I’m writing this from a train. (I’m hopefully posting it from the train too, but the wifi has been spotty.) I am making the trip from Manhattan to Philly in the final leg of East Coast Baby Tour 2012. Did I even tell you about the baby tour? Sigh.
You know how Ani Difranco has that lyric about wanting to be like Duke Ellington and travel around in her own railroad car? I totally agree. I’d like my own railroad car…maybe there could be a way to buy your own and then have it hooked up to a train when you want to go places? Train travel is just so pleasant in a way that air travel can never be (unless you’re flying in a private jet, but sadly, I am not on the track to becoming a billionaire).
So yes, East Coast Baby Tour 2012 was originally a trip to Philly, but it got expanded upon learning that one can fly from Minneapolis to Pittsburgh to New York, take the train to Philly and then fly back to Minneapolis for roughly 40% less than one can fly round-trip from Minneapolis to Philly. It makes no sense, but it did allow me to line up visits with all of my East Coast friends – including several who have gained children since last I saw them.
I’m not going to go into all the details of everywhere I’ve been and the babies I have kissed, but what’s been interesting to me is just getting to pass through people’s lives this way. They’ve all generously welcomed me into their homes and I get a glimpse of the way other people live and the way that couples interact with each other – it’s super interesting, I recommend it.
I think it’s easy to miss all the nuances that your particular relationship with your spouse has acquired over the years (especially when it’s been more than a decade) – things that you take for granted, ways of communicating, even just evening routines. Observing other people gives insight into them as well as yourself. And I love insight.
So anyway, I’ve been traveling all over the place for the last 5 days, with 2 to go. It’s been weird traveling alone like this, although I haven’t really been alone, of course. It’s nice. And also I miss my family. It’s a good mental health break from work and family life though. No worrying about taking care of anyone or anything but me. (On that note, I got a spontaneous midday massage in Manhattan at Bunya Citispa and it was possibly the best massage of my life.)
This trip was both well- and poorly-timed as it turns out, as I got a new job (!) pretty suddenly last week (I’ll have to write a separate post about that), so this mental respite is much needed and yet it leaves me with only one more week of doing my current job before I start the new one, which will ultimately be fine, but isn’t exactly the ideal way to hand things off…but, like I said, it will ultimately be fine. Actually, the trip is a lot more than fine – it's been pretty amazing getting to see so many people and places in such a short time…I’m already plotting a family train trip maybe for next summer.