News From The Rails

David and Carver made it to San Francisco and had a blast on their train ride. The above photo was taken with David's cell phone, so it's a little dark. Their sleeper compartment was small but hosted nooks and crannies and storage compartments that kept a 10-year-old boy pleasantly busy for hours. They've played card games and read books and goofed off and rested. David said the ride through the Rockies and the rest of Colorado was spectacular. Carver slept like a log. David slept like...well, a grown man on a moving train. But he said it was so nice to not worry about a thing. Each car has its own "steward" to answer their questions and tend to their every need. Apparently, you get an endless supply of apple juice (see above) and Carver is trying to drink it all.

The dining car provides all their meals, as well as interesting conversations with strangers. Since space is limited, David and Carver were always seated with 2 other guests. David said they have met and eaten with all sorts of characters: a World War 2 veteran, an elderly woman and her son traveling to see her sister, a Buddhist monk, an ACLU worker traveling to California to work on Prop. 8, and a music professor from UC Davis. David... loves... it!

David and Carver are staying in downtown San Fran, in an old historic hotel that makes me jealous. Unfortunately, David forgot to have the talk with Carver about seeing lots of homeless people until they began walking from public transportation to their hotel. While David and I have lived in very urban places in our lives, our children have not. That is one part of the suburbs that I hate. By not living in a place where homelessness and poverty are very visible, my kids are unaware of it. And when they are then exposed to it, they are afraid of it. I do NOT want my children to be afraid of poverty, or the human beings they see who are living in poverty. I do NOT want my kids to look down at their feet and pretend not to notice despair. David has a big job on this trip--to have a delightful getaway with his son, and to impress upon our son the value that each and every person on our planet has, no matter what their circumstances.

Suddenly, my painting projects sound easy.


Stacy said...

you guys are so cool.

Vivi said...

Love that David and Carver are doing this father/son thing together...just the two of them. Carver will remember this his whole life, I bet. Love the things you want to teach your kids...living in the suburbs definitely has it's downsides, doesn't it? I forget how I've unintentionally kept certain things from my kids. Way to realize it in time to teach it.

hotflawedmama said...

That is awesome. Makes me want to catch a train as well.

I sympathize with your issues about "exposing" the kids to poverty. hard to do when we're the only people for close to 300 acres. :) Hope David has some good tips when he gets back.

Anne said...

Wow! Trains and San Francisco -- two of my favorite things! Is there an Amtrak line that goes from Denver to SF?

Hope the rest of their trip is as great as the beginning. Yay for bonding time and learning opportunities. I'm off with my (almost) 10 year old for a getaway this weekend, too!

jayme said...

What an amazing adventure your boys are on! we're hoping to be able to take solo trips with each of the kids as they get older, just so that they can get one on one attention, and we can get to know them better in that context.

Your thoughts on homelessness were interesting to me because when I was living in Colorado Springs, I was always struck by how visible, and huge, the homeless population was there. Certainly at least as visible as either Chicago or New York, though maybe their situations didn't seem as dire as the urban homeless. Maybe things have changed?