Upon Having Arrived

20 Jun

So today, I rode Amtrak all the way to South Kingston Rhode Island from Lynchburg. With intermittant WiFi and a dumb phone, the only way to adequately describe my train riding experience is to share my Facebook stati as the day rolled on, and my wisdoms gained on a train trip:

8a.m. Pardon me boy….is that the Chattanooga Choo Choo?……..

12:00 Eating on Amtrak is like eating out of the fast food case at Sheetz, except 3x more expensive….note to self always pack a lunch…..

4:00 Eyeing the monster Fosters this elderly gentleman has beside me…..can’t.wait.to get.off.this.train.so bored….ack!

10:00  Things I learned on a train:

  1. Amtrak food sucks
  2.  Every woman on the train seems to be reading 50 Shades
  3.  Get a window seat or be prepared to barf
  4. Amtrak wifi does not work and I need a better cell phone
  5. Train and bus bathrooms are practice for a night in a country bar riding the mechanical bull
  6.  It takes just as many hours to get off the vertigo as it does the train…jeez I have ferry tomorrow.
  7. I love traveling solo..but having the phone helps

More adventures tomorrow…I love my life 🙂

The point of real departure to adventure was marked by arriving a bit later at the South Kingston Amtrak Station than I had expected and as I quickly muscled my suitcases to the platform, I began to search for a taxi. The host at the King’s Rose Bed and Breakfast assured me that there would be taxis out in front of the station to bring me to the accommodation, but when I surveyed the front of the station however, nope…not a taxi in sight. As a matter of fact, nothing was in sight. So I sat on my luggage and attempt to dial the host. Before I could finish, though, a taxi drives up and an elderly lady begins to load her luggage into the back.

I shout, “Will there be any more taxis?”

He shouts back, “Uh, heyas a numbuh…cooawl them” and some rambling mess of numbers comes out before I can even get my fingers to begin to dial. But I plug them in and call.

Finally, I get someone on the phone and he tells me, “Eh, I can be theya in a haf an ow-ah.”

Oh, okay Mr. Taxi guy, I’ll just sit here for 30 minutes and wait to go two miles up the road…sure.

Finally, he shows up and takes me to the bed and breakfast where I meet the lovely lady who is host at the King’s Rose. She has put me into one of the most lovely feminine rooms I have ever seen. Pink floral and calico, it’s filled with antiques and pictures from the twenties and thirties. And the bed is one of those high New England jobs. And I had to, I took off from the bathroom and leapt over onto the fluffy feather top and then jumped on the bed at least three times.But the real adventure was securing my first solo vacation dinner.

I ask the kind host where I might go eat.. It is already 8:00, and I ‘m hot, tired, and frankly I need a very cold beer. So, she tells me I’ll have to walk down to the University of Rhode Island campus about a mile away. There will be a food court with some choices and I can get dinner there. As I began the trip, I was tired, but feeling really sort of free, brave to the point of almost being, as Granny calls it, ornery. This is the first trip I have ever taken completely solo.  Sometimes it strikes me that I am a living lesson of sorts, as if others are sort of vicariously living in my adventure. Its a big reason to keep going and to be brave, to do what I’ve always wanted to do.

As I walked,  the heat came rolling off the pavement in waves. It was soooooo sweltering hot today. This has been the worst heat wave ever. The host told me that she had to put my air conditioning unit in the window yesterday.That usually doesn’t happen until July, she said.Upon rounding the corner onto the back part of campus, I see the International Slice Pizza Company. I’m not the world’s biggest pizza fan, especially since I have been training so heavily, but at that point I didn’t really care. Pizza has a companion: BEER and it’s cold and my God, I’m drinking the largest one I can find.

So I waltz into the shop, a perky blonde gal is behind the counter, and I say to her, “Please tell me that you have beer and that its cold and that you will give me the largest one you can muster.” She looks back at me and says “Oh, I’m sorry. This is the UR campus. Its dry” At that moment, a feeling mixed between murderous rage and hopeless despair wells up in me and the inevitable Valkyrie yell of “CRAP!” comes rolling out of my filter free Sagittarius mouth. What I hadn’t noticed was that a guy had come in behind me in line and the minute my whining began he says,

“Ay, I gotta beeyah out in the cah, ya want one?”

I whip around and look him straight in the face and with all the conviction of a freight train I utter my response.”YES……YES…. I …..DO.”

So I follow this guy to his late model Pontiac in front of the pizza place.

He says to me, “Its a Busch, hope ya don’t cayah”

I say, “No, thank you so much. Please let me give you a buck or two for it”

“Nah,  no prahblem…its cold” he says, as he rummages through a cooler in his back seat for a can of beer.

So he hands me this icy can of Busch beer and I slip it into my purse. I walk back into the pizza place and order two slices from perky pizza gal, BBQ chicken and pineapple ham. I request an extra styrofoam cup for the beer and then mosey out to the picnic table for my first solo feast. It strikes me. Of all the times in the past I have eaten out alone, this meal, THIS ONE is the best I can think of.

God Bless the State of Rhode Island.

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