Well, that could’ve gone much better….
I’m stealing my husband’s Facebook status from Saturday evening. It seems appropriate to our day. I had high hopes for Saturday. But Saturday didn’t have high hopes for us!
Saturday was the Smithsonian Free Museum Day – you could get 2 free tickets to participating museums all over the country. We’d been to the Dallas Science Place enough, and I wanted to make a day trip out of going out to Ft Worth’s Museum of Science and History with the family, ride the Trinity Railways Express, and have a grand time. We packed a snack and water knowing we’d be eating one meal on the road, and we’d get hungry at some point before heading home. I had a camera with batteries charged, our tickets, and we were ready to go.
Here’s how our day went:
We missed our first transfer
We missed the train (not because of the transfer, but because I’d read the schedule wrong and though there was a train at about the time we got the station. Not for another 90 min)
We missed the connecting bus – turns out, though, this wasn’t our fault. The bus line decided that they were going to give the bus route for the museum district (on the day that the entire museum district was free – they were having one huge museum party) to a college football game, with no notification. After about an hour, we realized something was wrong, so connected up with some other passengers to find a #2 bus that promised to drop us off about 2 blocks from the Science Museum. Her blocks sure were long, because it was actually about a mile away.
We missed lunch. We’d been ‘on the road’ for six hours by the time we reached the museum. Our snack was gone long ago, eaten on the train because we were so hungry and still hadn’t gotten a chance to eat. We couldn’t chance trying to get back into town, because we might not make it back in time for the train. So we paid almost $40 for museum food at 3pm (still hadn’t actually seen any of the museum). It wasn’t bad food, thankfully. I had a Mediterranean Salad of cous cous, good lettuce, humus with some chicken on top that was pretty good.
We missed the museum. Well, we didn’t actually MISS it, but we had to hurry through it so quickly and it was so crowded, we almost might as well have missed it. We knew we were on a short schedule because we had no idea when the #2 bus was running (no schedules on the bus when we got on and since we didn’t have a smart phone, we couldn’t check). So we were having to make sure we got back in time to catch our train home…to be home at a decent time of the night. What I remember of the museum and what it was today was also totally different. It was set up more for young kids, with little actual science. More like a frentic move to the next trick thing, without really explaining how it works in real life – how to apply the science, or how that science works. We missed a lot of stuff, though I think the boys would’ve both been happy in the paper airplane room the whole day.
We didn’t miss the bus!!! We left the science museum and hoofed the mile back to the bus stop – and thankfully, the bus was waiting…because the bus driver was taking a break! That got us back to the station just in time to catch the next train home! But this train wasn’t going home. It was going out of service at the final destination. We’d have to wait. and wait…and wait, because our train was caught by a freight train. The boys made friends with a little girl from a family we’d been running into all day, so they had fun being silly all the way back.
We didn’t miss the DART train!! – neither did the armed man, evidently. When a policeman boarded our train, ready to drawn down, we knew something was amiss. I prepared Aiden to get down on the ground on my command, and we waited and watched as the ruckus one car behind us ensued. The train was on lock down and we couldn’t get off. At one point, a guy burst through the back door, running through our car, trying to get off, obviously running from the police, and his pants were falling down.
Aiden looked at me and said, “Mommy, were his pants falling down?” “Yes, and you could totally see his underwear!” Much giggling ensued – which helped break the tension for him because he was scared – as were we all. The doors finally opened for him, and he jumped into the crowd milling around outside and tried to blend..he didn’t run away..just didn’t want to be noticed.
At this point, we saw some policemen with rifles running back alongside our side of the train…and then the doors opened normally, shut, and we left the station. Within about 50 yards, we saw a bunch of police cars at the intersection, and they’d gotten their man. Russ and I just looked at each other, shaking our heads. But we knew not to say “What else could possibly go wrong?”
The rest of the ride and subsequent drive home was uneventful, but we walked in the door at 8pm. Just in time for Dr. Who. Time to escape to someone else’s reality for a while and forget our day and how badly it had gone for us. We came away unharmed, but sore and tired and disenchanted with public transportation, even though we’ve used it for years like this. Aiden was still asking about the bad guy last night, and we had to reassure him that he was in jail and Aiden was safe.
More on the rest of the story tomorrow…