The Secret Life of Melanie O.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
The reunion, part whatever...
Ian and Sabrina have to leave to go back to New York the next day. They hadn't been sure how they were going to get back to New York, so, the previous day, we called around to check on the train. Nope - there was only one train to Syracuse, it was a long trip, and it was expensive. Flights were out of the question. We checked car rentals. Ian isn't 25 yet - rates were outrageous. That left the bus. Good old Greyhound. I've travelled many a mile across the USA in a Greyhound bus. The rates are reasonable. The schedule works. We decide that Greyhound will work.

We're up at 6 am to make sure everyone's showered and packed to catch the 8 am bus. The New Haven bus terminal shares space with the train station. It's nice and clean and has model trains in the waiting room. Ian brings his didgeridoo with him. He bought it when he came to visit us two years ago, and we tried to post it back to him. It was sent back to us when Ian moved and left no forwarding address. The didgeridoo's been around the world three times. We brought it with us when we flew from Sydney to New York. It was finally going home with its owner.

I decide that I will miss the both of them. Sabrina shares my love of the Beatles and haute couture. She's got a good sense of humor. I'm back to the world of testosterone.

We see them off. I don't know when we'll catch up again. In my heart, I wish them well and good luck. They married at a young age, but they believe in commitment. I keep my fingers crossed.

We arrive back at my mother's and declare that we want to do some site-seeing. My mother has a collection of maps and brochures. We decide to go to the Danbury Train Museum. Dan can hardly wait to get there. We take off after deciding on our route (mom knows best), and look forwards to seeing the different trains. Even I'm looking forwards to seeing the trains.

It's supposed to take us about an hour to get there. It took us two and a half hours. We've come upon one of the worst wrecks I've ever seen on a small highway. A tractor trailer has overturned and its container is smashed and sitting down an embankment. I hope the driver has survived. We sit in traffic that moves at a crawl, for over an hour, and decide to pull off the road and head into Middletown, where we find an Italian restaurant.

The pizza restaurant serves clam chowder. It's a New England pizza restaurant, after all. I urge Dan to try it. Dan is in love. From then on, we have New England clam chowder nearly every night. We dawdle at the restaurant, thinking the wreck will be cleared up after an hour or so. It isn't.

We're resigned to having to sit in traffic once more. We just hope we get to the museum before it closes.

Fortunately for us, the traffic clears a mile or two up the road. We finally get to the museum. Dan's excited and we check out all of the interior exhibits before we head into the rail yard. Now, this is where the fun begins. We're met by a woman who is a patron of the museum and who is helping to restore a steam engine. She tells us which engines and carriages we can view, and gives us a rundown of how the museum operates. It turns out she's the editor of the rail museum newsletter. We get a complimentary copy. This woman is a wealth of information, but, after a while, Dan's just anxious to explore the trains.

We check out an old caboose. I'm sad that cabooses have disappeared from the American landscape. At least I get to see what was inside. They're motel rooms on wheels! We check out a Sperry rail car - one that checks the tracks for cracks and other dangers. It is a mobile laboratory. We climb into large diesels and check out the steam locomotive. They're as different as night and day. We climb into a commuter rail car. The seats are nicely upholstered. The floor is linoleum. Luxurious compared to the hard vinyl, uncomfortable, but practical cars of the commuter train I take to work every day. I wish I had something this nice to commute on every day, but then I think of some of the people that use the train, and change my mind.

We spend an hour or more in the heat of the day, climbing in and out of locomotives and carriages. Dan climbs into the driver's compartment of old 2013 of the New York Central line. I can tell he wishes he'd never left the railway. I hope one day he can go back to it.

It's getting close to dinner time. The museum's going to close, so we leave. We get back to my mother's house and I tell her that I'm taking us to dinner. We eat at her favorite diner and she orders shrimp. I have another bowl of clam chowder. We've packed up the leftovers for Andy, who will get up in the middle of the night to microwave and eat them, to avoid everyone in the house. Afterwards, we stroll up the street and get a couple of second hand DVDs from the video rental place. I only have enough energy to watch one of them, Beyond the Sea. I love it and so does Dan. Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee should never have split up.

(to be continued...)
posted by Melanie O. at 9:34 PM -
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About Me
Name: Melanie O.
Home: Durham, North Carolina, United States
About Me: Female, American health and beauty-conscious professional who has rekindled a childhood love of dolls.
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