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Excerpt from Planes, Trains and Chuck & Eddie
by Kerrie Flanagan
My husband Rich and I planned to sneak away for the weekend to Colorado’s wine country: Grand Junction. This city of 48,000 is nothing spectacular, but the wineries, peach orchards and the Book Cliff Mountains make it a great destination in September. We looked forward to reconnecting while celebrating my birthday, just the two of us—no kids, no work and no worries.
Typically this 300-mile trek takes five hours by car, but this time we were going to be adventurous and try the train. We were scheduled to arrive at 4:08 p.m., still giving us time to enjoy a Friday night on the town.
Visions of luxury trains I had seen in the movies like the Murder on the Orient Express fueled my excitement. Even Harry Potter and his clan traveled in luxury on the Hogwarts Express.
I pictured beautiful dining cars decorated in dark wood with wall-to-wall plush carpeting and flirting with Rich while sipping martinis in the classy lounge car while a jazz quartet played in the corner. When we disembarked, he would go first and then lift me from the last step as the steam from the train enveloped us. Then we’d hold hands as we made our way to the station, our undying love propelling us across the station platform.
“Your train’s delayed about two hours,” said the guy through the small booth window. “You won’t be leaving until about 11:00.”
“The train is late?” I was not ready to accept this.
The booth guy laughed. “This must be your first time on a train. They’re always late.”
At this point we should have blown the whistle on the train ride and driven to Grand Junction. But no—I wanted my romantic train ride no matter what!