Frogs on Facebook


About me: I'm 42 and added another gherkin to our pickle party of a family. My husband Chuck, our 9-year-old Junior, our 6-year-old Everett, our toddler and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). When I'm not busy working as a graphic designer, I lie in a ball in the corner.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

We're running out of places to puff. And by puff I mean PUFF, dammit

Junior’s third birthday was Tuesday so—ssshhhhh—I played hooky from work and Chuck and I took him on the two-and-a-half hour Essex Steam Train and Riverboat ride. (If you’re new here, hello, my son is obsessed with trains. If you’re familiar with all the puffin' that goes on in our household, you know that going on a steam train is Junior’s idea of Heaven.)

The train ride was nice. But just as we’d settled into the chug-chug-chugging, the conductor announced it was time for the Becky Thatcher riverboat ride! Curses!

We got off the train and were shepherded towards the boat. What ensued was a 40-hour ride along the Connecticut River. Not only was the ride narrated, it was narrated by a sarcastic teenage boy whose tone said, “I’d rather slice open my limbs on rusty nails than repeat this historical crap.”

Crap like "John Connecticut discovered the the Connecticut River. I’m kidding, folks. I’m kidding." And "The Connecticut River was once rated ‘D.’ ‘D’ for dirty. I’m kidding, folks. I’m kidding."

I started having flashbacks to when my father had custody of me and my younger brother on the weekends and he’d take us on fun (read: educational) excursions to broaden our horizons. My brother and I spent a fair amount of time brutally mocking tour guides—hey, it was survival—so I was disappointed when Chuck wouldn’t join me.

The whole time we were on the boat, Chuck and I reassured Junior that we’d be back on the train any second now...just a few more minutes...

"The Connecticut River is now rated ‘B.’ ‘B’ for bite me. I’m kidding, folks. I’m kidding."

Finally—finally—the boat headed back to the dock. We got off the boat and walked back to the train. We climbed aboard.

“Here we are!” we cried. “Back on the steam train!”

All was right again. Junior jumped out of his skin when the whistle blew. He ooohed and aaahed at the steam. But no sooner had we started puffin' than the conductor announced we’d be pulling into the station at any moment.

I almost puffed into the engine room and clubbed him.

Here’s the thing. If you’re going to sell tickets ($27 per person and $17 for children over two) to a 2-hour boat ride with a train accompaniment, why don’t you just come out and say that? If the bulk of the excursion is going to consist of pimply, snarky narration on a smelly boat that’s crawling down a brown river, your website should convey that.

Another drawback? There was no recycling on the Becky Thatcher riverboat. All the water bottles, soda cans and juice containers from the snack bar went right into the garbage.

This Connecticut excursion is rated ‘NMP.’ ‘NMP’ for not much puffin'. I’m kidding, folks. I’m kidding*.



SmartBear said...

Yeah, I think I would have clubbed them too and demanded a refund!

The Mother said...

We have a great rail jaunt coming out of a state park in Seguin. Loads of fun for all. We forced our kids to go one year.

Small Town Mommy said...

That is stinky. Does he like any trains? Maybe you could try one of the trains down the coast.

Lindy said...

Totally thought the "puff" in your title meant something else. Clearly, I'm living in the 70's.

Mama Badger said...

That just sucks. I would write a letter of complaint. You should get what you paid for, not what isn't advertised.

Cris Goode said...

That stinks! Don't tell Junior, but my hubby is a train yard master for freight trains.

Christy said...

that sucks! i totally would have joined you in mocking the tour guide though

Pricilla said...

It's a shame you are in Connecticut because there are so many wonderful train rides further south. New Hope Pa. and West Virgina is full of 'em.

It would be Junior heaven

Magpie said...

I so dearly hope they have a google alert set up.

Keely said...

Forwarding them this post...and...there we go.

campbellaguilar林志易 said...


Jen said...

We have a train in Stillwater that is a lot of fun to take if you are over the legal drinking age. I remember tour guides like that when we were traveling in the old west. Kinda like the Brady Bunch.

We used to have a Thomas the Tank Engine museum put on by some old codger who had nothing better to do with his time. It wasn't related to Thomas but they didn't sue him, or maybe they did and that's why it might be gone now.

Nanc Twop said...

Lived in CT ages ago, &
took that train ride...

Next time do the
Connecticut Trolley Museum.

And ride all day for $8 a head.

... Good Luck ;-)