Once 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.
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:
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.
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?
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!)
Me with the Fairy Castle, wishing Mr. Egg was here because he loves this thing so much.
Lovely peonies in bloom. Would you stop talking about Mr. Egg already? I’m tired of feeling guilty for leaving him behind.
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.”
And back again. The train goes on without me.
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.
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.