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Massive Update

Okay, so you know what they always say about the best laid plans ... As
you have undoubtedly all ready noticed, I haven't been updating as much
as I thought I would be. There's a reason for that. Let me start with
my travel, and then I'll get into my vacation.

We got to the train station as planned, and everything went well despite
the fact that the train station no longer has a gift shop because
they're remodeling so they can put the Greyhound station in the same
building. I got on the train, and we left on schedule. Unfortunately,
it didn't stay that way. My car attendant was a bit on the difficult
side. I got on the train and went to get a seat. He basically just
said sit, but wasn't very specific as to where. I asked him where the
electrical outlets were and he said they were in back and left. I
didn't see him again for a couple of hours, at which time he asked me if
I needed anything. I didn't at the moment, but asked him how I could
find him if I did need something. He said to me, "I'm here now so what
do you need." I told him that I didn't need anything now, but I was
going to want to eat later. He asked me when I was going to want to do
that, and I said that I was thinking around 5:00. Okay, no big deal.
At 5:00 we were at a stop, so I can't fault him for being late, but it
was about 5:30 before he came. He wouldn't even let me go to the lounge
car to order my own food, so that option was pretty much taken out of my
hands. I asked him was was available for food and he told me. I
ordered a couple of cheese burgers, a bag of chips, and a soda. It took
him probably another half hour to bring the food. Now, I understand
that I'm not the only passenger on the train, but when I give someone
money and they don't come back for a while, I sort of get a little
impatient not knowing what's happening to my money. So I finally got my
food. I asked him where the bathroom was. He told me it was straight
in front of me and to the right. Okay, so I figured that he meant right
before the door leading out of the section of the car that I was in.
Wrong. I ended up asking another passenger who took me to the bathroom
and offered to wait for me. I was all right once I got to the door
though, so I told her that she could sit back down.

A few hours later the attendant made another one of his very few
appearances. I told him that I was getting cold and asked him if I
could get a blanket and pillow. He said that I could buy a blanket for
$15. Okay, so I really didn't want to spend the money, but I was cold,
and really needed something. So, I handed over the cash to him yet
again. It took him about 45 minutes this time, and we had no stops on
the way. He came back and told me that there were no blankets
available, but he gave me a pillow. Okay, so I'm sitting there, cold,
tired, and just sort of wishing it was over considering that this guy
was just being so unhelpful. We were running late by this time because
he had stopped for a freight train that was on our track. We didn't get
into Minneapolis until 10:45 PM, and I was getting concerned that we
were going to get in to my stop really late.

I curled up as best I could, put on my book port, and started to try to
sleep. I think I managed to get some sleep, but then at a little after
1:00 my cell phone rang. It was my friend's husband calling to see if
everything was going all right. We talked for a couple of minutes, but
I wanted to keep it brief because I was sure that others were trying to
sleep. I was supposed to be about two hours away, but we were still
running late.

A couple hours later when it was getting close to the time for me to get
to my stop, I started to get a little concerned. We were stopped, yet
nobody came to my car. I picked up my backpack and headed out to the
door where I got on. At no time did I see the car attendant. It turned
out that I wasn't at my stop, but I was pretty close. A couple of other
people were also looking for the attendant, including someone else from
Amtrak.

I finally got to my stop at a little after 4:00 AM. I got to the house
and ended up talking with my friend and didn't get any more sleep that
night. So the next night I was extremely ready for bed!

I wasn't able to get online right away. The first time I got around to
trying it was Tuesday. I kept trying and trying, but it wouldn't work.
I was getting an error message with my dial-up modem. I ended up having
to buy an external modem just to get online. So I finally got online
late on Tuesday.

The rest of the week I've just sort of been hanging out. We're having
my friend's birthday party tomorrow night so that should be fun. We'll
be doing some shopping and other things over the weekend, and then I
come home all ready on Monday evening. It's been great though to just
be able to relax!

Well, I suppose I should really send this off so that I can disconnect
from the dial-up and let them have their phone back. I'll try to post
again at some point before I come back home. Later.