We all survived the field trip, even with the rain. It turned out that it was lucky I got on the early train and sat around outside the aquarium for 20 minutes before the bus arrived--because the next train that would have come along actually caught fire a few stops north of where I boarded. At least one parent was late to the field trip while NJ Transit came up with a substitute train.
The teacher sent a note home that every child was expected to bring a grownup to the trip. There were only 2 children out of 28 who did not--and they're twins. The teacher and aide took those children around with them.
Since Little Brother is very familiar with the Aquarium, a couple of parents who were first-time visitors trailed along with us; they were happy to be with someone who knew how to find the favorite exhibits. We actually navigated the place backward, so we were in the Shark Tunnel all by ourselves--just 3 parents and 3 fascinated little boys. It was really cool having a whole section of the aquarium all to ourselves, though that didn't last long as more and more buses spewed out more and more kids of all ages and sizes. We enjoyed the seal-feeding show and the divers' show (even though we've seen that one at least 5 times before). Our lunches were not hopelessly smashed.
And best of all, I didn't have to spend any time with anyone who spent the entire field trip "bribing" their child to behave until the end of the trip. That's happened before, and I was ready to explode by the end of that day. We did have to call out to our boys, "Stay together" or "Slow down" from time to time but that was really not too bad.