I have decided to take Miss Emi on her first Amtrak adventure. We are boarding the train on Sunday at 9 pm (yes, one hour AFTER bedtime) and will end up at my Mom's 45 hours later. Two full nights, two full days. On a train. Enclosed space.
In all seriousness, I think it will be just fine. In fact, better than just fine. Unlike a plane, she will be able to get out of her seat, play on the floor (yes, I am bringing a blanket for just that purpose), and (sort of) run around. We will be able to move around in our car, go up to the Observation car, visit the snack car and generally just walk around as we want to.
I have her harness, and we will use it probably the majority of the trip. In fact, she is going to sleep with it on with me sitting on the end of the leash. That way, I know she's safe. That's my biggest fear about this, but I am taking all precautions and I feel that she will be fine. I also think she will love this adventure. It's something so new, and almost 'big girl'. She has discovered sitting in chairs, and loves it. There will be no seat belts or car seats on the train, just hanging out with mama, sitting next to her on the seat.
The portable dvd player is going with us, I am just hoping I can keep it charged. I also have a special treasure baggie for each day with a light stick (for evening use), bracelets, cards ... just basic junk that I fully expect to loose/toss as we go. But I know Emi's love for taking things out of baskets, bags, etc so just the bag itself will be great fun. We are also bringing a few small toys and two puzzles that we found in the last month. They are HUGE hits, she loves them and I would recommend them, highly. The first is the Melissa and Doug Stack and Sort Board (pictured on the right). It is her absolute fav thing to play with right now and even though packing it will be a bit of a challenge, she loves it and it will keep her occupied for a long time. I can't seem to find a picture of the other one on-line, but it sorta looks like the one pictured on the left, except without the knobs, a couple more shapes and bigger/chunkier shapes. The one we have is called the Melissa and Doug Solid Shapes Puzzle, but no amount of web searching can locate it. I stumbled across this one at TJM for only $6.99! For a M&D puzzle, I felt that was a steal. Now that I can't seem to find one on-line, I feel it's more of a steal.
I know we will be adding more M&D puzzles to our home. Great, great toys!
The logistics of this are crazy. I need to carry enough diapers for 45 hours. I am estimating 20, bringing 35. I hope this is enough. If I have any leftover room at the end of packing (as if!), I will probably tuck a couple more in here and there. That is my biggest concern. Anything else forgotten or needed I can do without or make-do, but diapers, nope (well, and wipes too but I really think I have enough of those). I have a massive packing list that at some point I hope to add to my packing list blog (heh), but that will have to wait until we get back.
So, anyone wondering what we are going to do? Remember this post from last year? And then the follow-up? Well, Mom and I were all set to not attend this year. Now (finally) home with Sweet Emi there was NO way I was going to leave her for even a few days. But then, we thought, she can go too! The more we talked the more we realized we could do it, just not the whirl-wind of last year. We are going to hit the same shops on the Shop Hop, but take an extra day or two to do it. We have it all plotted out, have the route and drive times scheduled around dvd watching time and nap time.
I am planning taking tons of pictures and when we get back I will share all the fun and excitement of both the train and the shop hopping. I am not going to try to add the lap top to my (seriously) over weight luggage.
Yeah, I know. What a slacker.