What’s there to show for a lifetime of work,
a lifetime of working your fingers to the bone?
One generation goes its way, the next one arrives,
but nothing changes—it’s business as usual for old planet earth.
The sun comes up and the sun goes down,
then does it again, and again—the same old round.
Ian and I had a fun rest of the train ride. Our sleeper car was comfortable, with big roomy seats, storage for our bags, a little toilet and fold-down sink that had incredibly high pressure and shot water all over the compartment. We spent most of the first afternoon reading; I finished my really exciting League of American Bicyclists boo (sense the sarcasm there?) and then read a copy of the New York Times we received complimentary from the Acela Club. Dad and I also chatted on the phone, and somehow it felt magical to talk on the phone while on a train, even though cell phones are so prevalent. Technology IS magic! Dinner was salad, then steak for Ian and cheese ravioli (with burned sauce!) for me, followed by an Oreo bar for Ian and key lime pie with crumb topping for me. Desserts were excellent. At dinner we decided that “genteel” and “stately” best describe train travel, particularly as compared to the misery of flying. After dinner we watched Transformers, which we agreed was really, REALLY bad, but not as bad as Spider-Man 3.
We slept fairly badly, not because of the accommodations — which were as comfortable as we remembered from our previous long train trip — but because the track was extremely rough and had lots of intersections. Eventually around 6:30 we decided we might as well get up, since they started serving breakfast then. Breakfast was scrambled eggs, a croissant, and bacon for Ian and French toast and bacon for me. Back in the cabin, we braved our sink and managed to brush our teeth without splattering everywhere. The attendant converted our cabin back into seats and we read the rest of the time. Another New York Times appeared and I read a really interesting article on anxiety in the New York Times Magazine, assiduously avoiding my League of American Bicyclists Bike Ed teaching material. We played a cribbage game that Ian almost skunked me at, except that I got an amazing 24-point hand right at the end of the game and pulled in close, but not close enough to win.
Ian’s parents met us at the Kissimee train station — another reason train stations are superior to airports — and after a brief stop at the Marriott resort to drop our stuff and apply sunblock, we embarked on the trip to Epcot. This turned out to require lots of driving on huge, complicated freeways, which are the only way to get to Disney. I had hoped we could walk the short distance from the hotel to Disney, but no, by private car is the only way to go. So we drove the gas-guzzling American rental car and parked at Epcot, where we spent about four hours mostly walking around Future World (I think that’s what it was called). We rode a bunch of fun, fairly interesting rides, but most of them were sponsored by some big industry. That made me a little nervous because it was presented as impartial facts, although (for example) the one on energy lightly touched on renewable energy and focused on how amazing coal and fossil fuels would be as continuing energy sources. We put off Soarin’ and Mission: Space, since those had the longest waits, and will try to catch them on our full day at Epcot. Towards the end we started into the Nations part of Epcot and now are all educated about Canada. After that it was getting dark so we headed back to get clean, which felt delicious to me and Ian after two days unshowered on the train. Also my GPS route will look totally crazy when I upload it on the computer, all that zigzagging, waiting, and riding on rides.
Tomorrow, according to Deborah’s incredible elaborate plan, we hit up the Magic Kingdom. I like vacationing with Deborah because she focuses on details and makes plans that actually work out really well on vacations. I’m much more prone to just making things up off the cuff. The immediate future is looking bright!