To celebrate Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House, we’re sharing stories from our program participants, staff, and volunteers about what makes our House so special.
Here, former youth worker Romy describes a momentous train journey to Disneyland with the pre-teens.
Back in the 2000s, I went to Disneyland for the first time as an adult and thought it was magical.
When I came back to work, I thought, if I enjoyed Disneyland so much as an adult, these kids would love it. So we fundraised. The kids worked their butts off to go there.
Well, we made it, and the kids thought Disneyland really was magical. It was amazing.
But the train trip to get there was… memorable.
The journey took two days each way—55 hours there and 45 hours back— on Amtrak.
I really don’t think any one of us will ever want to get on Amtrak again! We had the worst experience, with the first engine taking out the second engine, then the lights went out.
It was just mayhem… there was one problem after another!
And mind you, we were travelling with a large group of pre-teens! They would complain about the heat, all the time.
When the train stopped to pick up other passengers at the stations, we herded the group out and got them to run up and down the platform, do yoga, and stretch. We only had about five minutes, before the train got moving again.
I don’t know how we survived that trip, but it was definitely an adventure we will all remember.