I've just returned from Yoga class. I mentioned to my classmates that I had just returned from a trip. They said, "where to?" But, our trip was not about a destination. It was about the train. I had planned every detail of this, as is my way.
We left on Wednesday, the day before the actual day, around 1 p.m. Step Son took us to the Amtrak station in Vancouver, WA. I sat in the back seat of our SUV. Husband and Step Son in the front. Brilliant Baby beside me, all strapped and travelling, looked at me the entire ride from the house to the station as if to say, "you don't usually ride back here" or "where is Sister?" I hooked my index finger into his fist and talked to him. But seriously, when will this child start to talk so I know what he is thinking???
My plan was a "roomette" on the sleeper car and a reservation in the dining car for our meals. The train was late, a full hour. Step son and Brilliant Baby left us to wait. We sat next to a nice elderly lady with her walker who spent the time eating the food she had brought with her and talking on her Blackberry. Really. She and I talked about her going to meet family in Eugene, OR. She would be there by dinner time.
The train arrived and we separated, her to the coach car, us to -- where? We asked at each car until we arrived and were directed to our little roomette. Now mind you, I am good at research and planning. I picked a room we would sleep in and spend time in during the day. I had taken a virtual tour of the room prior to the trip. I was disappointed that it was so painfullly small. Little more than a closet. We reserved wine tasting in the parlor car at 4 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m. There was time before we got to the full realization of what I had done to us. We enjoyed our evening. Dinner was good. We hit Eugene just after dinner time and settled into a dark ride through the evening and a night on the train.
It wasn't until we returned to our "roomette" that we fully realized our situation. We sat quietly for a bit. Then, we had a little fight. It would be like sleeping in a small closet. There was an upper bunk which one of us could have slept in, but we quickly decided that we didn't like the idea and would sleep together on the lower bunk, painfully small. Longer, but less wide that a standard twin mattress.
A calm set over us. It was dark, but warm. There were sounds around us - interesting and happy sounds. As we tried to get comfortable, we watched the dark and snowy world go by outside our window. We snuggled in together, way too close, but cozy warm.
Late at night, I woke and set up. In the somewhat bleary world without my glasses, I saw trees covered with snow drifting by outside our window. There was the occasional shake or shudder of the train, but mostly it was a peaceful and rhythmic vibration and peaceful view of a world going by outside our window. Together with the peaceful snoring/breathing of my sweetheart, a very pleasant and happy feeling came over me. I was on vacation.
The plan was that we arrive in Sacramento at 6:08 a.m. I had been concerned that we would not awake in time to get ourselves off the train, but the Steward had assured me that it was one of his jobs that he get us off at the right stop. Plan B was the knowledge that my cell phone alarm was set, as always, to go off at 6 a.m. If the train was on time and the Stewart failed me, I wasn't looking forward to missing our plans. That would mean what? Bakersfield? Then what?
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