Friday, June 4, 2010

Home Again, Home Again

Oh, ma petit baguettes, we're home. What a lovely trip, but before I get down to griping about getting sick, bad food and fat fellow tourists, let me answer the questions burning on everyone's lips: How was Thombeau? Charming, ebullient, pixie-ish, totally the most fun to hang out with you could ask for. Other adjectives would include sweet, self-effacing, and smart, but you can probably tell that from his blogs.
Plus, as a bonus, he threw in his way cool and very leggy friend who signs her comments on Fabulon and the Chateau as Maggie the Cat. We had a wonderful and all too brief time in a bar Maggie recommended (she seems like the kind of gal who would be an authority on the best bars wherever she might find herself, and I say that with deep admiration.)

Diane von Austinberg joined us and kept Jessica company while Thombeau and I discussed the mysteries of blogging and gossiped about you. Both Thombeau and Jessica were filled with vastly amusing stories, I just wish you all could have shared in the good time.

So, back to the blow-by blow, and I do mean blow. The train from here to Chicago was just what we wanted. We had a teeny little room.

A lot of the scenery tended to look like archeological remains of a lesser civilization.

But some of it was lovely.

It was all very relaxing since there is NOTHING to do but stare out the widow and nap, two occupations I happen to excel in. The food was vile, they screwed up my grilled cheese sandwich, which takes real dedication. We finally skipped the dining car and grazed ont eh snacks I had brought along.

So either their attempts to poison me were successful or the snacks didn't agree with me, but I arrived in our very nice hotel room, greeteed Diane and announced she had to leave so I could proceed with a vigorous round of puking. Food poisoning. I spent the whole evening levitating between the bed and the toilet and wishing you could euthanize yourself through an act of self-will. God knows I tried.

The next day it was all gone, lalalalala. Diane and I walked down to Millenium Park and the Art Institute for lunch, so beautiful.) We hooked up with Thombeau and Maggie the Cat; drinks, laffs, aimless walks. Saturday we tried to go back to Millenium Park and the Art Institute, but R Man got sick, poor lamb, so we stayed in and had room service.

Let me mention here what a wonderful friend DIane is. She came all the way up to Chicago and we did absolutely nothing. She was very cool with that, so yay for old friends who love you.

Everyone else left Sunday morning, but we had most of the day to ourselves, so we finally got to the Institute and the park where they had planted out the most spectacular swathes of purple flowers. I don't what they are, they have square stalks like mint.

Then it was on off to Annapolis and a visit with my in-laws, over which let us just draw a discreet veil, noting only that I suffer as do the martyrs of heaven. I will mention one of the highlights of the trip was hiding from them in their backyard, lying on a cushion in the grass, soft warm Southern afternoon staring up at the sky through the branches. That was nice.

Anyway, glad to be home and back in the blog.


  1. oh,'re back?

    It wasn't me, I swear! Marcus Apuleius's back was swayed like that when you left him, don't you remember? I swear!

    But it sounds fabulous! How could it not be...well,
    except that whole food poisoning thing, that is.

    But that probably only made it feel that much more ummm..."international", right?

    I've been waiting with baited breath to hear a report ever since I first heard about the adventure.

  2. Oh, this sounds like such a wonderful trip (besides the puking and in-laws, of course)!
    And thank you for exposing Thombeau's visage to the light of day. Two right handsome devils, you both are. ;)
    Welcome back, sweetie.

  3. Hiding in the bushes? I'm surprised you didn't run away. I can't abide being locked in a basement unless it's forcibly.

    Happy you had a good time, happy you are back, happy, happy, happy.

  4. Why can't the train people get the food right? Sheesh.

    Sounds like one of those 'nice to get away - nice to be back home' trips. Which I suppose is about perfect.

    The real report of course (and the one that will never see the light of day), would be to know your and Thom's observations on all of us!

    Glad you're back boys.

  5. I'm happy you are home, but so sorry that your gastric hopes were bypassed. I am reminded of the Sex In the City episode in which the fab four decided to take the train from New York to LA, dreaming of fabulous food, only to discover the culinary equivelent of left over food-truck food.

    Think of it this way, it hardened you for what was to come with the inlaws. And you were, shall we say, VICTORIOUS in that part of the trip by holding your head high. You sir, are indeed, a champion among mortals.

  6. i took the train, twice. i should've told you to bring tuna fish and a can opener. and a plane ticket.

  7. Welcome home, sweetie! It really was great to see you, R Man, and Diane. Jessica loved them, too!

    One correction: "Maggie the Cat" is my friend Madalyn, the one who couldn't make it. Jessica---all 6'2" of her---was her stand-in. Funny how Vicodin can cloud one's memory...

  8. Oh, darling, I'm crushed to learn that train travel no longer includes first class dining and a club car. But it sounds as if your fabulous rendezvous with our dear Thombeau made it all worthwhile - I'm jel-jel!

  9. Beautiful garden - I did a quick search and the flower looks like: Nepeta faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’ – Catmint. You think?
    to go to the place & see modern art Katherine Kuh fought to have at the Institute is a dream.

  10. Hooray! I'm back able to post comments. . . . way too late.

    It was so swell to see you; I'll be doing it again in August!


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