Hey there! Chances are I’m on a train while you’re reading this!
Several years ago, Patty moved back to the Midwest to be closer to family. Anita and I came to visit – Patty’s house is gorgeous, with this awesome pool – and we dubbed it Camp Patty. At Camp Patty, there’s no team sports or tough hikes or lanyard-making (although we would if we wanted to!), but there is a lot of talking, eating, swimming, and camping out in the kitchen and around the pool. In fact that’s pretty much the entire program.
I’m going by train from Lamy, about 20 minutes away — the Lamy station looks like something out of a western movie, it’s hilarious. I’ve taken a lot of commuter trains (DC-NYC, or Chicago to the ‘burbs) but this will be my first legit train trip in eons. My last two pandemic flights were the stuff of nightmares, and the train was surprisingly cheap, which isn’t usually the case – Amtrak travel has always been twice the price for a trip that takes four times as long (Amtrak motto: we’ll probably get there eventually!). Time was my most valuable commodity in my former life, so: no, why would I do that? Those trips always seemed like last-resort options for people who don’t fly or are bringing their car to Florida. But I’ve got plenty of time at the moment, and most of the trip is in daylight hours through some really beautiful country, and I just could not face flying.
What’s it like to live in a country where train travel is a legitimate, well organized option and not a sad-sack afterthought? Must be nice. I’ve taken lots of trains in Europe and am always envious; even when the trains themselves are kind of janky, they run constantly, are affordable, and will get you there. It’s kind of wild that for a country the size of the US, we fail on trains – errybody got to get in the CAR. Road trip! (No thanks, just ask Anita how much I hate road trips. Are we there yet?! I want to get outttttttt.)
I had these tote bags made in spring 2020 in the early days of the pandemic that was going to last, oh, three weeks or so, in preparation for our summer camp. Two years later we’re actually going to use them! Anita, you better have that bag or you’ll have to take a CPR certification test!
Patty has five French bulldogs (or who knows, we’re talking about Patty, she could have 12 of them and a pair of llamas by now) and they are a hoot. We ate our body weight in watermelon and other goodies last time, from a big bowl in the kitchen. We spent most of the day in the pool. Naps were taken. There was trash talking and profane language and general goof-ballery. I managed to ride her buckin’ steer toy in the water for about five seconds which was hard as hell to get onto and was my single greatest achievement, maybe of my entire life.
Tell me some train stories! Do you travel much by train? What’s the best (or, hey, worst) train trip you’ve taken? Oh, and I’m taking my little travel spray of Nishane Wulong Cha with me along with a teeny bottle of 4711, those seem like good options for hot weather travel.