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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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January 10, 2011

The Train Trip Was Great...

but I've been sick ever since I got home, so this will be a brief report.  I woke up Thursday morning feeling that tightness in the back of my throat and thought "uh oh" and by Friday it was pretty much a full-fledged sore throat.  Made me glad I wasn't going to be driving home and could just enjoy a new experience.

It was a long trip - left at 11:00 a.m. and got into Huntington I sometime after 10:00 p.m.  But the little roomette was so comfortable and my private little "facility" was so clean, that I can truly say I didn't mind at all that we ran late practically the whole trip.  I had brought along a little cross stitch, a book, a game on my phone, and just kept myself nicely entertained.

This is looking out my window at Chris who not only took me to the train station, but got on the train with me, explained everything and made sure I was all settled.  Sure is nice to have such very nice children.  I did say he used some of his Amtrak points to get the ticket for me, right?

And this is the smaller of the two seats which is actually where I sat for the whole trip cause I wanted to see where we were going rather than what we had just passed.  And my own private commode is right there under my purse and then above it is a pull-down sink that you run water into, wash up, and then when you close it back up, the water drains out to who knows where?  I preferred to leave my door and window curtains open, so the only iffy part was having to close them when I needed the privacy and figuring that my neighbors across the aisle probably had a pretty good idea why!

And this was the other wider seat and a good picture of the nice big window.  Very nice overall and certainly more comfortable than having to sit right next to someone for 11 hours.

We were "called" to lunch and I discovered that there weren't very many tables so we were asked to sit with people which was fine.  The woman I sat down with was going to Ashland, KY (next stop after Huntington) and had lived in Huntington for a good part of her life and then in a bit two younger than we were women sat at our table and they had been college roommates and were meeting up with a couple of other roommates at the Greenbrier Resort - a very posh, fairly historic resort/hotel/spa, etc., place near Lewisburg, WV.  So, we seemed to have a lot to talk about and I don't think anyone felt uncomfortable.

Each time we came to a station, I tried to keep track of when we left because there was a schedule in the brochures that I'd been given that showed departure times from each station. 

This was the station at Manassas and about the only one I saw.  Mostly when we stopped, if it was at a station, it must have been on the other side of the train.  I think we made a number of stops for other reasons too, though.  We stopped a lot.   We left Manassas about 25 minutes late and it finally reached about an hour late not too long after that and stayed that way til the section between Charleston and Huntington where we pretty much flew along and made real good time til we had to stop probably about a mile from the Huntington station and sit waiting for a freight train to move which took about 20 minutes.  But even that wasn't too bad - the car attendant asked me if I would mind moving to a room at the front of the car because someone was getting on and would be assigned my room, so I went up there and the occupant there was a Marshall University student coming back to Huntington after the holidays.

Here's just a couple of pictures I took out my window as we went along.  All the other ones I tried to get just didn't work - going too fast, reflection in the window and such.  But it was a lovely day.  I think I almost made myself a little motion sick staring out the window so much!  How nice not to have to be keeping my eyes glued to the same old highway...

After the hold-up right at the edge of Huntington, we got into the station and off the train into quite a heavy snow-fall.  There were no cabs and it took quite a while before the first one called showed up.  But I finally stepped into my apartment a little after 11:00 p.m. and it was good to be home.  Still was snowing heavily so, of course, I tried to get a picture or several out my windows.  Probably only snowed an inch or so and then none yesterday or today but supposedly more is on the way.

I switched this one to black and white cause in order to get the snowflakes to show up, I discovered I had to use my flash and then everything ended up looking very yellow.  But you can get the idea with the black and white, I think.

Today, I finally totally lost my voice - Heather called a while ago and managed to hear my whispered "hi", said "oh my gosh you sound awful" I said "yeah - I can't talk" she said "I'll call again - hope you feel better" and we hung up.  I get tickled cause being a person who lives alone, I do tend to talk to myself or the TV or whatever I'm working on, and now I can't hear myself.  Told a friend of mine in an e-mail that it's a good thing I know what I'm saying!


Christopher said...

I'm so glad the trip was pleasant, and you weren't full-on sick for the trip, like you are now :( I hope you get better soon...!
I like that b/w snowfall photo!

January said...

Love this post, Mama! Your little train room does look quite nice! The pictures you took of the landscape came out really well too - it looks like you'll have to make the ride again in the early fall when the leaves are changing!
Eat some chicken soup and get better soon!

vrmichie said...

So sorry that you've gotten worse before getting better (which I hope is soon!!) because you sounded plenty bad enough when I talked to you. I'm really impressed with how clean and spiffy your roomette was and I love the b/w snowfall -- straight out of a film noir except the cars are too modern. Get well soon.!!

Sandra from Sydney said...

Mary Lynne, you have had a lovely trip again. Your accommodation on the train looks comfortable and clean. I particularly like the photos you took to - especially the black and white one with the snow. It is very effective. Hope you are starting to feel better by now. Don't strain your voice trying to use it
Sandra (Snippets from my Studio)

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