Thursday, October 30, 2014

We Rode a Train! (Part 1)

When the last of the Boys flew the nest Husband and I realized we had entered a new stage of our lives--a stage in which vacations were not planned around school calendars or campus visits, one in which taking time off wasn't geared toward researching how many persons a hotel would allow in a single room and whether a swimming pool was available for working off excess car energy times four.

"So, what would your dream vacation be?" Husband asked me. "A cruise? Europe?"

What popped out of my mouth surprised even me.

"I want to take a train ride to Seattle," I told him.

My imaginary life is populated by my voracious reading and viewing habits, which means that the word "train" conjures up thoughts of Ma Ingalls packing a lunch of fried chicken for Mary to eat as she clickety-clacked her way back to school, or (as I got older) Rock Hudson and Doris Day bouncing all madcap and delightful between sleeper cars. I see train accommodations behind my eyelids and they look something like this:
(Dang it, I cannot figure out how to embed a clip from a YouTube video. Please fast-forward to the 1:00 mark to see what I had anticipated our train car would be.)

So when Husband suggested we take a train to North Carolina to visit Boy#2, I was practically giddy with excitement. Never mind that passenger trains barely come through Kansas, much less through Small Town, so we had to fly to Chicago to catch the Amtrak. Never mind that it would take us 30 hours from Chicago to our destination, which was still an hour-long car ride from Two's apartment. Forget that we would spend the lion's share of the rail time in the dark, which pretty much negates the advantage of being able to watch scenery without worrying about traffic. And disregard the ominous e-mail Amtrak sent us days before our departure warning that heavy freight traffic was delaying arrivals by hours and hours and hey, we hope you don't miss your connecting train!

As we followed the attendant down the Chicago platform to our sleeper car to start our vacation I was grinning like a jack-o-lantern and I turned to share the moment with Husband.

"I'm so excited!" I burbled. "We're going on a TRAIN!"

(To be continued.)


  1. I feel less than confident the next post will be "And it was more wonderful than I'd ever imagined!"

  2. "to be continued" is one of my least favorite phrases. I have no patience. Please write fast. Thank you.