New Orleans, Train Trip

Life Might Be Like Riding a Train

Life Might Be Like Riding a Train

I was looking back on my train vacation to New Orleans. We rode four trains over six days, essentially making a grand loop of the western half of the U.S. I thought I’d share my “notes to self for next time” with you.

1
Be sure to pack the essentials.

Such as my computer glasses. Trying to write a blog on a laptop without my computer glasses was ridiculous — I was blind! It’s a bit silly to use 18-point type so I can see my writing. Also, pack a hat that won’t fly off in a breeze.

2
Prepare for the unexpected.

Pack my migraine meds based on my triggers—changes in altitude, humidity, and hot weather. Also, the muscle relaxer and heating pad for when the train “zigs” and my back “zags.” Bandaids for blisters from doing lots of walking in the French Quarter.

3
Nap.

It does a body good. The rocking of a train helped me sleep like a kitten.

4
Flexibility is key.

Deciding to skip the southern plantation tour to spend time in the French Quarter. We searched for Cafe Du Monde, hoping for beignets and chicory coffee, and when the line was a mile long, we had Bananas Foster instead at a bistro on Jackson Square – delicious!

5
Try something new.

BANANAS FOSTER, TURTLE SOUP (JUST A TASTE), GUMBO WITH RICE, SPICY SAUSAGE, BREAD PUDDING, SAZERAC. DID I MENTION BANANAS FOSTER?

6
Leave room for a little extra.

New Orleans-Style Bread Pudding, Bananas Foster, and postcards and souvenirs

7
Travel with a companion.

I traveled with my husband of forty years. Not only did he help me with my luggage but he went in search of Starbucks at 6 A.M.

8
Mind your manners. Be kind.

There’s no sense in going off on the Amtrak employee who just informed that your train to Los Angeles has been canceled because of a fifty-car freight train derailment. They’re just the messenger.
Say please and thank you. Thank the Lyft drivers, red caps, and train attendants. Remember, their service makes my life so much easier. Tip generously – more than I think. It could be life-changing for someone.

9
Keep calm and carry on.


DON’T FREAK OUT OVER A 14-HOUR BUS RIDE ACROSS TEXAS, NEW MEXICO, AND ARIZONA BECAUSE OF A TRAIN DERAILMENT MAKES YOU CRAZY. IT STRESSed MY PATIENCE, BUT THAT’S WHEN MY TRAVELING COMPANION of forty years helped ME GET BY. LIFE’S AN ADVENTURE, E.H.? I SAW THINGS FROM THE BUS THAT I WOULDN’T HAVE SEEN FROM THE TRAIN. Look, there’s TRUMP’S WALL ALONG THE MEXICAN BORDER.


Just the same, DON’T SIGN me UP FOR ANY BUS TOURS IN THE near or distant FUTURE.

10
Practice Patience.
Count my blessings and give thanks.

I confess to having no patience (and please don’t pray for me…) But, I can count my blessings and give thanks, especially for Bananas Foster.

P.S. Don’t forget to write postcards.

Debora Buerk
The Write Stuff.
Looking at life from a different point of view.

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