Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Train Journey Continues

 So we stepped onto the train at 12:30 a.m. into a coach car where some people did not believe in sleeping.

Oh my.

The lights stayed on, a handful of folks chatted, the stewards walked back and forth, speaking loudly and Tom and I wondered what kind of a circus we'd signed into.

Now, soon I'll write a blog post specifically for you folks who are considering train travel, but here's one early warning: Never, ever ride overnight in the coach seats. Never. Ever. That is, unless you can sleep anywhere:

... even sitting-up in a train-shaking seat
... or in a pretzel position if you, alone, have two seats
... or if people are chatting constantly behind you at 3:30 in the morning
... and if the train stops and people board everytime you begin to nod off.

Otherwise, do not do it. Do not spend the night in coach. Never ever do that.

We got perhaps two fitful hours of sleep that first night so it was a bleary-burning-eyed pair who wandered past slumped-over, sleeping people into the dining car at 6:30 for crescents, sausage and orange juice while we watched a gorgeous country sunrise. All of that, alone, nearly made up for that first night.

How awesome to sit at white table-clothed tables, munching, while watching morning scenery roll by the window beside you.

Then we returned to our seats and watched more farms and 1800's brick town buildings roll by and cat-napped until we reached Chicago and Union Station (I love the old sound of that. Chicago Union Station.)

There's a lovely waiting area there for those blessed people who will travel by sleeping car--and fortunately--that meant us. Endless juice, coffee, soda and pretzels awaited us as well as comfortable chairs (and more catnaps) and two large tv's. And hours of waiting.

Then finally! We were off for the Rocky Mountains with hundreds of scenes such as the first one which greeted you here in my post. Oh, and our tiny sleeper roomette on the train! I can't even describe the joy we felt when we beheld that cozy space the size of a (small) bedroom closet. It had a door. Privacy. And a great big window. More endless juice, coffee and bottled water. I think this picture of Tom sitting there says it all.

Stay tuned for more Train Adventures With Tom and Debra. There will be a special treat next time for those of you who love decorating and gardening.


Oh. My. Goodness. The new issue of Mary Jane's Farm arrived today and after a quick perusal, I'm thinking it just may be the best issue EVER. Lots of Gratitude Attitude stuff (which I so need) and when you read about the couple who invented a gratitude game and then opened a cafe where people could play that game, well, your mouth will drop open while reading the rest. Mine did, anyway. What an inspiring issue all-around.


Cindy Swanson said...

Debra, I once went from Chicago to Austin, TX on the train, with a toddler, and NO sleeping car. The night was MISERABLE.

The day part was OK, because looking at the passing scenery really was enjoyable.

But I don't mind flying at all, and for long trips, flying is definitely my transport of choice!

Pat said...

I'm still on the train with you!
I know what you mean by not traveling coach! That's how we traveled when I was a child! When your young nothing bothers you, but I have to I recall, even I couldn't sleep.