Monday, June 29, 2009

This Weekend....

I really had a very enjoyable weekend. My friend Julie came to visit.

Really, we're just friends.

Anyway, she gives a great account of the weekend, just click on "Julie" at the right edge of this blog to read it.

I just want to add a point or two.

The gift I bought for Ashlee was a remote control tarantula. I saw one at the Toys R Us in Denver, and Andi and I (Andi AndI? Hmmmm.) thought of Ashlee as soon as we saw it. I should mention that Diana, Ashlee's mother, is absolutely terrified of spiders. Ashlee loves getting toy spiders and torturing her mother with them. So I'm in trouble for this gift.

But honestly, the look on Ashlee's face when she opened it, then again when she started controlling it, made all the trouble I might get in worth it. She was thrilled.

When we went to Kneader's, I tried to pay for Julie's lunch, but she wasn't having any part of it. So when we went to breakfast on Sunday, I paid for breakfast. I'm not sure why it bugs her, but she was my guest, so I wanted to pay. Granted, she was staying at my sister's, but she was still my guest. So I paid.

I got in trouble a lot this weekend.

It sure was fun, though.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thanks Joe!

He doesn't read this blog, but I want to thank my friend Joe Willis all the same.

When we lived together in Cedar City, about 4 years ago, he was addicted to Amélie, a French movie he watched almost constantly once it came out on DVD. He kept telling me that I should see this movie; that it was wonderful.

Of course, this is the same Joe that saw Napoleon Dynamite 13 times in the theater. And I didn't like that movie. At all. So I never got around to watching

Until today.

On a whim, because I'm stressed about money, and when I'm stressed about money I tend to make more impulse purchases, I bought
Amélie from Best Buy.

I just finished watching it.
Amélie is amazing! Such a great film! And in French, which I need to practice listening to anyway.

This movie made me believe in dreaming and falling in love again. I feel like I can hope to dream and fall in love. It's a nice feeling.

Thanks, Joe.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Train Ride (detailed)...

Well, now that I have an internet connection at home, I figured it was time to do a full post on the train ride that I took just over a month ago.

I went from Provo, UT to Denver, CO. The trip lasted just over 15 hours. Which, according to Google maps, isn't all that much longer than driving there. And I didn't have to drive!

Anyway, I took notes along the way as I thought of things that I really enjoy about train rides. This list isn't in order of preference or importance, but just in the order that I thought of things.

So here goes:

1. People on the train aren't worried about quickly getting to their destination. They are enjoying the journey. If you smile at them, they smile back. And there's no hint of the "are you psycho?" look that I often get on planes.
2. Infants and young children aren't as much of a nuisance. Frazzled mothers who have been awake all night with their children can actually pick the kids up and walk through the cars in an attempt to comfort the children. It makes a big difference.
3. The train conductor from Utah to Colorado would occasionally come on the loudspeaker and mention points of interest, turning the train ride into a semi-guided tour. For example, he mentioned when we were passing through Cisco, UT, which has a population of 1. Yes, one. When we got to Ruby Canyon, on the Colorado River, he mentioned that the only way through this canyon was either by train or on a raft. He had a particular way of speaking that made you think he was just pausing for a moment when he's really done with that particular announcement. It was hilarious.
4. No motion sickness like I get on boats or sometimes in cars. No air sickness. Just a soothing rocking motion. I actually fell asleep a couple times, only to wake myself up when I started snoring. I should mention here that I can't normally sleep on planes or in cars. Don't know why, but it's not one of my talents.
5. There's no big security fuss to go through. The train stops, they check your ticket, and you get on. It's that simple. They stopped for about 15 minutes, at the most, in Provo.
6. I could bring my own food and drinks! Lots cheaper than prices in airports.
7. No seat belts. I could get up at any time and stretch my legs or go to the bathroom.
8. The leg room was amazing! I once found myself wishing that the seat in front of me was a little bit closer so that I could reach and use the foot rest and the fold down tray a little easier.
9. Tunnels! I'm a big fan of tunnels. There were many on the way through the Rockies. One was a 6.2 mile tunnel. It was fairly close to Denver.
10. The lounge and dining cars. The lounge car had large windows and seats that faced out the windows. You can just sit and take in the sights or converse with other passengers if you've the urge. The dining car was a little expensive, and they have assigned seats, but it was nice to get a hot meal.
11. Train moved fairly quickly, but still slow enough to enjoy the sights. Some of the things I found interesting and saw along the way include: Ducks, Canadian geese, a wild turkey, rabbits, a prairie dog, a bluejay, a golden eagle, river rafters (the younger ones mooned the train), and Juicy Lucy's steakhouse in Glenwood Springs, CO.

So if I get the chance, and have the time to spare, I will absolutely travel by train again. I think it's my favorite mode of travel now.

If you get the chance, take a train trip. It's wonderful!