Monday, November 10, 2014

Goods and Odds

"The odds were good, but the goods were odd," Seattle Underground Tour Guide

I love the underground Seattle tour -- in fact, it might be the best part of Seattle.  I have only been in Seattle twice and mostly saw the same things both times.  I guess if you had time to explore, you might find lots of other great things.

However, the line delivered by our super funny tour guide sums up several parts of our college tour of the Pacific Northwest.

My long train trips (read: overnight) have always been to Albuquerque -- you leave in the evening and arrive mid morning the next day.  Each time, I enjoyed the trips -- and, yes, I have always  met interesting, and sometimes odd, travelers, but nothing like this time.

There just isn't time on the Southwest Chief to get into a lot of trouble.

Not so the Coast Starlight past Oakland.  Wow...

On the way up to Portland, we spent quite a bit of time in the observation car -- getting to know the way some men cannot participate in conversations -- only throw in "facts" sometimes without any foundation and then throw banter back and forth.

I felt as if I were discovering a strange breed for the first time.

I am all about being friendly and talking to strangers.  But these guys were those men who must be entertained at all times -- and do so by engaging anyone, everyone in this little "did you know..." talk.

Super annoying.  One thing is sitting at a bar with your friend and getting interrupted a few times ... another is being trapped in a train for over 24 hours with these guys.


Had I been alone, I would have just put in my earphones.  Instead, I watched and winced as my mom, niece and nephew participated in the crazy talk.

I am not saying it wasn't at times entertaining ... but only for about five minutes.

That was the ride up ... and it was tame in comparison with the ride back.

There were no less than two large, loud and drunk parties that got on in Seattle and off in Portland. OK, they were funny because they were getting off pretty soon.

For the rest of the trip, over another 24 hours, the conductors made many, many announcements about drinking, being drunk in public and being thrown off the train.  If that gives you any sense of what the train ride was like. 

Let's just say that I spent more time at my seat, headphones in.  I got off the train on longer stops to let my nephew run, helping to keep his need to be entertained down.

Next time, I will buy the sleeping compartment, if only to get access to the other parlor car.

There were other adventures... when there is more time, I will share.

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