basically the whole thing to ourselves!
We got to Toronto around 10:00, and literally had to walk 800 metres down the road and we were at the aquarium. The lineup for admission was quite long - probably 40 minutes, but it was worth it for the $20 off coupon I had.
It was a pretty cool aquarium. I think everyone really liked it, and I know Hanna saw everything she wanted to see. She loved the jelly fish, but she told me she "could see lots of different fish." So, assuming she wasn't pretending, I think it was great for her.
We went through it twice, and since we skipped a lot of the activity centres because of the crazy crowds, we got through it pretty quickly. There was actually adults playing Pokemon Go! right in front of the small children trying to view the jelly fish. How ridiculous is that? It was okay though, and I'm 100% sure that the kids didn't mind not stopping at every little activity.
It was only 1:00pm by the time we got out of there, and since our train wasn't scheduled to leave until 7:10, we had alot of time to waste. With no car, 4 kids, and 3 backpacks of stuff, that is a long time in downtown Toronto.
We started out setting up for a picnic just outside the aquarium. Everyone filled up, and fueled up for our little city adventure.
We passed by a real-life spiderman....
and stood in line for about 40 minutes to go on the CN Tower tour, going through security and metal detectors, only to finally reach the ticket stand to see that it would cost us about $400 for all of us to go through!! Ha!
So, we walked out of the ticket stand and talked about taking a CN tower selfie, but never did, and that wasted some time.
Then, we walked around the Steam Whistle Brewery and checked out the old trains.
Then, we walked around mindlessly through a couple grocery stores...and then around a couple more blocks....and finally after talking to a guy in one of those grocery stores, found a Jack Astors.
Matt and I ordered a couple tall drinks, and told the waiter to take his time bringing everything out.
Ben passed out and slept right through dinner. Hanna was cranky because I made her use the bathroom (she was fine, but just cranky and ready to go home), and Hailey had sore feet. Gracie was a trooper and even though she was the official activity-filled backpack carrier, she never complained.
We left the restaurant at about 5:00 and took about half an hour to get back to the train station.
By 6:30 we could board the train, so that's what we did. The ride home was relaxing (aside from Ben taking my ears off!), and uneventful.
She only slept like this for a few minutes before I moved her...just as a disclaimer.
My mom helped with the animals at home while we were gone, which helped so much! Thanks mom. :)
We came home to a house, as messy as we left it, and some very sleepy kids.
Even though miss Hanna was cranky by the end of the day, she assured me when she got home that she loved the train, and as I was turning off the light after tucking them in, she said "thanks for taking us on the trip, mom." She's getting better and better with being out of her comfort zone, and I love it.
We had a great little trip. It was just enough white-knuckle hand holding to be stressful, but more than enough giggles and toothy-grins to cancel it out and made it an unforgettable, not perfect, but unforgettable trip.