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Day 8: Lessons in Tequila


To continue with my blah mood of the day before, boy oh boy did I wake up on the wrong side of everything this morning. Grumpy isn’t a strong enough word for it. Nothing, and I mean Nothing was going to suit. Though in my defense, I once again missed out on a good night’s sleep. With that train delay, last night turned out to be more of a nap than a slumber. I was so out of sorts, I even grumbled my way through the omelet breakfast bar in the morning, and that's really saying something. I do like me a good omelet. And it was good, but it put no pep in my step.  


I lugged my bags to the station, and sat there with a fatigue-induced glower waiting for it to be time to board. While I waited, I looked around grumpily, and it was then that I noticed the unusual caboose now latched to the back of our train. Black, very fancy, with plush window treatments, and scrolled lettering reading 'Tequila Express’ across the side and back. Grumpy ass or not, I was intrigued. On my phone I did a little research, and my efforts did not disappoint. As it turned out, the caboose was co-owned by Paul DeJoria, the billionaire of Paul Mitchell and Patron fame, and Dan Aykroyd, of Ghostbusters fame. And suddenly my dark mood dissipated as if I'd taken a few shots of tequila myself. Because until that moment I never knew such a thing existed, and if I hadn’t walked away from that cubicle a week ago (was it only a week??), I still wouldn’t. It felt like I was no longer missing out on life, I was now a part of it!      

Once onboard I found two seats to myself, which was aces as well. Across the aisle a mother and her little baby settled in. Right away that little almond-skinned bundle smiled across at me, and she reminded me so much of my niece Megan, possibly my favorite person in the whole world, that I felt my eyes grow prickly. I remembered back to when Megan and I had done our own (much shorter) train ride together. Back when she had been a little almond-skinned bundle of smiles too.      

I'll tell you what, that baby across the aisle did not cry one time during the hours we shared aboard that train, and though I wanted to give her a cuddle something awful, I figured that would be a creepy thing to request, so instead I settled for a few happy smiles and waves exchanged. It was enough. 


Soon after making our way out of San Francisco, we entered into the Sierra Nevadas. Ahhh, the Sierra Nevadas. Lakes, mountains, gorgeous green vistas. And then Lake Tahoe, followed by a few other small but character-rich towns like Truckee, Ca, that I hope to return to one day. There was nothing glossy about them, to be sure. The buildings were old, and any new businesses that opened just took the place of the ones prior. But they were the kind of towns where you could sit back, sip a beer, and perhaps watch curiously as an elk wandered down Main St.


The scenery dulled once we rolled into Nevada, so I pulled out my laptop and decided to watch a movie my brother had recommended, but one I wasn't at all excited about. But I often get these things wrong, and within about four minutes I was laughing my head off. Within about eight minutes, I was recommending it via text to others. ‘What We Do In The Shadows’, by the creators of Flight of the Conchords. Good stuff! So good in fact, that I watched it a second time. 


It’s now time for bed, and I just made sure to put a special note in my journal about what an ass I had been that morning. Even if it was only with my thoughts, and I hadn't actually acted out- an ass is an ass. This trip is almost halfway through, and I already can’t get back that grumbly hour or two that I wasted. But a profound lesson was learned, one I hope will translate into real life after I disembark in 9 days. And here it is- 'Stop being an Ass." Time for Day 8 to dissipate.


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