I have survived the Christmas of '07. The Christmas part wasn't so bad. The train ride home from New Mexico was. I know, I know. I have previously extolled the virtues of travel by train. I had not had this experience yet to give a true frame of refference.
First, I am the first person at that stop to get on that car. That car came from L. A., so there are people on it already. The attendant tells me to go sit in seat 6. I go to seat 6 and see that there is someone in seat 5 (the window seat). This someone starts awake, looks at me and says "Oh, No".
Second, there are roughly 10 sets of empty double seats from 2pm (when I got on) untill 7:30 am the next morning. I would have gladly moved at 7am to let a family sit together. But no. I had to sit next to the crabby old lady*.
Third, the train ran out of Heineken by around 8ish that night. And then the next day the dining car ran out of food. And by 3ish pm (day two) the entire train ran out of beer of any sort.
Fourth, the train was supposed to have arrived in Chi-town by 3-something pm of day two. But, alas, at around 2ish they get on the PA and tell us that we will be stopped for a bit because there is a freight train derailed aahead of us. This must be what caused the run on beer. Then we sat around for two hours waiting for busses to come get us to take us into Chi-town. We were already running late and were two hours away from our destination.
I was never so happy to get home as I was yesterday.
* That crabby old lady had had a REALLY bad time of it before I even got there. She was on an earlier train that was delayed NINE HOURS because someone decided that stepping in front a train was the answer to their problems. The train was going 85 mph. This next part is gross so I'm giving you warning to skip it if you wish..... because of the speed of the train, there were parts for a mile or two, and the nine hours gave them time to check the gears and moving parts of the train itself for bits of the person.
Ok, grossness done now.
I did check the interweb for info on the derailment and found out that it had happened at 6 freaking am. They could have re-routed us!!!! Granted the wreck took out power to the area, but come on, they had how many hours to figure out what to do? They could have had the damn busses waiting for us and then no one would have missed a connecting train.
Other wise my vacation was great. I relaxed. Cooked, hiked, and got to see some friends that live out there. I also met some very cool people on that train, so it wasn't ALL bad.
My folks seemed to like there gifts, and I love the ones I got from them. Mom got me another pair of glasses (think of glasses as an accessory, it's nice to have choices), and my step-father got me this really cool felt square bowl. And, when I arrived home there was a birthday gift waiting for me from Mom. I was told to go ahead and open it even though the birthday is early next week. She gave me a toaster. That is ORANGE!!!!!!!! Now I have to figure out where to put it in my minecule kitchen.
Little Bird is back in the nest.