Beginning the Long Trip Home

We’ve packed tonight, preparing to take Amtrak tomorrow for the first stage of our three day journey back home. I’m looking forward to it, mostly.

I’m not looking forward to the fact that the one train from Lincoln to Chicago departs Lincoln at 4:47 a.m., which means we have to be at the station at around 4:15 a.m., which means we have to depart the house at 4:00 a.m., which means we have to be up at 3:30. After I finish this blog, I’m going to bed.

But I am looking forward to having breakfast and lunch on board a train’s dining car, and to a comfortable, civilized trip tomorrow, and a chance to check out the city of Chicago for a day before hopping onto another train to Port Huron tomorrow. Vivian and Nora should definitely prefer this trip to being couped up in a car or corralled on board a plane.

So, posting will be a bit sporadic between now and Friday, though I will likely post tomorrow evening from our Chicago hotel. If you leave a comment and it doesn’t appear (my comments are mostly moderated by default), look for it tomorrow evening.

In other news, Erin and I are about seven chapters into Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight, a vampire romance for young adults. The plot concerns 17-year-old Isabella Swan leaving sunny Phoenix, heading to rainy Forks (Washington) and then moaning a lot about it. Then she falls in love with a vampire, and things get more interesting.

I picked up this book because the attention the fourth book has received around here, with the big bookstores scheduling midnight parties for the release, in the hopes of recapturing some of that Harry Potter magic. And I hear that on, Twilight fan fiction is starting to catch up in quantity to the Harry Potter behemoth.

I have to admit that I’m feeling some professional jealousy towards Meyer, much the same way I felt some jealousy towards Rowling, though I liked the Harry Potter series. Twilight doesn’t speak to me the way Potter does, and a part of me feels as though a segment of the reading youth have abandoned magic for a romance novel full of sultry looks. Erin and I have taken to make fun of the book sometimes, suggesting that the characters stand around and go “(sigh!) Oh, Edward!” / “(sigh!) Oh, Bella!” / “(sigh!) Ours is a forbidden love!” / “(sigh!) And you’re standing on my toe.”

But it’s chapter seven and we’re still reading, which means Meyer’s doing something right. Bella has a bit of a wry edge to her, and I suspect the readers are all identifying with the high school setting and all of its interpersonal relationship problems.

I’ll do a proper review once I finish it. If you’re into romantic escapism with a bit of bite (ha, ha!), this might be for you.


(Update: 6:19 a.m. Wed): Arrived at the train station at 4:17, got the bags checked in, and learned that the train wasn’t expected until 6:30, late. Sigh. We could have used that extra sleep. So we went to breakfast instead. I’m typing this outside the station now, which has free wi-fi. The sunrise is beautiful. The train is still expected at 6:30.

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