As my birthday was on a weekday and because hubby works in finance, he can never take the time off (1st of the month is his busiest time). On my actual birthday I enjoyed a day out with Jake and my sister but we had promised Jake that, at the weekend, we would take him a train – he is train mad! We had originally planned a trip to London but with colds and tonsillitis getting to us we opted for the closer city of Southampton.
It was only supposed to be a trip on the train, a bit of lunch in the shopping centre and then a return journey but hubby secretly had other ideas!
When we arrived at Basingstoke Station Jake was bubbling with excitement. He was grinning from ear to ear and clasping my train ticket like it was made of gold.
One of the platform workers was so sweet talking to Jake about his love of trains and giving me the tip to look on the steam train website so we could pop back up when they come through our home town.
Once on the train we had one very chatty little lad! He enjoyed telling us about everything he could see and was adamant that if he went up the front he could also drive the train. Maybe we should have let him ask?!
On arrival in Southampton, hubby explained his plans of wanting to catch a boat to all of us – we took my sister and her husband along for the experience. On a cold day with all of us suffering from a cold, it seemed like a mad idea but he was insistent that it would all be worth it. (I may have moaned a lot at this point… I may have apologised a little, later on!)
If you go down to the docks there is a section to catch boats over to the Isle of Wight and across the water to Hythe. The boats to Hythe run regularly as they are the quickest way to connect people. Jake was in his element having been on a train and now getting to go on a boat.
It’s only a quick journey but it was very pretty and great to see all the boats coming and going.
Once over to Hythe you can either choose to walk down the pier or take the small train. There was no choice for us… we had the train loving toddler hopping straight on!
It was definitely an experience and so much fun to do. Once in the town we were greeted by some cute shops and, somehow, Jake stumbled across the perfect toy shop which resulted in a few purchases for his wooden train track.
We had lunch in a restaurant overlooking the sea and the food was lovely. The service was very fast and polite and Jake even managed to behave for the whole time – with the help of the new train of course!
After another wander around the town and speaking to some of the lovely shop owners, we made out way back to the pier train to begin our journey back. The perfect day for a little boy: train, boat, train, lunch, train, boat, train!
The perfect part for me was the amazing sunset as we travelled back over to Southampton.
Just goes to show that sometimes the spontaneous days are the best!