Train Escape 2015

20150520_113430Once a year, I throw some stuff into a bag and hop a train for a couple of days. This year I went to the same place I did last year. I did nearly all the same things… including the fact that my kids gave me a yellow plastic egg to keep me company on my trip.

Unfortunately, that part didn’t go as planned this year. As far as I could tell, I left the egg behind. It was very disappointing — I knew he’d have enjoyed the trip. I sent several pictures back to my kids, lamenting the missing egg. And they just laughed. Turns out I wasn’t the only one texting back pictures…

I like the concept of Bed&Breakfasts, especially the way the rooms have so much more personality than a hotel room. This year, though, I finally realized that staying at a place where I’m expected to get up before 9 (why would I even do that?) and eat breakfast (they never offer my favorite, beef stew at 10:00) maybe wasn’t best suited to my personality. That said, I did enjoy what of the breakfast I ate: blueberry and pecan French toast and sausage.

I was just sad that Mr. Egg wasn’t there to enjoy it with me. He’d especially have enjoyed the fruit cup.

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(Hey, y’all, don’t tell SJ I got her camera. But look at these fabulous crystal eggs I met! SELFIE!!!)

The whole point of the trip is to ride the train, which I do for an entire day down, then an entire day back up. I always tell myself I’m going to get some writing done, but five hours later I realized I haven’t taken my eyes off the ever-changing scenery. I saw a young collie chasing the train away from his yard; a field completely covered with yellow flowers; and rock-filled creeks running far below the train. And mostly — which fed my Southern soul — I saw green:

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At the end of the day, I arrived in the little town where I’d spend two nights. It was nice to be there, I told the kids, but I sure did miss Mr. Egg.

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It was an uneventful stay. I did a lot of brainstorming about a new project, remembered to walk down to a restaurant for lunch at about 4pm each day, and ate breakfast with people who turned out to be really nice once I drank three cups of coffee.

Odd things did happen occasionally, though. I went into my room to find my Milanos bag open on the bed. I didn’t remember getting into it yet, but the door was locked so nobody else could have done it, right?

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Hey, kids — you were absolutely right about creamers! They’re way better than coffee! Cheers!

 

Here’s the annual picture of The Fairy Fortress. It was built in historical times by a historical person who obviously had foreknowledge of the Fairy Zombie Apocalypse. (Kind of seems like there’s an egg in this picture, but that’s impossible!)

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Me with the Fairy Castle, wishing Mr. Egg was here because he loves this thing so much.

20150521_171724 Wait, what? Turn around? What? I don’t see anything.20150521_171859

Lovely peonies in bloom. Would you stop talking about Mr. Egg already? I’m tired of feeling guilty for leaving him behind.

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I walked the mile to the station to catch my train, along a street that’s an odd combination of redneck small town and posh hipster resort town. This sign has been around for a long, long time. Beneath the word “Internet” are ghosted out letters informing travelers that the inn has “TV — Telephones.”

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And back again. The train goes on without me.

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Mr. Egg! There you are! Spent the whole trip stuck in a hot car in a train station parking lot. I’m so sorry. You would have enjoyed the trip so much.

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As much as I cherish my train escape, I noticed something this year. My first year, I desperately needed to get away. It was as if I were badly dehydrated, and four days away was just barely enough to quench the thirst. Last year, I was pretty thirsty, so it felt really good, but I wasn’t quite as frantic for the escape. This year, I enjoyed myself, but I got off the train and walked to my car plenty ready to see the family again. The past few years have been one of emotional and spiritual recovery, and I take this as a hopeful sign that — as much as I love getting away by myself — I’ve come a long way back from the brink of crisis.

I just hope I don’t forget to take Mr. Egg next year. What a bummer.

 

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