I’m writing this next to a picture window larger than the big screen TV I have at home, looking out at the passing north Texas landscape. Shelly and I are sneaking away for two and a half days of sublime retreat in San Antonio at the beginning of Spring Break. In this year of austerity—we’re gearing up for retirement and have bills to be paid—we decided not to make our usual trip too major. So our plans went from Carlsbad Caverns to something on a shorter and less expensive scale: a train ride to San Antonio.
We’ve both been to San Antonio many times. One of the first colloquiums our university had when I arrived was held there. But we’ve never traveled anywhere of any distance by train. Well, I did back in the 70s when I was a teen in Europe, but that was a different life. And so we are rediscovering a part of our life that we thought we’d lost: adventuring. Firsts. This is a first for us. And even though the train was late, and we ended up standing outside in the parking lot for 2 ½ hours waiting for it in close to freezing temperatures, it’s been and continues to be fun. And what makes it most fun, as in most adventures, is who you share it with.
While I was waiting for the train, I looked at the schedule that Amtrak has for this particular line. Apparently the train that stops here in Cleburne, Texas starts in Chicago a day before and ends in Los Angeles a day and a half from now. I quickly envisioned sitting in a car for 2 ½ days working on a book as I watched the scenery pass by my window. That was before I actually experienced it. Right now, I’m having a hard time writing this blog because the train is bouncing so much I can hardly type….
We will get into San Antonio much too late tonight. We will spend the day on the Riverwalk goofing off. Then on Tuesday our train—which is scheduled to leave at 7 a.m. but which will probably leave at 9:30—will take us home again. It’s a quick trip, but I have a pretty good idea that it will be something we will always remember.