Boats, Planes, and Trains

I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.
— from Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes, by Robert Louis Stevenson

Yesterday’s Writing Group prompt: Tell us about the smallest plane you’ve ever been on, the largest boat, and the most interesting train.

The biggest boat? That’s easy:

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In October, David and I took our first cruise. We boarded Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas in Baltimore for a 6-night cruise to Bermuda to celebrate our first anniversary. Neither of us was sure how we’d like it, but after we got our sea legs, which is a real thing, it was pretty great.

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I think the smallest plane I’ve ever been on was in law school. I was an Admissions Ambassador, so I got to travel to different places, usually undergraduate universities, for education fairs where I would talk about how awesome my school was and why you should totally come here.

I had been dying to go to Boston for a long time, so I asked the dean in charge of the trips if she’d save that one for me, and she did. I flew out of JFK on a puddle jumper. We had to walk out on the tarmac and climb the ladder, because I don’t think it was even tall enough to reach the gate. I’m not a great flyer, and take-offs are the scariest for me. Of course, take-offs in little planes are even worse, usually, and it was raining, so I wasn’t that excited. I just buckled in, leaned back, closed my eyes, and hoped for the best. Luckily, it’s a very quick flight from New York City to Boston.

The most interesting train is the one we took from Chicago to Seattle in late August 2010. When I made my 101 in 1001 list, one of the list items was “take a train somewhere far enough away that I have to book a sleeper car.” And that’s just what we did. We booked a two-person sleeper on the Empire Builder (are you kidding me with that name?) and flew to Chicago to start our adventure.

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our stately accommodations

The trip was amazing. We left at around 2:30 in the afternoon on Wednesday and arrived in Seattle at around 9:00 Friday morning. Along the way, we crossed the Mississippi (which is mighty, but starts in Minnesota at a place that you can walk across with five steps down, as you may have heard), crossed North Dakota, the mythical land of my birth (and a place I left before I was old enough to make memories), saw tons of horses in Montana, and unbelievable scenery in the Cascades.

The mighty Mississippi

The mighty Mississippi

somewhere in North Dakota

somewhere in North Dakota

Montana horses

Montana horses

Good mornin', America, how are you?

Good mornin’, America, how are you?

I would do another trip like that in a heartbeat. It’s an unbeatable way to see some of the best parts of the country.

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5 thoughts on “Boats, Planes, and Trains

  1. The ones from the train? Those were all through the train windows, if you can believe that. The last one, I just cannot wrap my head around how it came out.

  2. Your caption on the last one makes me want to sing. That, the national anthem, something. 😛 I’m jealous of your trip! And that your cruise ship wasn’t overrun with spring breakers because you went on a grownup cruise and I went on the Walmart of cruises.

    • I love that song. When we woke up the last morning and I went out in to the vestibule (“Gum would be perfection”) and took that picture, that song is what went through my mind.

      I didn’t mention that our cruise – or, at least, our time in Bermuda – got cut short because of a hurricane. We had to leave port 24 hours sooner than planned and we basically floated home at a glacial pace to arrive at the appointed time.

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