Posse! Patty’s got allergies and I’m an idiot (missed the schedule because Travel) so I’m in for Wednesday! Heyyyyy!
March gave you a quick rundown on Stuff We Did in Santa Fe. I thought I would give you a bit of intel from the trip (as in to-from, etc) as well as my perspective of the glory that is Northern New Mexico. Strap in, babysnakes! We are rollin’ along!
Train travel: I am ALL for it. A total convert and devotee. Yonks ago, on a whim, I took the train from Chicago to DC to visit Missy March – the train I was on had a choice of upper or lower and by chance I chose lower – it was delightful! Maybe…10? seats to a car? No stress. Glorious. This NM trip was all one level but it was sparsely populated and the scenery was gorgeous, both inside and out. Once you leave IA (right across the Mississippi from me) the topography starts to change and really… once you get out of Kansas, heading West?? you realize you really aren’t in Kansas anymore. Gorgeous red rock in (wait for it)… Colorado, the sky begins to open up in a way that just feels…different, even though the Midwestern plains & fields are every bit as open. As you head to New Mexico it takes on a beautifully alien look – this is my second trip into NM and the landscape continues to beguile and terrify me, in equal measure.
The interior of the train? Well. I dunno why Floyd was feeling so generous but Thank. You. Floyd. My car was jammed with gorgeous, ripped, fit young men (including, Blessed Be, a Young Rudy Reyes clone who sat across the aisle from me. Omg). Like I’d stumbled upon a Marine platoon. Hoo-rah! My favorite, though, was the hot PR (my people – I can say that 😉 who … bless his hort (good thing he is hot) … meant to go to Las Vegas…NV. And nearly got bounced off the train at Las Vegas NM. ( which would’ve been tragic, as there is nothing – and I mean NOTHING – in Las Vegas NM). He was on his way to a prizefight (my people) in LV, NV. Luckily he figured it out before LV NM and the conductor helped him instead of being a jackass and we giggled at that mistake for a good, long while. New Mexico is NOT Rhode Island – it takes a bit to get from Point A to wherever the hell Point B is. Long. But lovely when you are dawg-mad flirting with a guy half your age who’s built like a light-heavyweight prizefighter, with flashing midnight eyes and a killer smile and okay I’ll stop now…
I did enjoy folks with other attributes, too (I promise! I still have some depth ;-). A lady raising her special needs grandson – she needed to talk – a LOT but… y’know? I figured I could just sit there and listen, right? So I did. Sometimes it’s good to just give the gift of your ears. And a really excellent time was spent with a man named Shaun Duguay (aka Donny Donut) – a very humbling experience, hearing his story. Chatting about why we were on the train, he told me he was on his way to CA to pick up a family in need and drive them back to PA (that’s right – Pennsylvania!!) where The Donny Donut Project had a job and housing waiting for them. Yes. How cool is that?!! During the conversation Shaun told me he’d spent a bit (okay, a LOT) of time in the penal system and at some pivotal point decided to get a grip and turn his life around. He is now walking his talk and helping others and ministering in practical ways. It was… well… it was nice. His organization ‘aim(s) to be a beacon of Light and Hope… in a very dark time’. Well, Donny, you’re doing it – and doing it well. Thank you for giving a damb.
Some other observations: New Mexico is DRY AF!!! I remember that from our last visit, when my cuticles simply fell off my fingers – but it’s still shocking. I think I could live there – but ONLY if I invested heavily in moisturizer. A LOT OF MOISTURIZER. Sweatergawd, I must’ve dampened and reapplied … 5x daily? Maybe more. Brutal, that dry, high desert air. I drank sooo much water.
Alas, no Danger Noodles this trip – but it’s November. DNs get chilly. I’ll see them in July.
Visually, New Mexico is… vast. I know. I know. I already yarked on about that but DAYum! I’ve driven and ridden all over this country and.. well, the drive from Santa Fe to Albuquerque still took my breath away. Dropping down from altitude to ‘a lot less altitude’ in a 50 min drive was both exhilarating and terrifying, like being in the Mars Rover except there’s more traffic and a lot of signage (ABQ apparently doesn’t have the same zoning laws as Santa Fe). I’d love to take those hills and curves on a motorcycle. That would be a blast!!!
Chow. I could live off green chile. Forever. There. I said it.
Cowboy hats. And cowboys. As in Texas, they work. Hard. Even in Walmart (where you can buy them, btw. Yep. The hats. Not the cowboys. Though it would be nice….okay I’ll stop now.).
Gosh, I had a great time! And… on the train coming back? A sweet surprise! Floyd put that Young Rudy clone back on the same train, in the same car! Blessed Be! I mean, what are the chances? It’s not as if I were on a commuter train – that’s 24hrs for me, even more for him (he was LA). But I am NOT complaining. I mean, what ARE the chances, right? Obviously Floyd wanted me to have something pretty to look at.
Floyd is Good.
