Friday, July 01, 2005

Riding the Rails with My Sweetie

I Am a Bad Blogger. This week was really busy . . . although not busier than normal, but I have had a lot more on my mind than normal – and not the sort of things I can put on “paper” just yet.

I had a good week, which started with a very lovely lunch on Sunday. Teaching on Tuesday night . . . my class is starting to gel and we are doing a lot more laughing together, people are starting to help others. I only have 4 more classes and then I get a break for the rest of the summer.

This August, we are taking a train trip across the country and back. The whole trip will take a little over two weeks, with us spending about a week in Southern California and a week in the Portland/Seattle area. I am really looking forward to the train trip . . . it takes 2 and a half days to get out to southern Cal from DC, with a brief stop in Chicago.

I think there is nothing lovelier than traveling on the train. It is always fascinating to me to see the landscape change from lush green woods to prairie to desert . . . it is not something you get to see everyday, especially not on a plane. You get to spend three days doing absolutely nothing but reading, sleeping, eating and looking out at the changing landscape.

People ask why we would want to take so long to get somewhere – the plane is faster! And most of the time cheaper – but to us, the vacation is in the journey – being able to take some time and just BE, not having to rush anywhere or see anyone, not having to deal with family members or schedules, just spending the day in quiet bliss, serenaded only by the sound of the wheels on the track.

Once we are on the west coast, we are going to be hitting the ground running. We are staying with my husband’s family, his uncle lives nearby, there are many old friends of both of us who live within a 50 mile radius who it would be criminal not to see while we are out there. There are also the places that my husband wants to take me to, places where he grew up and wants to share with me. And one day, we will go out to the National Cemetery and visit his father’s grave. I will bring flowers and hold my husband’s hand as we go to say hello to the man who shaped him so much, who I am so sad that I never got to meet. He was a history teacher, a voracious consumer of the news and other bits of the written word, a man who was plagued with many health problems the last 20 years of his life, and whose passing it is still hard for my husband to bear at times.

Then we will travel to Portland to spend time with my husband’s grandmother, who told us “Come out here and see me before I die.” Gee, with an invitation like that, how can one refuse? She is a wonderful, feisty old lady, who has had to bear a lot of pain in her life, but who still trudges through it all with a good heart and humor. There are more aunts and uncles and cousins out there to visit and much time will need to be spent with everyone. If we can fit it in, we hope to spend a day in Seattle, a city I love, love, love.

Then we will pack up and get back on the train for 3 days of much needed rest and find our way back home. I get tired just thinking about the trip, but I can’t wait to go.

Does anyone else have some fun summer plans?

4 comments:

**D** said...

I give you major props for your train love. I once traveled via Amtrak to Boston from Youngstown and am still traumatized by it. From your p.o.v though it sounds amazing and exciting! I've no plans myself except for maybe wisking away to Canada for a few days. I'm with you on the week getting away from you... how to find time for it all... :) ** D**

Anonymous said...

No big plans, just more trips to London to have my emotions and heart played with by flirty English boys - ahhh summer.
- Virginia Gal

Random Kath said...

Danielle:

The key is to go by sleeper car if you are going any longish distance . . . the meals are included in the fare and the dining car has some YUMMY meals! We had Cornish game hens one night, which quite amusing seeing all of the dining car patrons trying to figure out how to eat those things . . .

Random Kath said...

Virginia Gal:

Can I say how jealous I am of your London trips? How awesome - especially getting to meet flirty English boys! ;)

Ah, but I am perfectly happy with my goofy California boy - he loves playing soccer, so I can pretend he's British sometimes . . . :)