Up the River and through the Woods

Up the River and through the Woods
“Part I”

Out from below the engine, a cloud of steam billowed into the already warm, diesel fuel choked air of Chicago’s Union Station. “All aboard” conductors called out from every direction, while the “clank clank ring ring” of incoming and departing trains added to the coordinated chaos. A good, but not great looking man, adorned in the traditional NAVY white summer uniform, wound his way through the seemingly endless loading dock of track number 23 toward gate B.

(“20 hours earlier”)

“All Aboard the Texas Eagle, service from Longview to Chicago have your tickets ready.”
I grabbed my carry on luggage consisting of my entire computer (with monitor) navy briefcase, and of course old faithful, you know him as Star Trek briefcase. Stepping up onto the double decker (Super Liner) Amtrak car; I placed them ever so carefully in the overhead and storage compartments walked up the Smurf size stairway and found my self a seat. A nice big one at that with nobody to share it with “Hell-yes” I thought to myself.

My watch said 1937 ahhh perfect, the sun was going down and I was getting sleepy.

Ever have that feeling where you are really tired but no matter what you cant fall asleep. Well I had it, and I had it for ohhhh lets see now about five f&*%^’n hours. I guess maybe because of pure exhaustion I finally fell asleep……. Anyway…..

The sun slowly crept up over the trees, through the large window, and into my eyes around 0600.

Surprised I was not drowning in a pool of drool. Like a new born giraffe I lifted my crusty eyelids, “Well some sleep is better then no sleep”

“Good morning ladies and gentlemen, I would like to now inform you that our dining car is now open and will begin seating immediately.” My brain was not hungry and was more interested in getting a few more hours of sleep in, but my stomach had other plans. Before I could come to my senses splurging a little for a decent breakfast I had ordered Eggs, sausage, some flapjacks plus a cup of morning JOE.

Those real eggs hit the tip of my tongue and my taste buds decided to throw a little party in my mouth, devouring every last speck of the wonderfully delicious train ride morning banquet. (In all actuality the meal could have been pretty bad, but compared to SODEXO a Snickers is a four course meal.

Finding no more tidbits anywhere left on my place I got up paid the bill, and walked over to the lounge car. The lounge car is in addition to a small snack bar on its lower level has an observation deck on the top. With one of those windows that start at your feet and curve around your head and come back down on the other side. I picked a nice seat in the middle or the car, and for the next few hours mindlessly starred at the raging Mississippi only feet from the train rails.

I left in almost a cold sweat when I heard something, a familiar sound… A really familiar sound.

“If you would like, for your entertainment, we are showing a movie today.. on both decks of the lounge car, the movie is entitled “Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events ”.


Joe said...

I'm proud I talked you into the train.

Anyone from Amtrak reads this, email me - I'll take the 500 bonus points for signing him up on Guest Rewards (I don't think they do that anymore - I got them for Dan in March though...)

Welcome home, Brian, Hope you enjoy your stay in wonderful Fond du Lac...

Anonymous said...

Handsome - you make me smile!
Welcome home - my one and only...
I YOU always and forever - Me

Joe said...

An update for the few people who read this who think Brian's dead:

Brian's home
Kim is home for the weekend
and it's Rockets For Schools in Sheboygan, WI

So he is rather busy - he'll be back to the blog later this week hopefully...