Saturday, July 23, 2011

My First Train Ride

     I’m headed off to Virginia to visit my sisters.   The younger one is moving back home so I'm off to help with the moving and to visit the big sis, (S).  Anyways, it may not be my first train ride if you count the little kiddie train in City Park, but it is my first time taking a train that actually goes somewhere besides the amusement park.  
Cool old train station.
     I have to say that I like the train thing, you get to see all kinds of stuff that you don’t see from a plane or from a highway.  I’m looking into people's yards, watching the woods go by, and there has even been a tunnel or two.  I opted to do the dining car thing and am a bit nervous about dining alone.  I'm wondering if I'm going to be seated alone or if I'm going to be at a table full of people I don't know.  Either way, I may never get the chance to do the dining car thing that you see in those old movies so despite being a little shy I'm going for it...

     Well I never got back to finishing this post after dinner because all kinds of things happened which made it difficult to pull out the laptop.  I'll start with dinner.  I was seated with two older gentlemen, Bob and Warren, who did volunteer work for the national park service.  We had a great time together at the table.  Warren was from Brooklyn and sort of like a northern New Orleanian, he was really chatty and friendly while Bob was from Maryland and a good deal more reserved, but pleasant nonetheless.  When I got back to my seat we had a stop in Atlanta and despite having over 16 empty seats this older woman was told she had to sit with me.  

     That didn't go over too well with either of us.  She squished into the seat next to me and said, "Nothing against you, but I would rather sit over there by the window so I hope you don't get offended when I ask to move."  I laughed and said, "no offense but I'd be a whole lot more comfortable if you moved over there."  The conductor was really rude to her when she asked to move and cut her off before she even finished her sentence.  Apparently they were expecting a full train.  J and I, (J my new seat mate/buddy), well okay it was mostly me, started calling the conductor Sgt. Shultz, (the guy from Hogan's Heroes), and then it picked up momentum from there.  Apparently several others around us had heard how rude the conductor was to J and the sympathy came pouring in.  Before the lights were put out for the night people were calling the conductor, "Hitler," apparently J wasn't the only one feeling mistreated by Sgt. Shultz/Hitler.

Choo choo on a bridge.
     My pleasant experience just hours earlier turned into what felt like riding in the cattle car.  Indeed we were packed in and there wasn't an empty seat on the train.  J and I confessed to  sleeping on top of one another.  I woke up on her shoulder and she was snoring in my face.  We shared cat pictures that morning and, small world, her brother worked with the local sheriff's department after Katrina, but hubby J didn't remember him.  

     J got off two stops before me and despite being shmushed in with her, I ended up missing the company.  When I reached my stop I was greeted by big sis and a lovely bouquet of flowers.  I think I could take a train again.

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