Trains & Chocolate

b2We know that Bubba loves trains. I mean loves trains.
He talks about them, wears train clothes, including PJs, the kiddo is even going to be a train conductor for Halloween.
We. Love. Trains (and garbage trucks).

Hubs proposed an awesome idea to go to the mall where they have a train.
Not a train you can watch or play with but a train you can ride in. A dream come true, in suburbia.
Imagine the following scenario: Mommy, 900 months pregnant trying to squeeze her large self into a miniature train car with her 2-year-old and husband. Doesn’t that sound fun? It happened like that several time PLB (pre-Little Bear).
b21Luckily, Little Bear is here now so the four of us traipsed to the mall and to the train.
Parenting Tip: If you want to have an enjoyable experience at the mall. Go during a weekday. No lines, ample parking, and a train ride all to ourselves. Let’s be serious, there were two train rides all to ourselves. One with Daddy and One with Mommy. Divide and conquer. We took turns and interestingly enough, we each found ourselves at a candy store during our time with sleeping Little Bear. Much easier to peruse the sugary-goodness when the tiny-sugar-loving-hands are happily ensconced in a mall-train under parental supervision.

I can finally say, I’ve graduated, to Godiva!
I walked in and the lovely chocolatier-lady met me with a knowing smile. 
Did I look that bad? I put on makeup…

“What can I help you with today?”
I was honest: To tell you the truth, I have no idea. We stay far away from the fancy chocolates now that we have littles. What do you recommend?
In the end, I settled for Godiva’s version of a candy bar, 3 of them actually, they say it was a deal, dark chocolate w/hazelnut being my favorite so far. While checking out she asked if I was a “reward member.” I laughed. Oh my friend, if you only knew. I don’t think I’ve been in this store but once…ever. But instead, I said hmmm, I’m not sure. She looked up my phone number and low-and-behold there I was! Granted, it was filed with my undergraduate college email, too many years ago to count, but I had an account. To my surprise it meant I qualified for a free chocolate each month for the next year, starting right then. Yes, ma’am! I had her pick her favorite as there were too many choices and I had limited time. As I snuck quick peeks out of the store’s windows, waiting to get caught with my whole self in the proverbial cookie jar candy store, and Little Bear snoozed, none the wiser, Chocolate-Lady rang me up, accepted my gift card (did you know Godiva had gift cards?) and placed my chocolate bars and 1-free-chocolate in a bag too pretty for candy.
I departed fancy-chocolate-haven with a smile on my face and a pep in my step just in time for the train to arrive back at the station. It’s the little things.
Daddy & I switched places so I could take my turn with Bubba on the train. We visited a few shops and back home we came. b2
A delightful day was had by all.
*Bonus* When I opened the Godiva bag after Bubba was tucked in bed I found out the Chocolate-Angel had put not only the 1 free chocolate but three free chocolates in the bag. Yum. I hope she’s there the next time we go.

I learned 4 things on that trip.
1) Nap schedules can be fudged in the name of a fun experience.
I knew this one, it’s just nice to be reminded sometimes.

2) Chocolate is a gift and a rite of passage.
3) There’s no time better than family time.
4) Angels like chocolate too.

Be Great,

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