Saturday morning, by Bella’s account, was not the smooth morning we had planned. Bella had a mandatory field trip to the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena for her Art Appreciation class, so I had carefully planned out a day to finally take Bella (and her friend) up to LA via train, then Chinatown by Metro for dimsum, and then up to Pasadena to the museum. The train I normally take at 10:20 wouldn’t give us enough time to get to the Norton Simon by noon, so we were stuck taking the 7:05 am train to LA Union.

Chad was skeptical, but I tell you that we were half an hour early and feeling pretty perky about it. Christian was going whooo-whooo, because he LOVES the train.

I saw the trainlight coming up in the distance, so I said to Bella, “Be sure to grab my water bottle.”

She was like, “Huh?”

And I realized that when I had pulled my beloved $20 Kleen Kanteen out for her at the ticket booth, that she had never noticed it.

I shouted for her to please RUN AND GET MY WATER BOTTLE!!!

And despite my frantic shouts and waves to the conductor, by the time Bella and her friend came huffing and puffing back, the train was pulling away. (She had thought I had wanted her to run all the way back to the car…) Perhaps I should have known better – the train never stops for more than 40 seconds – but I couldn’t bear to lose my Kleen Kanteen.

So we four stood on the platform, a bunch of boobs who missed their train.

Bella watched the train get smaller and turned to look at me and said, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?” Rightfully so, I mean we had all gotten out of the house by 6:15 am on a Saturday morning.

The worst part was that I had bought a Family 4-Pack deal, which allows four adults to travel for $30 roundtrip, anywhere in the Metrolink system. Since we were only three, I had given the fourth ticket to a nice  Filipino nanny who was standing behind us at the ticket booth. I figured she could sit with us or near us and travel for free. The tickets were only valid used together, and she, well, she made it on the train and we didn’t. I hope she didn’t get in any trouble with the conductor. I didn’t mean to con a nice little old lady yesterday.

So, we all dashed to the car and tried to catch the train in Irvine. I should have known it was fruitless, but it did make us all feel better. When we called Chad to confirm where the train station was, he told us that the train was supposed to have gone through Irvine 8 minutes ago. Sure enough when we got there, there was nobody about. At this point, I pulled over in a shade spot to think and nurse my irate baby who was pretty mad about being tired and not on a train.

The part where we salvage our day:

After much apologizing on my part, we decided to go for the 10:30 train. With about three hours to kill, I decided to take the girls and Christian out to breakfast at The Original Pancake House in lieu of dim sum. We were much refreshed after homemade corned beef hash, potato pancakes, mushroom omelet, and spinach crepes and lots of delicious coffee.

Then we went home and changed into shorts and fussed about the house for another hour. We made it to the train station in plenty of time. There were loads of cops around, even trailers and tents and a semi-truck.

We had time to make a few friends on the platform. All of us were talking to different people on the train platform because yesterday, of all days, happened to be Moon-the-Train Day. (However, because of last year’s tremendous mooning success – over 10,000 people, many drunk and rowdy – there was a large police presence at the station. The people we met were all people with cameras LOOKING for mooners. None were to be seen.)

We finally got on our train. That felt great and Bella and Maddie were duly impressed by the being on the train. As we started moving along, Bella said “Hey, you can see into everybody’s backyards!” That comment made me chuckle, because being able to see into people’s backyards is one of the best parts about riding on the train – you really see some unusual things on a train ride to Los Angeles.

And then I shouted. But by the time I had found words it was too late. I had just been mooned by about twenty people along the fence!! Bella and Maddie were sitting on the opposite side of the car and sadly, missed the mooners. I’m glad that some mooners made it past the police.

The rest of the day was less eventful, but pleasurable.

We made it to Pasadena, but late. Then trying not to be late, Bella and Maddie ran all the way from the Holly Street train station to the museum. I got there a bit later,  and then spent a very nice couple of hours chatting outside with my friend Ellen by the waterlilly pond under the shade of a large tree.

Then I wandered a while in the galleries, looking at the 20+ paintings and sculptures that were part Bella’s assignment. We had a more leisurely walk through the shopping district, back to the Metro stop, and back to Union Station. we got there with just enough time for me to show the girls the station and to buy snacks for the trip home.

Bella and Maddie were very vigilent about watching for mooners this time around and they were rewarded by being mooned too. Just a small handful, but enough to feel like we’d fully participated in the (non) event.

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