Birthdays are a mixed blessing. You can't celebrate one if you're dead, but it's still a day where you have to slow down long enough to go, "Hum, another year. How many more?" When I turned 45 I was in India. I'd spent the night before in intestinal distress, though certainly not because of the inattentiveness of our Indian hosts. They were fastidious about what we Westerners ate. The spices finally caught up with me so I did not come close to getting a good night's sleep as it became my birthday. I finally dozed off and at sometime after five in the morning the call to prayer began in the minaret nearby. On a loudspeaker. I lay in my bed thinking how cool it was that I was in here, on my forty-fifth year of life. That contuining desire To Do Something Cool on My Birthday is what inspired me to take a trip.
As you read this we are on an adventure. The house sitter in is place, the mail on hold, the luggage stowed and we're heading north. On. A. Train. I suspect at this point Stephen W. who posts comments to this blog just spit coffee all over his keyboard. Yes, we're on a train. Why? Well, why not?
Friends of ours have been waxing enthusiastic about the wonders of train travel for quite some time (Stephen included) so we decided to give it a try. In honor of my *mumble-mumble* birthday, we're taking Amtrak and in particular, the Crescent to Washington, DC. We have about a six hour layover so we're meeting my buddy and frequent roomie (Jean Marie Ward) who lives in a suburb of DC. I was last there in 1964 (when racial tensions were high) and the spouse has never been to the Nation's Capitol. Our brief layover is only going to allow time for a quick spin down by the Mall and some lunch, but I figure that will whet his appetite for a lengthier trip next year.
Later that afternoon we will board the Capitol Limited to Chicago. We're due to spend four full days in the Windy City and I'm looking forward to it. I hope to set a future Time Rovers book there, I adore the architecture and I want to hit the museums. And have a genuine Chicago hot dog. YUM.
It's about 13 hours to DC and then 17 to the Windy City so we reserved ourselves bedrooms on both trains because no matter how comfy a couch seat, they don't beat your own bed. We'll be on two different kinds of trains so it will be fun to compare them. I'll be sure and blog as we travel.
We finally end our trip in Iowa with the family and then back home via a plane to Atlanta. Husband has two weeks' vacation and he's so ready for this trip. I have to admit it, so am I.