Archive for June, 2009

Vacation day FOUR : Will the parties ever stop?

June 30, 2009

As I said earlier, there were parties every day. The day after the wedding, there was a brunch for everyone. They got their money’s worth out of the rented tables, and besides, everyone had to eat again, right?

brunch

Food, food, more food, food, other food, extra food...

 

And I swear, all those ladies did was sit and yack and yack and yack and yack.

presents

 

I tell you, I had had enough of that!

I left the party and decided to explore the rest of  the house, on my own.

Finally, some solitude.

Finally, some solitude.

 

As I looked around, I began to notice that this house had lots and lots of very interesting things all over the place! Things you just don’t see every day, like an old-fashioned Victrola.

Beautiful music with no electricity!

Beautiful music with no electricity!

An old fashioned BIG radio!

Beautiful music, but using electricity.

Beautiful music, but using electricity.

A  home-made Barbeque smoker, made out of old-fashioned things.

smoker

And it really really works.

 

The best place of all was the GARAGE! My garage just has cardboard boxes and old brooms and golf clubs. This place had stuff I never would have thought of.  A wall of old wrenches

Wrenches

a ceiling of old drills

ceiling drills

 

new tools, old tools, motorcycle signs

Tools/workbench

a motorcycle

harley

a bug made out of a flute and tea strainers.

bug

That was my favorite part. Exploring everything. I found one thing I loved in particular. I wanted to keep it. But I put it back.

I think it's a monkey wrench.

It IS a monkey wrench, isn't it?

I promise.

Vacation Day THREE: Wedding Day for Sarah and Junior

June 27, 2009

In Albany, people can get married right in the back yard, because the back yard is so very nice. They did not ask me to do yardwork. I didn’t even need to do yardwork, because they had already done the yardwork. As I said, it was nice.

No, it was BEAUTIFUL!

I do

But before the wedding, there were the relatives.  Relatives all over the place.  My travel companions had  more and more relatives coming to the hotel every half  hour or so. And they all had to iron, and call each other on their cells phones and on their room phones and see who had seen whom, and when they were going, and who had had lunch and where was the wedding cake.

Then everybody showed up

nancy

Ramon

  

and the back yard filled up.

more crowd

 

 It was thrilling!

Michelle

Best man

 

Now, I might as well tell you right this minute that I did not go to the wedding. I decided I would relax in the hotel, and my friends could take the pictures and tell me all about it later.  It’s not that I wasn’t really invited. It’s just that I, well, I didn’t actually receive an invitation. So I thought I would stay in the hotel and relax.

 And let me tell you I am very glad I made that decision. There were about 80 people in one back yard!

crowd

 

Sarah and Junior said “I do.”

New bride & groom

 

There were a billion homemade enchiladas.

Parties

Eva, sisters, liz

There was music and talking and laughing and hugging.

And friends and relatives and relatives that are friends and friends of relatives and identical relatives not even related to each other.

Pat & charlie

stripe mom & baby(food)

Mac & C

 

  loretta

Callie

 Paul & Jordan

   Friend

Jr & Tim toast

Maid of honor

cousin toast

 

It was a really really good day.

S&J toast

Vacation Day TWO: I wake up and I am still on the train.

June 24, 2009

Now this is living! Waking up on the same train, still rolling along through the beautiful mountains. It is like being in a dream. Only you are awake, and maybe have bedhead.

Then you start in on the eating program again.

I got to have breakfast in the parlour car. Only people from the sleeper cars can eat in the parlour car.  It is very fancy.

The fruit and sausage and croissant and yogurt are delicious! Patricia even brought me a newspaper. I read a few of the headlines, but they depressed me, so I chose instead to  pass the time looking out the window again.

So much to see! Let's get busy!

So much to see! Let's get busy!

Endless soothing beauty.

Endless soothing beauty.

There is so much to see in America. Trees. Trees. Trees.

And another one, another one, another one....

... another one, another one, another one....

 

A bridge. A waterfall.

Waterfall

A lake.

A lake. Right there.

A lake. Right there.

 

Another lake. A river. Another river. A big lake. Birds. Birds. Birds. Birds. A freight train passing really close by AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Tunnels,  bridges, trees, birds, strawberries, roads, cars, people picking strawberries, I think my list will get too long.

Plus, in America, there are so many people to meet.  Some I didn’t meet in person, but I got to wave at them as we went past!

Hello little town!

Hello little town!

I waved at people in America!

Hello Lady!

Hello Lady!

 

Hello Mister!

Hello Mister!

 Lots of people in America were on the train.

I met our neighbor Chelsey and her baby Carlina.

You meet the nicest people on the train.

You meet the nicest people on the train.

I met two Canadian friends, Miriam and Anna.  They are from Quebec. I love them.

I might have to stay on the train and keep an eye on my new friends. They are not from America!

