After too many weekends in a row of being stuck indoors, we decided to hit the road last Saturday morning. No one was ill, we didn’t have any other obligations, so we traveled to far off Fort Worth for a couple of surprises.
By the time we were at our exit in Fort Worth, The P had already guessed that we were going to a park and a zoo. This was pretty close to accurate.
First, we went to ride the Forest Park Miniature Railroad in Trinity Park. It’s a 40 minute train ride through a pretty park.
I had not been to Trinity Park since I was, maybe, 7. So I really didn’t remember anything about it. I used Google Maps but the directions it gave lead us to a giant very official “road closed” sign. This was met by my 6-year-old, who still didn’t know about the train ride surprise and was getting a little anxious, with many questions. “Why is the road closed? What does that mean? Can we still get in there? Do we need to find another park? Why did we drive all this way if the park is closed?” These questions did not help my anxiety level one bit.
We did see a few joggers and cyclists in the park, so we decided the park must not be completely closed. We did not give up hope.
We tried to circle the park to find another entrance. I learned alot about the neighborhood around Trinity Park that day, including the fact that Lancaster is one giant bridge that drives over the park, but does not feed into the park. I also learned that there are only 3 entrances to the park and that they were all blocked.
We eventually found an abandoned lot where some other parkgoers were parking. We found a space and asked some strangers if they thought we would get towed. They didn’t think so as there were no towing signs, but they were from Dallas and had never been to Trinity Park before either, so really, this was a blind-leading-the-blind kind of situation. We all walked together toward the road close signs and quietly prayed that our car would not get towed.
I am still so glad a policeman was sitting in his car near the “Road Closed” sign. I asked him why we couldn’t drive in the park, and he explained there was a walk for some disease or foundation or something going on, but it was almost over. The road would open in about 5 minutes. I told him we were going to “the depot.” This was my secretive mom code since this was still a surprise. The kind policeman did not pickup on the code. He asked the P directly, “So, you’re going to ride the train? That will be fun.”
P just smiled and nodded. I forgave the kind policeman because then he told us this:
“The train depot is really far from here. You should drive around to the other entrance and park closer. The other entrance will be open by the time you drive there.”
I checked later with “Map my Run” and the train depot was almost a mile from the abandoned lot. And that would have been if we had walked in the right direction, which we would not have. I am forever in debt to that policeman. If we had walked to the train depot, we would have all been so sad and tired by the time we got there. If I knew how to find him, I would send that policeman a cookie to say thanks.
When we finally found the correct entrance and train depot, we only waited about 10 minutes before the next train came by. It seemed a little cut throat finding a seat. I think they were busy because it was so nice out. Plus, we found out later that someone was having a birthday party, so our train was a little full.
The first, and most important, thing I realized is that the combination of the angle of the seats and the angle of my pants pockets, everything I owned was falling out. I lost $40 right off the bat. The man behind me helped fish it out from under his seat. The side of the train were wide open, so I spent the rest of the 40 minutes doing a mental inventory of my “keys, phone, and kids.” It was especially stressful when the train passed over the Trinity River, which it does 4 times. There’s no way I could have fished anyone or anything out of there.
Really, the bridge that travels over the river is fenced in. No person could accidently slip in. Phones and keys, however…better hang on.
The Princess and the P loved it, until the saw the playground. We passed the playground towards the end of the ride and then all the Princess could say was, “I want to go there. I want to go there.” The P agreed that we should hit the playground before the next “surprise,” so we did.
More to come…
Read my detailed review of Forest Park Miniature Railroad here.