We're doing it.
We're boarding the Lakeshore Limited in Boston on Monday, arriving the next morning for a day in Chicago, then traveling on the Southwest Chief to LA, arriving Thursday morning. I haven't figured out yet whether I am certifiably INSANE to do this (we'll know soon enough!) but I'm also not sure when we'll ever again have a span of days like this, a reason to do it, and Sam's enthusiasm for this kind of trip with his mom. So we're going for it. At the very least, we'll have some good stories and Sam will remember riding the train across the country with his mom when he was 11.
It did give me pause, I'll admit, when we were in the orthodontist's office for an hour and a half on Monday and the wait just about undid us. We were rolling our eyes and practically moaning--when will we be done? there's nothing to do--and we even had books with us! Joke's on us, I guess!! Next week that little hour and half will seem like an appetizer--no, a bite of an appetizer--compared to the 65 hours on the train. Hopefully it doesn't end up being our own personal Throw Momma from a Train situation.
So here's my confession: I'm completely romanticizing this adventure. And I'm okay with that. I have this vision of the Orient Express (minus the murdering) and quality time with Sam. Maybe I'll begin a novel, a la J.K. Rowling's train scribblings that launched Harry Potter! Maybe Sam can make a movie! And I'll come up with new insights about life! Plus I'll finish my pre-dissertation work and...and...we can do speeches at every stop to crowds of waiting blog readers, patriotic bunting behind us! I know these are fanciful--I do know--but it's been part of the fun of the planning and anticipation.
p.s. Do you think it's going overboard to ask G to come and run alongside the departing train with tears in his eyes? With maybe a 1940s suit and a fedora? I have my handkerchief all ready for waving farewell.