TT3-Day 01 | 3/14/18
Location: NYC to Indianapolis
Weather: Mostly COLD | 39/29°F (Long Island)
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It began today… on Amtrak’s Cardinal Line departing Penn Station in New York City at 6:45 a.m.
To arrive at Penn Station on-time I took the LIRR (Long Island RailRoad) from our home to the City at 4:16 a.m., which meant I set my alarm for 2:22 a.m. to assure time to take care of any last minute details. Made it! Special thanks to my son who woke up early just to keep me on schedule.
The LIRR ride was uneventful in a car surprisingly near full capacity, even at that hour! Then baggage check at Penn Station, and off to the “waiting room” for about an hour until boarding. Track 16 lead me to my seat in a Business Class car, and the official launch of Translation Tour III.
The first few hours I just looked out the window and smiled. It was so beautiful and I was so ready to relax into the scenery. Then came lunchtime. I was hungry! I hadn’t eatten anything prior due to time and being too tired to really care about food. I also hadn’t brought anything with me other than 3 granola bars and I wasn’t interested in those yet. That’s my usual fare; bringing something to snack on like fruit. Maybe some crackers. Filler to quench time more than appetite.
Lunch companion, John’s digs.
When called I made my way to the dining car and was seated with a gentleman I’ll call John. John was a retired high school biology and theater teacher in the public school system in Tacoma, Washington. He was checking off items from his bucket list; one of which was to travel on every train line in the U.S. and beyond. John shared stories of his partnership, his experience on and off stage, and his family back east. His belly shook like Santa Claus when he laughed, and he laughed a lot. We talked about many many things; none of which included spirituality – tho synchronicities floating around us as abundantly as feathers freed during a pillow fight. He was fun, funny, and a man born to share his kindness with the world. That Wednesday, I was the lucky recipient!
After a cup of coffee sipped as John finished his chocolate tart, I returned to my seat in business class, and he to his compartment in the sleeper car, far rear. During these trips I like to see who approaches me, or to organically find myself in situations where conversation might be struck to begin a chat with another. My way to allow Source to guide the flow. As such, I didn’t start a single conversation, yet marveled at how many did with me. Curiously clever, most waited until they were about to depart the train at their own final destinations; such as Philly, Baltimore, Huntington, WV and Ashland, KY. One such exchange was with a great looking guy in his early 40’s, married, dressed in trendy, top of the line business clothes. His shoes alone would have paid for my entire trip and offered change, to boot! Sitting right in front of me, he got off in Washington, DC, but not before he broke free from his silence about 20 minute pre-platform and asked,
- Get any good pictures?
Yes! Yes I did.
I saw you snapping away as the sun was coming up. Beautiful, wasn’t it?
Yes. Yes it was.
James.he said as he extended his hand. My name is James.”
Nice to meet ya, James.
I was sitting where the arrow is. James just ahead.
James went on to tell me all the things he observed during the four hours to DC; many of them having to do with me. Probably because I started off in the seat across from him, and ended up in the one behind him after about an hour (due to the electrical strip on my side of the train not working and my desire to charge all my devices). It amazes me how much people DO pay attention when you don’t realize you’re being watched.
James told me things I said (as I talked to myself), how my hair reminded him of his sister, and how the shoes I was wearing were a match for those he’s purchased for his wife for Christmas, and how he loved riding the trains. We talked about the Lake Shore Limited line and how it runs for hours along the Hudson River – all the way from NYC to near Albany, NY at sunrise (when one travels west), and sunset (as one travels east). Ripe for a camera buff like me. We talked about the photos I took, and why, and upon request I pulled out my Nikon and clicked through those taken thus far. He seemed to enjoy them, asking if I’d mind sending a few to him to show his family, as he scrambled in those last few minutes for a business card provided the email address needed for the follow up. No talk of spirituality there, either, but James did say,
- There’s just something about you that seems so familiar. You have a big presence. Did anyone ever tell you that?
Yeah, a time or two.I replied snickering at how many “time or two’s” there actually had been in my life.
And, as quickly as he presented in my experience, he was gone.
The hours passed quickly. I meditated. Organized a few projects I was planning. Read my book. Listened to music as I continuously got lost in the view out the window, and before I knew it the clock struck 5:15 a.m. on Thursday, 4/15/18, and I’d landed in Indianapolis.
A quick exit and stop at baggage claim preluded my pre-sunrise Uber trip to Greenwood, IN where I made way inside my niece’s softly lit, ranch style home using the key left in a place that remains our secret. I had arrived, refreshed, rejuvenated by the natural beauty of all I’d seen, simmering in the fond memories of John, James, and the many others who had invited me into their travel experience; ready to start day 02 of TT3.
FOR UP TO THE MINUTE PHOTOS, EVENTS (in SF), AND MORE AS I TRAVEL CROSS-COUNTRY BY TRAIN
VISIT (and join) OUR Translation Tour III – Spring 2018 ON FACEBOOK
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Note: Banner / Blog page placeholder image is of the view outside my window in the Business Class car of Amtrak’s Cardinal Line train as we were approaching the Washington, DC station on 3/14/18 at exactly 10:08 a.m. To view the original, full sized image b4 it was cropped for use as the banner click here.