Wednesday, November 16, 2011


2 Trains, One Bus, and a LONG walk....or how NOT to get to the Zoo!

My travel friends, do you ever have those trips that you think are perfectly planned and is going to "knock the socks" off the kids, only to have them crumble to pieces, leaving you shaking your head in misbelief?

No?  Only me??

Let me tell you about our Saturday.....

While in Dallas this past weekend, I wanted to do something different and fun with the kiddos.  Sis suggested we go to the zoo - simple enough.  The Fort Worth Zoo is phenomenal!

Let's make it a little more adventurous.....

Let's take the train to the zoo.  Sounds fun?? At the time......

To get from Carrollton (suburb north of Dallas), we hopped on the DART rail (the local commuter train) to catch the TRE (Trinity Railway Express - a fun train that connects Dallas with Fort Worth).  From there, I read online that the zoo is a "half mile walk from the stop".  

We can do this with 5 kids and 3 adults!  Let's go!
We left the house at 9:45 am and hopped on the DART at 10:15 to get off in Downtown Dallas to catch the TRE at 10:58 am.
My little Bubba was so excited to be on the train.

We get to the Victory stop with 3 minutes to spare to catch the TRE.

We wait.

And wait some more.

Finally, my very intelligent brother looks at the posted train schedule and points out that "someone " ( read the weekday schedule.  The next TRE is at 12:24 pm. awesome.

What to do in Downtown Dallas with 5 kids on a Saturday at 11:00 am?
So we explored........

It was a ghost town.  It was windy & cold so we finally found a "Dick's Last Resort" to hang out in for a while.

Not the most appropriate place to take 5 kids, but we were desperate.  I mean, when was the last time you saw one of these babies?
Brody asked me "What kind of candy machine is that???"

Fed the kids a few snacks, hiked back to the Train station, and we were ready to head to the zoo!  Or so we thought.

At 12:20 (remember the TRE is coming at 12:24), I can't find my camera bag.


Yep, Dick has it.


Mom calmly suggests that she will go back to the restaurant, pick it up and just take the DART back home.  She was so wonderful to do that.  I don't think I could have enjoyed the zoo, not knowing who had their hands all over my camera lens....

Cool.  The TRE showed up on time and we are on our way again.  ha.
Again, my little man adored the train and for the most part, was great the entire trip.

Until we get to the last stop in Fort WOrth, get off the train and see nothing but a parking lot.

"Excuse me Mr. TRE Conductor...but I read online that the zoo was half a mile away??"

I must have looked like a dumb blonde to him as he laughed his head off and took joy in telling me the zoo must be "over 10 miles away."

Oh dear.

So we had to wait 30 minutes to take the train back one stop to get off at the FW Bus Station.  To catch a "Number 7" bus at 2:15 p.m.  It was only 1:45.

Deep Breath.

Catch the Number 7, enjoy a 20 minute ride around FW to the zoo.  Hop off the bus to finally walk that "Half mile" that I read about.  finally.

And these amazing children did not complain.  hardly.

5 Hours later.....we finally make it to the zoo.  It's 3 pm.  I very happily go up to buy tickets only to have the snotty teenage girl take joy in telling me....

"We are only open for one more hour."


2 Trains, a nasty & inappropriate bar, lost camera bag, a smelly bus ride, hike across the park and I am suppose to deny the zoo to these amazing kiddos?

no way.
Come on kids! Let's RUN!

Next time, we drive.

Have a funny travel story?  Let us know about it!! We'd love to share it!!


Steve said...

Ouch! That's a tough day, but kudos to you guys for continuing on. I'm not sure I would have had the perseverance to do that. Bonus points to your kids for not complaining (too much) as well. Sure hope you got to see the best parts of the zoo before it closed.

Lisa said...

Wow that was some day!! I can 100% guarantee you that at least one of my kids would have started complaining about it as soon as she had realized that I had read the schedule wrong. And I would still be hearing about it! I bet the kids will remember that hour at the zoo for a long time.

Jessica said...

Sounds like some of the trips I have taken. At least you were able to have some fun.

Cesar said...

You are AWESOME... of course, you're a Mom!
My wife and I are planning a trip to the Zoo with our home schooled 14 year old daughter, and I found your adventude very helpful in many ways.
Thank you!

Anonymous said...

No way!!!!!! We will drive. Train ride sounds like a journey to STRESS land. I googled TRE and it appears to
get to the Fort Worth Zoo from Dallas is average
2 hr 50 minutes. I applaud you for hanging in there to get there with your family. But omg ..just 1 hr left to enjoy.