Train Travel

I’ve done a lot of traveling in my life.  I’ve lived in Germany, South Africa, Japan and Ireland.  I’ve studied German, Afrikaans, Zulu and Japanese (not that I can speak anything but a smattering of German these days).  I’ve racked up extensive frequent flier miles on numerous airlines, taken road trips that lasted one week to three months, and have gone on cruises with my family, and then there’s the time once, twenty five years ago, I boarded a Greyhound bus in Memphis, Mississippi to get home to Visalia, California when the baseball player love of my life turned out to have another girl friend in the Southern League.

That bus trip in 1983 lasted three plus days and there were nights I didn’t sleep because the different men sitting next to me were so very, very strange.  One scary druggie guy threatened to poke me with his syringe for hours.  I remember staring at the needle as he waved it around hoping it was disease free.  Another guy–this one taking the bus to Texas for bootcamp–had never sat next to a white girl and he was fascinated with my skin and wanted to touch it to see what the color felt like.  Everytime I started to doze off I’d wake up to find him trying to rub my forearm.  It wasn’t a relaxing trip.

Now I’m about to travel by train on the West Coast.  I’ve traveled on European trains numerous times, on Tokyo’s famous bullet trains, as well as Amtrak from Penn Station to various East Coast cities, but never along my California coast on the Starlight Express.   I’ve reserved a one bedroom compartment that converts to sleeper beds at night.  It includes a private bathroom with shower and we’ll take our meals in the dining car.  I might have some last tweaks to do on my Tiana book while enroute and was wondering if I should take a DVD player for movies since I’ll be needing my computer for writing.  I imagine the bedroom has electrical outlets.  I wonder if it has internet access?  If anyone has experience, let me know what to expect.

In the meantime, while I pack, I’m giving away the third of the Princess Brides prizes, featuring the final book in the triology, The Italian’s Virgin Princess, which is set in my favorite American city, New Orleans.  The prize package is New Orleans yummy, too, with red royal crown hot pads and apron, Pat O’Briens famous Hurricane cocktail mix, New Orleans chicory coffee and baking treats, candles, a signed copy of The Italian’s Virgin Princess, and Jane Porter goodies all tucked into a princess tote bag.   It’s a fun gift and celebrates The Italian’s Virgin Princess perfectly.  Just comment below to be entered in the contest.  Contest runs through Saturday night and I’ll draw the winner’s name Sunday and announce it in the comment section as well.

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