Stu loves the train. He loves the whole experience, the rocking and clatter of the train on the tracks, the fresh coffee and paper delivered to us by a kindly train attendant, the countryside rolling by, and the interesting folks we meet. We’ve been fortunate to meet a few that really stick out.
After a night at my parents house in Irvine, California, we boarded the Texas Eagle heading East. On the first night we met Robyn, an activist taking a three-month travel break from her studies in Osh Kosh, Wisconsin. We have lots in common in life and dreams and enjoyed spending a night out in Austin once we get off the train there.
The second night aboard the Texas Eagle, we stop in San Antonio for an eight-hour layover. Stu and I walked to the River Walk to get some fresh air and see the sights.
The Walk, adorned with thousands of tiny Christmas lights, is romantic. I can’t help but think about the history of giant 200+ year old trees along the riverfront, and what has transpired under their leaves. I wonder how long the trees will live with roots encased in cement sidewalks surrounded by a strip mall of bars, restaurants and shops.
The next morning we arrived in
Erin and I have been friends for 13 years. It is fantastic to see her and Evan doing so well. E & E take us out on the town and host us for four days in Austin. Stu and I stay out past 2am consecutive nights for the first time in a long while. We like the quirky energy of the blue dot in the red state of Texas. While in Texas we meet up with Ms. Amy Cone, dancer choreographer extraodinaire. Erin, Amy and I all know each other through our common friend, the late Philip Polosek aka DJ Phildawg. We had a great time looking at old photos, telling stories, kayaking, and bar hopping. One thing about Austin is the Tex-Mex food. Everywhere we ate heated our mouths with fire and flavor. Also meals of Frito pie can be had anywhere. Favorite places to eat and drink: Black Star Brewery Co-op, Bouldin Creek Cafe (vegetarian), Brixton Bar (rainy day and holiday specials), and Izzoz Tacos (who are sadly facing a trademark name lawsuit).
Yesterday, we got back on the train for three squares meals (included with the sleeping compartment) on route to Chicago.
Tomorrow, we have a day in Pittsburgh, followed by the greater areas of Maryland, Virginia, Pensylvania, and Washington D.C.
For the complete set of pictures from this part of our journey, check out our Picasa album.