Pictures from my trip across several states this week.
Good evening, everyone.
It’s been a great two day holiday in Wisconsin with Liz, Shaun, and Jace, but it’s time to go home now, back to normalcy, back to my usual 300 something day lifestyle. The cheese that is made right here in Wisconsin on the many farms simply out bests “regular” cheese by big name brands.
With over four hours of Christmas music playing on YouTube that was projected via HDMI on the television, the lot of us opened up gifts and played some Apples to Apples (an updated version). Ate at the rustic Texas Roadhouse for dinner beforehand (where it is normal to drop your cracked peanut shells on the floor). I ordered a sirloin steak and grilled shrimp combo with Caesar Salad and mashed potatoes on the side, along with a frothy white margarita with a lime wedge on the edge.
I’m on the Amtrak train now heading due northeast towards Michigan, this time sitting in the seat that is in the opposite direction the train is moving. It’s a peaceful journey through the Midwest, the choo choo sound of the train’s engine a great reminder of how trains are still a classic way to travel. The view outside my window is all dark now with the occasional train racing past in the opposite direction that my train is going. The air is cool in the compartment and the car gently rattles on the track. Riding the train has become one of my favorite ways to travel now, obliterating my idea that the travel method was all but obsolete compared to faster ways.
There are 19 days left until Christmas and then all of this holiday bonanza and anticipation simply vanishes, the down spiraling crescendo often anticlimactic and underwhelming to say the least.
It was another trip to the cheesehead state of Wisconsin to see the extended part of my family. This includes my oldest sister, her boyfriend, and kid.
All aboard. I rode a train for the first time ever. Me and my small family.
The ride on the luxurious modern Amtrak was wonderful. There was actual free Wi-Fi (a surprise) and outlets for electronics. The seats were comfy and there was a pull out tray on the back of the seat in front of me to place my laptop. I livestreamed most of the trip to my YouTube channel, not really knowing what to say or do, just kind of goofing off and showing my “audience” views from outside the wide train window.
The ride out of the train station in Jackson was breathtaking. It’s such a small town that we are out of there in minutes. There are things I don’t usually see from the normal perspective, such as railyards and lots of open farmland.
Racing through the countryside of Battle Creek then was a quiet meditating moment. To me and others, it looked as if we were traveling backwards at breakneck speed, but that was because we were in the seats facing away from the train’s engine. A couple seats behind me were facing the conductor’s room. A couple times, the ticketmaster (I think that’s what he’s called) came by to check tickets.
Eventually we arrived in Chicago at Union Station. Now it was a long wait in the train station. I went around snapping pictures with my little aqua green camera. A lot of homeless people came up to us asking for money. One was selling bus guides for a dollar, but of course this was a little ruse. I gave away my only dollar (I have a credit card) to a desperate man but another one was begging for nine bucks – maybe to go home, maybe to get some booze, maybe to get some hash.
Amish people converge in this area of Chicago. By taking the train and avoiding riding in cars, they at least preserve some of their stubbornness towards modern technology.
These are some pictures of the train ride and Union station in Chicago, the home of escalators I am always nervous to get on.
Just another look into my deep mindful pensive, reflecting on the last two days
The year of the sheep
It’s treated me well
Became a full time blogger
Had much to sell
Setting the bar higher
Perfecting my game
Going the distance
Frame by frame
Flew in as a bird
Tiptoed through poetry
Through the rain and snow
April showers came down upon me
While May clouds opened up
Shown much brighter
New opportunities arose
Now I feel like a fighter
Reaching for success
But let’s not get overzealous
For I’ve got hills to climb
This uphill war
Always one trick away
From opening the wrong door
And being blasted back
By flames of Daunte
To dusting myself off
And moving ahead: “Andale!”
For I dream of green
Raining down upon me
And the kiss of roses
And gold paved streets
The train’s still racing in dreamland
Reality man’s getting anxious to meet
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “State of Your Year.”