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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Guest Post: Travels with Return to Rural

Today's brilliant post is brought to you by TMC @ Return to Rural who so gallantly answered my plea for help last night. See, I have a sick Tonya-cat. I'll probably update on that tomorrow. But in the meantime, trust me that this is way better than any of the brain vomit I was coming up with for today's post. And please, go visit her blog. You won't be sorry because her posts are full of awesome and booyah. Including this one.

Greetings! I've stepped in to save the day help out with today's post while Cate's off wiping cat snot or collecting stool samples or whatever it is cat people do that non-cat people wouldn't. Feel better, Tonya!

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.


TMC said...


slacker-chick said...

Your train ride sounds wonderful TMC but Cate and her hubs will be sending me to a deluxe spa in Monaco for a week where I'll have a personal massage therapist named Hans. God it's gonna be great!

C. Beth said...

I love the image of Tonya, the drug dealer.

mo.stoneskin said...

I also love writing on trains. With some tunes playing the creative juices just flow.

I'm assuming you would bring Cate and Joe some little souvenirs right? A little Canadian flag perhaps? Or a chocolate bar? Just to demonstrate your gratitude.

TMC said...

@slacker-chick - I was going to just bring my all-purpose errand boy Armando along with me on the train.

@C.Beth - Cate thinks she keeps an eye on the cats with her webcam when she's not home but I'm fairly sure Rusty's got the footage on a loop like in Ocean's 11. What you see is in fact NOT what's going on.

@mo.stoneskin - I would certainly bring Cate and Joe a gifty or two. I don't think I'd go the chocolate route, or even smoked salmon or anything. I aim to give gifts that are tailored to the taste of the giftee so I'd bring back some imported Canadian cat hair. All they can eat! Because Cate seems to think that cat hair and face- punches are presents.

Ryan Ashley Scott said...

Oh that sounds nice. The train ride, not the kitty boogers.

Hope Tonya is feeling better!

The Old Gray Egg said...

Wow! I just went to that Via Rail Canada site. I want to take all of their trips. All I need now is our passports, a farm-sitter/goat milker/cow-horse-goose-chicken-dog-cat feeder/stall mucker/garden weeder/hay maker/barn painter/lawn mower/fence mender/firewood cutter/bill payer and friends like yours to pay the way. Lord knows, I need a vacation.

2cats said...

If I were traveling on Cate's dime, I would travel by chauffeured limousine. I would go to the start of our country. Jamestown, Boston, Washington DC, and various other places. I would tour in luxury.

Yes, kitties do get snotty noses. We have a feral cat who comes to visit occasionally and her nose is always snotty.

Beth said...

I've never been on a train. We typically curse them because there are SO MANY train tracks in my town. But all those trains are carrying merchandise and trees and stuff.

Must add to my Need To Do List: Ride on Train

blognut said...

Isn't it nice of Cate and Joe to go sending you on an all-expenses paid trip while also taking care of the travel arrangements and homefront crisis management type stuff?

I, for one, am writhing with jealousy and thinking of getting kinda mad that there was no drawing for this giveaway. Pfftt!

TMC said...

@Ryan Ashley Scott - I'm not so much into kitty boogers myself.

@The Old Gray Egg - I just assumed Cate would be handling all the stuff in my regular life... how else could I possibly relax?!

@2 Cats - That's a great idea! I've never been to the historical places on the east coast.

@Beth - Trains are a whole world unto themselves. Try a day trip!

@blognut - I put a call in to VIA Rail to see if I could talk them into giving us a gift certificate or something but, not surprisingly, they haven't responded yet. They clearly don't understand the power of blogging yet.


Thanks for all your comments everybody!

Tori_z said...

Where would I go? I'd go spend a couple of days with each of my online friends, which means I'd be visiting various parts of the UK and the USA. Then - before I go home - Cate can pay for me to go to Disney Land. ;)

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