Tag Archives: west coast

Travel on the Write Track

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When I packed my bags and moved to Chicago, I arrived by train. And ever since that May day in 2009, I find myself taking the train quite often. While the CHI—STL length isn’t nearly as glamorous as travel up on the East or West Coasts, there’s still something comforting in the travel. Train travel seems timeless to me, classic. I love finding myself in Union Station and knowing the rush of traveling and the look of the building were what people many, many years ago experienced.

So imagine my excitement when I came across Amtrak Residency. There’s a ton of press going on about the program, though here’s the gist: Reporters tweeted at Amtrak how cool this would be. Amtrak agreed, and made said writers take a train ride. And now, the Residency is open to writers of all levels for various lengths of time.

What I really love about this whole initiative (despite the fact it’s right up my alley) is it came about from one writer just tweeting about a love for writing on trains. Amtrak listened and decided there was something powerful there. As more brands continue to use their consumer base for more than just customers, I’m excited for more things such as this to come to fruition.

As this weekend is another family wedding, I’ll be taking that well-traveled CHI–STL train ride. And I’m excited to sit there, put in the headphones and just start writing.

To see the power and beauty of train travel on the Coast, visit my gal pal Leela’s blog. Last month she spent 36 hours on a train from California to Seattle (now she’s moving all throughout Europe).

“At the end of hours of train-dreaming, we may feel we have been returned to ourselves — that is, brought back into contact with emotions and ideas of importance to us. It is not necessarily at home that we best encounter our true selves.” — Alain de Botton, “The Art of Travel.”

 

48-Hours of Firsts

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After befriending a musician and Celia getting booked to werk the Treasure Island Music Fest, fate dealt some sweet cards and I was on my way to the west coast for 48 hours. Where I had a weekend full of first times.

-First trip to San Francisco
-First time navigating a new city without a map
-First time eating and drinking total German cuisine at Suppeküche
-First time walking up “hills” and being completely out of breath
-First time having a rooftop party that felt like a movie
-First time hanging with Kacee in America (Dublin reunion 4 years in the making)
-First time at a Music Festival
-First time movin’ and groovin’ in the Silent Disco (San Fran calls them “Silent Friscos”)
-First time using a sewing machine to create a beer koozie in the arts & crafts tent
-First time on a Ferris Wheel that was so old-school, it didn’t have a cage around it keeping you in
-First time getting a haircut on an island. At a music festival

And the big one:
-First time I bought a journal and started writing my book. While gazing at the Pacific Ocean.

Needless to say, I’m in love with San Francisco. And leaving was horrible. The music fest wasn’t too bad to boot either.