Bear with me. This may take forever. I will just pepper these in with normal posts as we go along the road into the future...
It all began with a train ride. I was super excited, because Bear surprised me with the tickets. I hate to fly. I hate being suspended in mid-air in a gigantic metal tube with climate control and pressurized air. It's just... not natural. I get vertigo and then in my mind I go through all the horrible ways it could go wrong. Last time we boarded a plane, a "confused" stow-away in the bathroom was escorted off the plane by security while officials found and confiscated the various plastic bags he had stowed in multiple compartments. It was terrifying. So, the gist is, I HATE flying.
BUT my dad is a model train guy, and I grew up going to the occasional train museum or model train convention, and as a hangover of the experience wound up romanticizing the rails myself. This is something Bear has known for a while. So he splurged and got us a roomette on the Silver Star. I was way too excited about it.
We got a lift to Union Station with my dad, and had a couple hours to kill. We were let into the VIP Lounge, which was pretty awesome and offered the bonus of free coffee. Some people would sneer at free Folder's from a pot, but I prefer it to Starbucks anyway (although if it had been Dunkin' Donuts coffee I would have been ecstatic!). There was a plethora of snacks in 100 calorie baggies, too... so naturally, I ate four bags of Goldfish like the sophisticate I am.
Eventually we decided we were hungrier than snacks, and drifted off through the Station to find sustenance. And we stumbled upon an Uno's. So we got some pizza and beer (you know, because those things go together). Our departure was in the afternoon, so I felt a little better about the early beer.
Finally, it was boarding time. The VIP Lounge was kinda crowded when we returned from lunch, yet we were the only people headed to Orlando. We found our car, boarded, and began what I felt would be the adventure of a lifetime! After all, it's the journey rather than the destination, right?
Well, I learned that it is a pain to be a smoker on a smoke-free train that has maybe two smoking stops in 17 hours. I also learned that the sensation of moving is hard to shake when you leave the train and are back on solid ground. There was also a fiasco with the rental car once we arrived that wound up costing us almost twice the original quoted price, but... we had our romance on the rails! The last lesson: bring a good book. And make sure you have an alternate, in case you get bored with Austen.
Finally, never let boring hours confined to a small space stifle creativity. Write, read, doodle, photograph, and make it into a music video!