One Step at a Time

What had she got herself into? She woke up with a feeling of great anticipation, but now as the time drew closer her courage was starting to be pushed aside by butterflies.  They were fluttering about inside of her, causing her to almost spill her cup of coffee, which she had just poured.

The clock said 8 am, when Gracie raised her head and looked at it on the wall. She checked her watch, unfortunately the broken clock was right this time. It was 8 am and she would hear the door bell ring any second.

Gracie took a deep breath, out the window she saw Josie’s car pull up. She was here, there was no backing out now. Though she was starting to feel a little sick.

“Ding dong!’

Gracie opened the door with a shaky smile.

“Hi Gracie, are you ready? Isn’t it a gorgeous morning! I can’t wait to get going!”

Josie has always been a morning person. Gracie remembered when they were teenagers, and she wanted to sleep in on a Saturday morning, but the phone usually rang bright and early with Josie on the other end. She would be chattering away at how Gracie couldn’t sleep her day away,  there were adventures to have. Life with Josie never was boring!

“I am as ready as I am going to be. How sure again are you that this is safe?”  Gracie asked.

Josie laughed, as she put her arm around Gracie, “No worries! It will be fine. Have I ever steered you wrong?”

Gracie raised her eyebrows, as she said, ” Well there was one time in our Junior year when…”

Josie interrupted, “Oh yeah, that time, but hey… in the end all turned out okay.”

They laughed together as they remembered the look on Mike’s face, as his  runaway car was headed for the creek.

They chatted some on their way, calming Gracie’s nerves.

“Here we are!” Josie said, as she parked on the gravel side of the road, “Grab your backpack and lets go.”

The trail that they were hiking was a nice flat trail, with lovely trees lining the path. Gracie enjoyed the trail, she just was worried about where the trail was taking them.

After a too short 15 minute walk, they had reached their destination, and Gracie looked up as her stomach hopped into her throat. “It it is quite high!” she stammered to Josie.

“Look how beautiful it is! I am telling you the view from the top will be worth it, I promise!”

She grabbed Gracie’s hand, “You can do this. I will be right by your side the whole way up the mountain.”

Gracie felt a surge of adrenaline go through her. Yes, she could do this,  she had never attempted rock climbing before, but there was a first time for everything. What could go wrong, Josie promised they would be home by suppertime, and she said she was treating. Gracie could already taste the sweet chocolate lava cake with caramel icing in her mouth. She squeezed Josie’s hand and said, “Lets go!”

Seize the Day!

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“All Aboard!”

No, we aren’t headed out anywhere on a train again, but I would hop at the chance to go again.

I really did enjoy the train, gazing out the window at the beautiful scenery that sped by. Yes, there were the times that there wasn’t a whole lot to see, but it sure does beat traveling on the interstate and just seeing other vehicles, speed limit signs and more signs. The times that we went through the tunnels weren’t great, but we didn’t have too many of those times where we just stared out into total blackness.

You really do get treated very well on the train. Almost like royalty. Your meals are served to you, with flowers decorating the table. You get to choose from a variety of entrees and they are delicious. They had a chocolate dessert that was so tasty.

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The crew members were all nice and the people we met on the train were friendly as well. So yes, if you are looking for a different type of traveling, a more relaxed way of traveling, I would recommend taking a trip down the tracks!

There is only one thing that caught us by surprise and that was the lack of security.  We knew it wouldn’t be as tight as it is when going to airports now, but we really did not expect to walk right onto the train with our luggage, without going through any kind of metal detector!

Would this have stood out to me prior to “9/11”, I don’t think so.  Since 9/11 though I have become so accustomed to having bags searched when going to an amusement park, a concert, any kind of public event. On the train we were greeted with a cheery Hello and just waved right onto the train. Did it feel good? Yes, it did. Much better than standing in line for hours as you wait to go through security and get patted down, etc., like what happens at airports.

It was more relaxing for sure, but yes in the back of my mind I couldn’t help but wonder how safe were we?? I didn’t let it bother me, but I am curious as to your opinion. Do you think they should tighten up train security? Or should we not let ourselves give in to the fear that does want to plaque us a lot in this culture?

We did talk to one crew member about it and his feelings. He said at every meeting that they have, security is talked about, and the crew members push for tighter security for they do at times feel like sitting ducks. He admitted though that it is more complex, for its not a plane that makes one stop and lets everyone off. The train made 40 stops one way when we were on it. There are always people getting off and getting on and the train wants to be quick. The stops are often not more than 10 minutes long.

What is the best answer? What are your thoughts? He said that they were told that Al queda has made threats to bomb the railroad system. Going through metal detectors won’t help much if there is already a bomb on the tracks!

I am not sure what the answer is, but I do know that after 9/11 it was scary at first to go places and with all the shootings that have happened here in the States, you do think twice sometimes when being at a public event. But I don’t want to let fear rule. There is too much life to enjoy! So if I get the opportunity to ride a train again, I will, for there are times you just need to cherish the moments and Seize the Day!

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One more view from the train.