Greetings! I've stepped in to
Cate asked me where I would go if I could simply pack my bags and head off, money being no object.
Since I'm an over-thinker by nature, I'll set aside all the theoretical questions related to my theoretical free vacation and just assume that she'd arrange for things to be taken care of at work and home in my absence. I'll also assume that money's no object because I'm travelling on HER tab, which would make the trip all the more pleasant; I'd be eating well while she'd have to resort to finding ways to spruce up store-brand spaghetti sauce for every meal for the duration.
Where would I go? Well, one might guess that I'd go to Tibet where I have a house and family. Or over to the west coast where the weather is always good and where the other half of my family lives. I could pick a handful of other places I've never been but want to go. But if I had to pack and leave RIGHT NOW, because of where my head is and because I have a hankering (yeah, I said it) for motion and quiet, I'd go to Canada. More specifically, I'd take the 26 day VIA Rail Odyssey of Opulence by Cruise & Rail. It goes from one end of Canada to the other, through some of the most pristine land in North America. I've never been on a cruise, but I have been on countless train trips and I love train travel. With Cate & Joe's life savings in my grubby hands I could travel comfortably in my own cabin, venturing out only occasionally to people-watch other travellers in the dining car, to see the staff expertly sway with the movement of the cars, never spilling a drop of water or losing a basket of bread.
Oh dear. I hope there's wi-fi available!
I find that I write well on trains. Something about the perpetual movement syncs up with my creativity and I miraculously get things done. Thoughts become clear when all you have to do is feel yourself travel through time while staring out the window at an expanse of land in which one could get lost and never be found if desired. Ideas bloom from seeds to flowers to full-on bouquets with direction and purpose and a aesthetic that makes sense (unlike this sentence. Clearly I'm NOT on a train now.) I once took the train from Los Angeles to Seattle, in coach, and wrote a BIC crystal bone dry. I filled a 500 page notebook with sheer brilliance that has since been lost as I've grown up and moved from one place to another. I'm confident that it was brilliant, though. I remembered having such a sense of accomplishment and sharing exerpts of my "work" with friends. Anyway, on a train I could maybe get some of the story ideas out of my head. On a train I could sleep all day and stay up all night, writing and internetting and somehow finding ways to get from just dreaming to actually doing so many of the things that I know I could do if I had the time and space to think them through.
By now I'm sure your mind has wandered and you're thinking "How's Tonya? Do cats get boogers? Did she get pills or liquid medicine? Does Rusty care that she's sick?"
I don't know. I've never met Tonya or Rusty so you might just have to see if they've got a FaceSpace page where they're posting hourly snot-watch updates. Perhaps Tonya's not really sick and is instead building a cache of prescriptions she sells to neighbourhood cats during the day while Cate & Joe are at work. I'm told cats are very crafty like that. I wouldn't know. I'm a rabbit person.
Thanks for coming along on this imaginary rail trip with me. If I ever do get to go on my Canadian journey, you can bet you'd all get postcards and maybe a blog post or two (or 50) along the way.
But hey, maybe rail travel isn't your thing so tell us... where would you go with just a packed bag on Cate's dime?
*Photo is from the VIA Rail site.