As the train station started filling up with passengers, I quickly came to realize who my audience would be… the majority of people were between the ages of 55 and 90, while a few others were just a bit younger. I was told quite candidly by my new friend who sat himself next to me, Bob who is 86, ‘I don’t have to go to work, so what else am I gonna do?’. Bob has been on 34 cruises, and has taken train travel all over the world. I sat and listened to his vivid, special memories he had with his previous wives – both who have passed away. We high-five each other every time we pass now on the train!
Settling into my cabin, I was wrought with fear that I didn’t have an actual bed considering how I had to sleep the previous night on the bus. Thankfully, George my cabin host let me in on the genius of the train. Chairs become small, platforms come out of the walls, and through a series of snaps and pulls, my bed appeared before my eyes. What an incredible feat of engineering and design!
I spent my first evening with the folks in the dome car, drinking a glass of champagne and munching on 5-star appetizers listening to stories of travel, where people are from, and what brought them to the train. I’ve decided that retirement is bliss, and its well worth making the effort to take care of myself now so that I can enjoy it. I hate to make fun, but the push and shove of the train’s momentum with seniors trying to walk straight is totally funny! We are constantly aware of the movement and momentum of the train as it drives on… and the sounds of horns and squealing of metal on metal. I slept very well, and found myself opening my car window excited to check out the view as soon as the sun came up.
My awareness of how long the train is came to fruition as my first performance was in the Park Car at the end of the train… it took me almost 15 minutes to get there from my cabin, which is only half way. Its quite a feat to take my guitar case down the long corridors to where I play, and dangerous to take it without the case with all the jostling around of the train. I’m working off all the incredible meals they’ve provided me for sure!
The passengers are receptive to my music, and is always great when they sing along… its like these people are on vacation or something!?
Next stop: Jasper…