Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Favorite Means of Transportation

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photo by pnther60

Do you have a favorite way to go places? The convenience and flexibility of driving is undeniable, but man, oh man, I love trains! I love waiting on the platform and looking down the tracks to see if it's on its way, I love the smell at the train station, I love the whoosh of wind on my face as it arrives - it's all so exciting.

I rarely get to take train trips in the US, but a couple of weekends ago I decided that enough is enough, cats or no cats, I need to adventure.

Waiting for the trainNorthbound Pacific Surfliner
I woke up at 7 am with trains on my mind and booked a ticket to Santa Barbara and back for the same day. It was a fun a little lunch trip to SB! In my usual non-punctual fashion, I arrived at the station 2 minutes before the departure time without my camera. I frantically punched in the reservation number in the Amtrak machine (the controls are so non-intuitive) to get my ticket. But the train was late anyway, so I had time to relax and ask a stranger to snap an overly-excited-waiting-for-the-train shot.

Beautiful view from the train
Snake train!

The ride was beautiful. The Surfliner train runs right next to the beach. I got to see lots of sea-lions (and/or dolphins - I'm not sure I can tell the difference), seagulls and pelicans. When you live in a small non-airconditioned apartment in the summer, you learn to not stay cramped inside. So, when an opportunity presents to escape to much milder Santa Barbara for a few hours, you definitely take it.

hairwindy hair

The only thing I don't like about trains is leaving whoever is waving goodbye to me on the platform. I hate saying goodbye, in general, but leaving by train makes it even worse. There is the standing and looking at each other teary-eyed through the train window, waiting for the train to start moving, walking next to the window while you can still keep up with the train, and then seeing the station disappear as you get further and further away. There is a feeling of helplessness. But inevitably, as the train gains momentum, the steady rocking of the train calms me down and I remember to just breathe.

Wave Hello, Wave Goodbye
photo by robyn

I fell asleep on the ride back, drove home to two obviously-just-woken-up-from-a-nap cats and all three of us stretched, yawned and went back to sleep.

4 comments :

  1. I love train rides! Even after having taken train trips over 30 times the last couple of years (to my boyfriend and back home to the little town where I lived. Although I am exactly like you when it comes to saying goodbye on the train station. Don't like that all...

    (PS. i love that song by Feist. I'll try to learn to play it on guitar some day. Right now I've been trying to play Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero's - Brother and it's sooo hard. My fingers are numb :) Sometimes I wish I could play the piano like you do)

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  2. Trains is one of the things I really miss about Russia and Europe. I mean, I understand that people here generally prefer to drive because trains don't run very often which makes it inconvenient. Driving is really stressful to me, so I would love to move to a city where I can avoid it by taking the metro.

    And Feist! She is incredible! I love the whole Metals album. I didn't know you play guitar. That's awesome. I'm learning, but it's definitely hard. If you want to check out something really ambitious for guitar, check out Ben Howard. Old Pine is beautiful. I can almost play the beginning.

    Regarding piano, I'm not that good at all. I do love me some Chopin, though.

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  3. I'm just dyyiinnggg to visit California!

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    1. Girl! (Um.. how do I say it without sounding like a creeper.) You should come out!!

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