We just crossed over the Missouri River.
On a train.
We have a small sleeper compartment. Private bathroom.
Stan's playing guitar.
|Stan's happy - there's a self-serve coffee stand at the end of our coach.|
All meals are included on the 28 hour train trip from Albuquerque to Chicago.
Salmon, fillet steak, NY cheesecake.
A small bottle of merlot.
The attendant brings hot water for tea to our compartment between meals.
And makes up the beds. Nice.
New Mexico is beautiful from here. Mountains and mesas.
(Did you know - the Santa Fe Railway never went to Santa Fe.
The terrain was too tough. So it stopped in nearby Lamy.)
Across Kansas. Missouri. A small corner of Iowa, and into Illinois.
Fields and farms and quiet towns.
Over the Mississippi River.
Lots of water up here. Still snow in some places!
Looks like it was a wet and wild winter.
Finally - the train pulls into Chicago.
Chicago is an enjoyable city.
Clean, cool architecture, friendly folks, and a killer location right on the lake.
Museums, clubs, shows, parks. One of the better world-class cities. A bit unsung.
And - the Art Institute, which is always a treat.
Then, a new destination.
Up along Lake Michigan to Wisconsin to visit Jim and Jane (and Jessica).
Also by train.
The weather didn't cooperate. Freezing!
So we had to discuss Everything Under the Sun - indoors.
Which - we did. Solving world problems left and right.
|(Jane, by the way, is a heck of a cook-!)|
In the last 5 months, we sold our house in NM.
Sold the cars. 16 bicycles. Furniture. Antiques. Gave away books, clothes, linens, kitchenware.
Dozens of guitars. Rugs. Art materials, art. Tons of tools. -Untold treasures.
And 1 cat. (who is probably happier now)
The goal was to get rid of everything.
Aiming toward a "toothbrush and a credit card" life.
Lightening the load a bit.
After that job, this long slow trip was welcome.
From Chicago, the Lake Shore Limited - another overnight train.
Sleeper compartment to New York.
Along the edges of Lake Michigan and Lake Erie.
Past Buffalo, where my Dad was born in 1910.
The Queen Mary II is our next step - for the transatlantic portion of our trip back to France.
Always wanted to take the Queen Mary.
It's not a cruise ship, it's an ocean liner. Transport, rather than entertainment.
Between New York and Southhampton, UK.
And: It IS beautiful. Luxurious. Spacious. Elegant.
Our stateroom has loads of space. Even a fridge. An electric kettle.
A private balcony, a king bed, and a comfortable sitting area.
With a complimentary bottle of champagne.
Turn down service. With chocolates.
Evenings are quite formal - most men in tuxedos, most women in sparkly dresses.
Lots of ballroom dancing and live music in the evenings. Shows. Speakers.
(You can hang out in your stateroom, and go to the buffet or the pub if you want to stay casual.)
The ship's library is the largest afloat - it's impressive.
Stan is still happy - he's got his guitar and a view.
(I thought this might be some sort of modern art sculpture.
Turns out it's a spare propeller blade. Yikes.)
I love just watching the water glide by. No responsibilities.
Being amazed that there is NOTHING around us - in any direction. Just water.
(Ok, maybe an iceberg or two up by Labrador-)
And we have so little idea of what is UNDER the water out here.
After 7 nights' crossing, London-!
We find last minute tickets to a West End show, and go out for dinner after.
TGV (the Train of Great Speed) from London to Paris.
The Eurostar. Upstairs. Quiet.
Under the English Channel. Fast.
Change stations in Paris.
Passing over the Seine.
Through the fields and villages of France - way down to the south.
To Béziers overnight.
(Didn't want to arrive on the boat too late in the day.
After winter, we first have to fill the water tanks.)
Then - finally, after a trip that took us 3 weeks:
It's time to open the champagne.
On the aft deck of Maggie May.