I might have to stay on the train and keep an eye on my new friends. They are not from America!

I met our headwaiter Gus, who was really funny and was so helpful and nice. My travel companions did not even remember to tip him, but I did.

I am known as a generous tipper. My friends - not so much.

I am known as a generous tipper. My friends - not so much.

 

 

Right after lunch, we got off the train. But it seemed like we had just gotten on!

Hello Albany!

Hello Albany!

 We were in Albany, I knew right away.

You can tell where you are by the sign on the roof!

You can tell where you are by the sign on the roof!

We went to a splendid hotel.

I found this Bible in my nightstand.

I found this Bible in my nightstand.

 I took a  really good nap.

Just wake me for dinner.

Just wake me for dinner.

 It was nice to sleep in a  bed that did not move from side to side.

But even so, the view out the window just stayed the same the whole time we were there.

 

Next time: The WEDDING!

Vacation Day ONE: All ABOARD!

June 18, 2009

They really say that. 

Here’s how you ride the train:

 You just show up at the station,

The station

The station

Downtrack

The train comes from WAY down there!

 

the train roars down the tracks,  hissing to a stop, and then you hike for a quarter mile til you see your car.

Car 1431 where are you??

Car 1431 where are you??

 

Then the nice lady named Patricia takes your tickets, helps you get in, and she is your VERY OWN car attendant for the whole trip! The whole next 24 hours! She is great!

Patricia helps my friend board the train. It is a very tall train.

Patricia helps my friend board the train. It is a very tall train.

 

Now you are on the COAST STARLIGHT!!!

Am I in a dream?

Am I in a dream?

 

You get into your own little compartment, which has plenty of room for everyone, and before you know it, the train is rolling again! YOU ARE MOVING!! No preparing for takeoff, no tray tables in the upright and locked position, no seatbelts securely fastened . In fact, now that I think of it,  no seatbelts at all.

Extreme train riding. NO Seatbelt!!

Extreme train riding. NO Seatbelt!!

 

Then you start eating.  Eat eat eat. We ate every two or three hours whether we needed to or not. Plus dessert! And it’s all FREE!!!

I had lunch.

Lunch will be served shortly.

Lunch will be served shortly.

 

I am willing to share a bite. ONE bite.

I am willing to share a bite. ONE bite.

I looked out the window.

We must still be in California.

We must still be in California.

I had wine and cheese. 

After all, I am a gourmand.

After all, I am a gourmand.

 

I looked out the window.

Where ARE we?

Where ARE we?

I won a prize!

I won an official Coast Starlight baggage tag, made of real metal.

An official Coast Starlight baggage tag, made of real metal.

 

I looked out the window.

I think I see a monkey out there.

I think I see a monkey out there.

I had dessert a nutritious dinner.

I love raspberry swirl cheesecake.

I love raspberry swirl cheesecake.

I looked out the window.

No cell reception. Yet so mesmerizing.

No cell reception. Yet so mesmerizing.

 

When the sun went down, and everyone else was getting sleepy, I was supposed to go to bed, because Patricia had made up my bunk.

I'm glad I don't have to make up this bed.

I'm glad I don't have to figure out all these tricky blankets.

 

But I couldn’t sleep. There was so much to see out the window.

The train yard at night, speeding by.

A train yard at night, speeding by.

 

I met Patricia’s travel companion briefly. 

Patricia/Earl/bear

I am so glad to meet someone I can really relate to.

I am so glad to meet someone I can really relate to.

 

 She ran back to her compartment much too soon.

If only I knew her name.....

If only I knew her name.....

That kept me awake a long time.

My Summer Vacation

June 12, 2009

I went on a summer vacation!
I just packed my bags, and cleared out.

I mean, I packed myself into a bag.

I mean, I packed myself into a bag.

I went to Albany Oregon. I took a train!
I saw so many things and met so many people, you wouldn’t believe it.
So I’m just going to have to show you.

Today, I’ll give you the overview, and then each day, I’ll recreate the vacation in 3-D for you. You DO have 3-D glasses don’t you?

Well, I took the train with my friends. We got on board in Santa Barbara.

This is the Train Station.

This is the Train Station.

We detrained in Albany Oregon. (That is train conductor talk for “got off the”.)

Detrain in Albany

 

 

We ate on the train.

Ate on the train

 

 

We slept on the train.

Slept on the train

 

We made friends on the train.
Made friends on the train

  

We went to a Wedding!

Wedding

 

 
There were parties every day, for three days.

Parties

 
I was tired after all the partying.

Tired after parties

 

We went on bike rides.

Bike riding

 
We learned about special, mechanical things.

Mechanical things

 

We ate at a fast food restaurant that serves asparagus.

Asperagus

And we took the train home! It was like the trip up, only backwards.

We saw America!!!

Then we came home, so I could tell you all about it.
Next time, Day ONE in detail!
You’re gonna love this.