People, people everywhere. Mostly, train travel is rough on us introverts. Oh, it's interesting to, at meals, sit across from people with stories to tell, but the constant requirement to do so wears thin by the time you reach all that graffiti in Los Angeles.
Frankly, on the final leg home as we crossed those pretty farms in Wisconsin, I considered leaping from the train (with Tom) so we could start a whole new life. Alone. In the silence of a hay field.
We took this second train vacation for 3 reasons:
1. To see states we'd missed the first time.
2. To attend the small memorial for Tom's mom.
3. To visit my mother, my sister and her family.
We had the tightest itinerary ever created, so if we passed within feet of your house without saying hello, we apologize. It just wasn't that kind of vacation. Only in Chicago, L.A., and Seattle did we have layovers in train stations and we did spend one afternoon/night in a Eugene motel, but even so, you'd not have wanted to visit with us. We were too wiped-out. And ugly-looking. :)
Train travel is not for those seeking to arrive home refreshed and invigorated. Uh, no.
Speaking of Tom's mom's memorial, here's a photo our niece took of Tom and his sisters after they'd placed both their parents' ashes in the wall at the cemetery in Chester, the town where Tom and I first met and where Naomi was born.
Afterward, we all ate lunch at a small restaurant Tom's parents used to frequent. How good to visit with this side of the family again and we enjoyed our stay with Tom's sister and her son and his wife in Redding. Everything about that special day felt just right.
From there we drove to my mom's in Crescent City where she took us sightseeing along the ocean and through the Redwoods.
We visited lots with my sister, Corrine, and enjoyed lunch at my mom's favorite restaurant with Corrine, her husband and her oldest son (who greatly reminded me of the Russian guy in The Man From UNCLE, which Tom and I watched in Eugene).
Before leaving New York, you'd have thought, according to The News, that all of Northern California was on fire. I imagined all rivers would be puddles and I pictured us speeding down roads with scenes from the burning of Atlanta on each side.
But it wasn't like that (which comes with a small reminder not to allow The News to form how you view our world). We saw just one small fire in the mountains above our heads, but all those evergreens still give the illusion of greenery, though the tall grasses, yes, have all gone white and we spied many struggling eucalyptus trees.
There's more but I've still got 'train head' and should probably crawl back into bed. Naomi arrived here yesterday, as well, and I need to pull myself together enough to visit with her.
Over and out. For now.
Gee, those Redwood Trees are huge, aren't they?
Oh! And I simply must share this photo of my mom's sister (on left) taken by a street photographer circa 1947, most likely in Tacoma.
Is that vintage-cool or what?