I may not have mentioned our night train coming down for Montgenèvre for our ski vacation. It was a trip during which my son slept in his own bunk, my daughter with my wife, and myself in my own bunk (with my iPad on some TV episodes as my current addiction would dictate). However, at about 5am (arrival wasn’t until 7am), both the kids were up and bouncing off the bunk beds. Let’s just say that it was a bit exhausting. The trip back was a day train – well actually two day trains because we had to change in Valence. The first train was a regional on which unfortunately there was no restaurant (I had to run over to a neighboring bar and beg for two ham and cheese sandwiches in the 8 minutes before the train left) and where all the nice places to sit were reserved for groups that didn’t board until 1h before the arrival in Valence. We would have squatted them in the meantime, but the train agent kicked us out and back into our original, less comfy seats. Well, we survived but the train was very late getting into Valence so we had to run from one end of the station to the other to make the TGV to Paris. That train was completely packed with travelers returning from ski vacations with bags and skis all over the place. The kids actually dealt with everything pretty well and it wasn’t as difficult as I had imagined. That being said, it was exhausting for us parents and reminded me of the stamina required when embarking on trips such as this. I think it took me about two days to get back into a “normal” rhythm after the trip. And to think, in mid-April, I will go solo back to Miami with both kids on an airplane for 10h each way. Let’s just say, I am already starting to catch up on the sleep I will lose and building up the prerequisite patience that will be necessary for both them and I to survive that particular trip.
If there are any lessons to be learned, they would be: plan ahead in terms of food for the trip, have loads of games and books to keep the kids busy, try to keep as Zen attitude as possible because if you get anxious or impatience it will just escalate with them, kids ganes on the iPad are life-savers, and get loads of sleep before the actual travel.