All day on a train gets a bit old. Especially if that train is running late and especially through north Dakota. I woke up this morning pretty tired. Zoe wasn’t liking the top bunk without a window and so she joined Avi and I on the bottom. Well that was too crowded so I moved up, but then Avi woke and wanted me. I squished back down and then slept with Zoe at my head and Avi snuggled reverse on
They were not too early to rise either. But when they did they were eager to go get breakfast so we went down to the dining car where breakfast and lunch are first come first serve. It was full so we got a number and wandered two cars past to the lounge/ viewing car. The top level has walls of windows that curve up to show the view out the ceiling. The bottom level was the snack bar. We found some seats up top and watched the prairie go by. At this point we were just nearing Fargo which we should have blitzed through overnight. Seemed our 3 hour delay from Chicago had increased to 4. Eventually our number was called for breakfast so we hustled back to the dining car and enjoyed pancakes, bacon, eggs and I downed the coffee. Both Avi and Zoe were pretty hungry. Eating in the dining car is the hardest place to behave but they do OK when there are enough tractors outside or when they can draw on the paper tablecloth. Zoe will occupy herself stacking the syrups and jellies and even making conversation with our table mates. we sat with a retired Navy couple that were taking the train from Virginia to Seattle and then going to Vancouver to start a cruise to Alaska and continue as a land tour. Sounded like so much fun!
Our fun for the next hour was taking a shower. Once we returned from breakfast I gathered our stuff and walked down the hall to the shower cubical. There was a changing room area with towels and a bench. Avi loved opening and closing the door to the shower until we all stuffed in and got the water going. It was a bit bumpy but felt great to get cleaned up. The kids took turns holding the shower and spraying all over. It was great fun.
After that we returned to the Roomette for a couple hours. Spent the time playing with our toys, and doing school time. Zoe is working on her educational workbooks and travel water colors. Avi is matching vehicle sticker shapes in his book and identifying drawings I make. It was fun. When lunch announcements came we were involved in watching g Pollyanna, so we delayed. After a bit Avi and I walked up to Dining car and got a number. 45 minute wait! By the time we were called, it was 130pm and Avi was tired. Lunch was slow to serve and Avi was a challenge. He wanted to go to sleep on the floor. Squealing at cows out the window was distracting enough to wait for the food to arrive. The couple we sat with we’re so nice and had a lengthy conversation with Zoe about her incredible table drawing that included details from flowers to planets. Avi was still losing it so we took a few bites of food and the kids each grabbed a slice of pizza. We left early. Back in the room we all fell asleep quickly.
Nap. So good! In the afternoon we got early dinner reservations and had a much better experience. After that we took our sorbet dessert to go and enjoyed it in the lounge watching the prairie pass. It really is pretty and amazing. Every now and then would be a gorgeous river valley and then it returned to grasslands. The other thing we tried to spot were old abandoned pioneer houses. Later we explored the train walking to the end and returning to our room. For the afternoon we occupied ourselves walking the train, playing with toys, and watching a few shows on the computer. We were all looking forward to the stop at Havre MT because its a chance to get out and get some fresh air. At this point though, the train is at 5 hours late! We walked up to the coffee/drink station and for some juice. There was an announcement that Havre was soon so I took the kids downstairs and Avi lost it. Complete breakdown over going downstairs. In the room he was screaming his head off even after the train stopped and the door opened. It took him crying it out for about 8 minutes before he would even let me hold him without going limp. Then he finally realized we were going outside and turned back into a happy kid. Zoe was great. We were close to the door so I could see her go out and come back in to check on Avi before he was ready. Ahhh fresh air!!!
When we returned to the train I asked our room attendant about our stop : East Glacier. About 3 more hours. Ugh. I looked at my clock: 945pm.. The train was 6 hours late!! Earlier I had called our hotel and rental car to arrange for a ride to the hotel. We will pick up the car in the am. I got all our stuff packed up and got the kids to sleep. Our attendant said he would wake us but I set my phone alarm to 1230 am and slept. Woke with a knock on the door. 20 minutes to go. I got the kids shoes on and gathered my stuff. Woke Zoe and we arrived!! Finally!!! Just off the train the air smelled so amazing… Cold and piney. The mountains. Can’t see them but I know they are here. A guy named Dave had our name and hotel on a placard, and the car parked on curb for us. After our luggage got off the train we loaded into the car. The drive to the East Glacier motel was short. We are in cabin 5. It’s adorable. Little flower box out front, cute little bedroom, and a kitchenette out the back. We all got back into bed. Avi had a bit of a fuss, but Zoe and I talked to him and he quieted to sleep. 1am.