Friday, September 26, 2014

Silver Meteor Train Experience

If you have been debating if you should take the train, the answer is yes! Resounding!   In fact, I am a senior silver haired person.  For that you get a substantial discount and it is worth it, but it is also perfect for families with children.  I saw a whole family with two small children and grandparents traveling together.  They had plenty of room and the kids had room to walk about and it was as if they were in a family room.  Of course everyone had their gadgets and so many saw movies.  By the way, they did have electric plugs on the window side of your seat where you could recharge all your electronics.  Neat feature if you ask me.   On the other hand, I could have read a book (in fact I did finish one from Orlando to Patlatka) or watched a movie but I was enjoying the movie quickly flowing by on my side screen, i.e. the window.  When traveling try to secure an even numbered window because you will have a better view.

Other reasons to use the train include:  you don't have to deal with traffic, buy gas in strange places, car trouble, and confined quarters.  It is a great place to make friends and I did. We chatted all the way from Patlatka to Charleston and walked up and down the corridors several times.   These corridors are long and you do have to step from one car to another to get to the dinner/snack car.  This little connection between cars was where you had a reality check that reminded you that you were actually on a train after all.  It was that space between cars where you could feel the clacking of the rails and feel the breeze rushing the sides of the train that let you know the train was moving fast.  Just to be on the safe side, I always grabbed the handles as I stepped over the next car as I walked the train to the dining car.  It just gave me more assurance.   It was an innocuous but I wanted to be extra safe.

As I walked the train, I noticed that at the end of each car there were rest rooms.  Sometimes the occupants were not neat, especially the men.  Nevertheless, I always tried to leave the restroom neater than how I found it.  Frankly, I think there should be someone monitoring the restrooms for cleanliness.  Traveling the whole east coast without someone cleaning the bathrooms is a bit too much.  They should have a team come on the train lets say in Savannah to go into do the bathrooms. Other than that, I have no complaints.

As for food, there was a snack car which offered cookies, chips and even sandwiches that could be warmed up.  Hot drinks with cream were offered as well.  In fact, I bought a cheese and cracker snack box which was perfect for the trip.  The snack car also doubled up as a lounge where commuters could go to hang out as well.  Some were reading a book or newspaper while having coffee.  Later we had the opportunity to have dinner in the dinner car with white table napkins, hot fresh cooked food, and a waiter.  Oooo la la! Yes, it was extra but it was worth it.

When traveling by train, consider splitting your trip into portions.  That way you do not have to stay on the train at night since roomettes are a bit pricey.  I did observe though a lot of people actually sleeping on the train since they had no one next to them.  So that is doable as well.  Just bring a nice jacket or light blanket or pillow so you can be comfortable.  I had planned to read most of the way but the Lord had other plans and I chatted with a new friend.  Such is life.

Did I say, I loved it?  I sure did, didn't I?  If I had a chance to travel again, I would do it in a heartbeat.

So if you have an upcoming trip, consider Amtrak.  It is environment friendly, efficient, timely, and clean.

Riddle and a Rose

Brilliant roses and a jet black cat...
which reminds me of a riddle my father in law once told me.  
He was more a grandfather to me than anything else. 
Any way, here it goes in Spanish:

Hace un rato paso un galan por aqui,
todo vestido de negro,  
no cosido con aguja, 
ni cortado con tijera.   
Que es?

A while ago, a handsome creature came by here;
all decked out in black,
his were clothes were not sewn with a neddle
nor were they cut with scissors.   
Who is he?

Photo Bomb

Well, photo bomb might be a slight exaggeration but Selah and Pookie, a sweet black cat, meandered into my pictures.   They would not be ignored.


Enjoying a quiet morning among the flowers and the natural airconditioning which permeates South Carolina these days.  So wonderful to sit outside and enjoy the breeze ambling through a line of stately oak trees.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Rutledge Street Gallery

Had a wonderful experience yesterday viewing some beautiful artwork right here in Camden,  South Carolina.  The art there was a combination of East Coast artists including Natalie Italiano with her stunning colors, Clara Blalock's abstracts as well as some locals artists.  I especially enjoyed Maci Catalano Scheuer's work.  Follow this link to see some of her work:  She did one painting of the Low Country marshes that captures the colors and sensation of being there.  Another of her creations includes the poster for the November Colonial Cup race pictured below.  If you look carefully at the trophy you will see the reflection of a jockey.  Very clever, I think.  As for the painting of the marshes, if I could have afforded it, I would have bought it right there and then.  Nevertheless, I did take a no less beautiful pottery piece of a banana leaf handmade by a local artist, Nancy K. Butterworth.  I am thrilled to have purchased that piece.  
The gallery management were so helpful yet allowed us to view everything with ease and at our pace.
So if you are in the town of Camden, go straight over and enjoy some creativity. You won't be disappointed!

508 Rutledge Street, Camden, SC 29020

Sunday, September 21, 2014

South Carolina Cotton Fields

I had never seen anything so beautiful and unblemished.  Cotton!  So this is where our cotton balls come from?  How nice.