Okay – I’m off on another adventure, this time via air so I’ll have to check to make sure I don’t inadvertently get in hot water with TSA (it’s happened – several years ago I had to ‘step out of line’ and go Fedex some tactical edge weapons that were snoozing in my cosmetic bag – sweatergawd I’d forgotten they were in there. Dunno if ‘step out of line’ would result in me going to Fedex now, though. Not these days.). Has that ever happened to you? It’s embarrassing, to say the least.*
*update: back from my weekend (air travel) visit – no TSA issues this time but I do have some weirdness to discuss with y’all, about how Perfume can make it or break it and Going to Other People’s Houses. We’ll yap about that A WEEK FROM NEXT TUESDAY (since, apparently, I cannot do my damb scheduling job correctly).
What an entertaining read you gave us. I grinned and chuckled all the way through and what a great start to your little vacation too, with that assortment of car passengers! Danger noodles, twisty stairs, butts and Rudy. Wow. Lolol!
Inorite? Such a cocktail of fabulousness, there. I do love a train car full of hot men. Danger noodles, probably not so much (at least not in the train car).
I’mo be THAT Old Lady! LOL! Bring it!
I needed this vacation Ms A! You are such a great writer. I’m all for train travel, too; starting from Chicago will get you anywhere. Love your descriptions of the scenery both outside and inside the train 😉
Thank you, darling!!
Both sceneries were AWESOME! Because I am a dawg, I especially loved the interior view 😉
I loved the entertaining travelogue! I’m also a fan of train travel. Used to take the train between home and my college town, and it was a relaxing, enjoyable ride, listening to “Avalon” on my walkman, walking down to the Cafe car for a snack. I always felt safe, too. Loved your descriptions of all the scenery. 😀 You crack me up! And yes, yes, yes to the power of a hundred: listening is a gift. Sounds like you made the most of your travel time. Thanks for a great post!
and yes, the train is fabulous!!! Almost none of the stress of air travel (which has become just… a nightmare)
Oh my, you are the bees knees. This was just such a good read. Trains. They are good here (though right now they aren’t because it often happens that they lack staff due to Covid). There are so many places I didn’t visit during the time I lived in the US. Oh, my list. And the people you meet (that refers to you, not you in the abstract). Why don’t we have pictures???? TSA … I did get my nail scissors taken off me on arrival in the Maldives. Oh, and once on a trip to NY my son (then 10) got pulled out of line and asked all kinds of questions. Who knew a 10 year old could be viewed as a threat. I did complain. Vociferously.
You know… I was going to post a photo (he’s masked and largely unrecognizable) but … I had that moment of moral quandary (which I so seldom have, so it was …startling) that maybe I shouldn’t invade his privacy thus. I should’ve taken a photo of my PR baby’s butt, as he was hauling my bag up the stairs – the twisty, twisty stairs… 😉 A young boxer’s butt, going up the twisty, twisty stairs… yay!
I love trains too Musette! Best way to travel
and Boys on Trains! an added bonus.
Thanks for the trip, Musette. I feel like you took me on a trip, and it was great. A real getaway.
Pam, it was a pleasure, both to experience and to share!
New Mexico sounds absolutely stunning, but being a tropical flower, I sadly don’t think I could survive the dryness. Looking forward to visiting some day all the same!
TC, it is absolutely stunning! But seriously dry. At least at Santa Fe’s elevation. DRY!
Your trip sounds wonderful, Musette! When you write like this, it’s like seeing a painting… no, a movie! You and your co-passengers getting along like peas and rice. I’m betting young Rudy was happy to have you to talk with, too. I do love a train ride. We ought to have better, and higher-speed trains in this big country! The Donny Donut man is a good guy–so cool to hear about people like this.
Young Rudy didn’t talk much – he was listening to Tejano for most of the trip – but we chatted for a hot minute. I mostly ogled him Because I Could.
Donny D really does walk his talk – the world is favored to have folks like him in it!
BAHAHA glad you had such a great time, I certainly did! That poor Las Vegas guy was not the first one to make that mistake, I am sure. And I DID get pulled by the TSA once. I’d gone on an impromptu picnic on vacation and bought one of those cheap 99-cent plastic handled paring knives in the grocery, to cut a wedge of cheese… and forgot all about it and its maaaaaybe 3″ blade in my carryon. Got a stern talking to. The worst was Ashton (on his FIRST solo flight, age maybe 14?) setting off the giant scary AF German shepherd dogs they were using to sniff passengers in the TSA line, and he got a deep frisk while I watched, helpless, from outside the TSA gate. No idea. They didn’t find anything and let him go. We laugh about it now, but not at the time.
I remember that Ashton Incident. I’ve never set off the dogs but I have gotten ‘talked to’ – especially when they have found non-lethal but questionable weapons (okay – every weapon is potentially lethal, so nebber mind). They are confused by my mien… then my ‘ooops! sorrry’ attitude… then they just make me take them out, etc.
At least they used to. Now I think they have ZERO tolerance for any of that. So I really police my stuff before I set off.
I had a MARVELOUS time! xoxoxo
I missed a tour bus once in Santa Fe (similar problem, got lost in chatting with a hot former pro rugby half my age, it was so good for my soul!) and took the train back to Albuquerque. You’re right, the scenery in between IS otherworldly. I grew up on and am back to the open plains, but even that is much different. Have much enjoyed hearing these travel tales!
VLuvvr – that is definitely worth the missed tour bus!!!
And yeah – it is different, innit? Even though it is the same basic layout (open). I work in the Plains often and it doesn’t have that ‘alien’ feel that high desert does.