Train to My Parents' Place in Virginia

Trip Start Nov 08, 2006
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of United States  , Virginia
Wednesday, February 4, 2009

We took a comfortable 6-hour train ride to Richmond, where my mom and Chuck live.  The most obvious aspect of being back in the States was that I could overhear other people's conversations again.  In Asia, people talk and it's background noise.  I love it, because I don't particularly like listening to people's nonsensical ramblings.  I was reminded this would be an issue when Lindsey and I went to a movie just before leaving Thailand.  We exited the theater and some Americans 20 feet in front of us thought they'd tell anyone within screaming distance what they thought of the movie.  "God damn, was that stupid!  I'd kick Jackie Chan's freaking ass!  I'd be like, 'Yo Jackie, you punk ass Chinaman with your sissy Kung Fu, what do you think of this crowbar!?!' KABLAM!"  Poignant stuff like that.  

But most of the time during my daily commute on the metro, Thais talk on their phones in Thai and I read my book or whatever, and even those speaking English use their inside voices.  But the Brooklynite 11 rows behind us on the train let me enjoy his dozens of phone calls between NY and DC.  "Hey, how ya doin'?  Say hello to your mutha for me."  But we also got to talk to this really nice girl in front of us who was on an obscene amount of painkillers and spoke passionately about her master's degree in performing arts of the French horn or something like that.  She was pretty cool, but I'm relatively sure that after she exited she went into a Vicadin coma and drove her car into a tree.  But during one of her moments of clarity, she let us use her phone to call my parents and tell them when we'd arrive and at what station.

We arrived a few minutes early at the downtown train station Richmond, just a few blocks from my mom's office.  It's a beautiful station, and I highly recommend it for your next tour of historic train stations of Virginia.  My mom loves me and was thrilled to see me, and Chuck didn't seem to mind that I was there.  We threw our bags in their car and were happy to know we wouldn't have to move again for 3 weeks.  Or at least I wouldn't.  Lindsey was staying 2 weeks before going to Texas.  

So today is Feb. 25th.  I leave for Austin tomorrow.  I've had an amazing time with my parents.  They're good people.  They fed me well.  I've already had more meat in the last 3 weeks than I had eaten in the previous two years.  Chuck slaughters entire calves for Sunday dinners for the four of us.  And for dessert we eat beef tips and corn dogs.  We're brushing our teeth with ajou sauce and ground veal.  God bless America.  

The best part of the visit was just hanging out with them.  We didn't go anywhere or do anything.  But I hadn't seen them since they came to Thailand 18 months ago.  So we played cards and dominoes and Scrabble.  Lots of Scrabble.  My mom and I play a couple of times a day.  She's awesome.  Not at Scrabble, just in general.  She's okay at Scrabble.  

Now I'm at her office while she finishes up a meeting.  We'll hang out one more day, then I'm off to Austin to see the rest of my family.  I'll see my mom and Chuck again in Vegas for her 60th birthday.  Then Lindsey and I will spend another 2 weeks in Virginia in May before heading to NY.  It's nice that our visit isn't over.  So she won't cry that much.  I probably will.  I'm emotional. 

I'm posting a few photos.  Is snowed briefly one morning, so I had to photograph that.  I also helped Chuck with a project he was working on by taking photos at a few churches around town.  The tombstone is at the church where Patrick Henry gave his Give Me Liberty or Give me Death speech.  They gave him his liberty.  But I think he eventually died too.

The stained glass is from some church downtown.  It was pretty.
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