Kiki's parents had given us more than four-thousand dollars for our honeymoon. It was there wedding gift to us, along with a few pamphlets for "perfect" honeymoon spots from her mom. It was her way of telling us where she thinks we should go and they were all expensive. She wanted us to go to somewhere romantic and out of the ordinary such as New York, Hawaii, Paris, Scotland, Japan, Tahiti, Italy, or Switzerland. Kiki's mom wanted to give all of her kids the honeymoon she and her husband never had. She didn't care were we went as long as we used the money, had a good time, went some were she suggested or that made us happy, and did the things honeymooners did.
Unknown to her, Kiki and I had already chosen where we wanted to go for our honeymoon. We had mixed our ideal honeymoon ideas to form the perfect one for us. I had wanted to go on a train for years after my first train ride with my dad and Mackenzie. While I had been wanting a train ride, Kiki had been talking about The Apple Farm for months after a customer told her all about going there with his wife for their anniversary. We talked it over and decided that we were going to take a few day long train ride to The Apple Farm in northern California where we will stay for a week and a half then take another train ride back home. In total it will be a fifteen day trip, and much cheaper than everywhere else her mom wanted us to go. The rest of the honeymoon money will go into our "dream house" fund.
Checking all of the windows making sure the apartment was secure for our trip, I glanced at the wedding pictures Kiki hung on the wall and smiled. Then the time on the clock that was hanging close to the pictures caught my attention. "Kiki, we have to be at the train station in forty-five minutes. We should leave in a few minutes," I looked into the bedroom and saw her sitting on the floor with clothes surrounding her. My hand went up to my face and I rubbed my eyes, "Oh Kiki, I thought you finished packing last night." She looked at me with rings around her eyes, "I was but then I decided that I wanted to bring a different dress and then I noticed a shirt I wanted to bring." Her voice trailed off as she started to put clothes in the suitcase then taking them out again. Kneeling down I gently took her hands and cradled them in mine kissing them softly, "I'll pack for you, go get some breakfast." She leaned into me as I talked seeming to listen to my heartbeat. I kissed the top of her head taking in the sweet scent that radiated from her. After a few moments of being together she got up slowly and I started to pack for her.
There was a knock on the door just as I finished packing Kiki's suitcase. I could hear the door open and I knew who it was, "Oh Kiki, you look terrible. Did you get any sleep last night." I could hear footsteps in the house, "Mom, stop fussing. I was just stressed about packing. I know you know I get like that." Walking out with the suitcase I got hugged by Kiki's mom. "Let's get your junk in the car. I want to hear all about where you're going," She said as she picked up a suitcase. Kiki and I looked at each other and she giggled covering her mouth. I looked at Kiki's mom and gave her a smile, "It's a secret Mrs. Pratt." I saw her clench her jaw as she was putting our suitcases in the back of her Charger, the same one used to test me to see if I was right for Kiki, "I see." I felt a cold chill go down my spine, her voice was clipped and cold. All Kiki could do was give me a small smile that was accompanied by a giggle. She then tried to defuse the, as she calls it, mom-bomb, "Mom, leave Nick alone. You know we haven't told anyone but you will be the first to know once we get to where we're going." Her mom's shoulders slumped at that, "If that's the best you'll give me then I'll take it. Now it's time to get you two to the train station."
Once we got settled in our two person sleeper compartment of the train, Kiki curled up in one of the seats, using my lap as a pillow, to get some much needed sleep. The rhythmical 'clickity clacks' from the wheels against the rails and the faint sound of the engine horn lulled her to sleep. I stayed with her stroking her soft, silky hair, watching the subtle rise and fall of her chest. She looked so peaceful and sweet sleeping, yet that excited energy she always had was still in her. Kiki was still slightly manic even when she dreamed. That was one of the many reasons I loved her so, Kiki was always Kiki, she would never change. Closing my eyes I leaned my head against the wall feeling the train move with the sounds it was making.
I guessed I dosed off with Kiki for a while, there was a loud train whistle that had startled me awake. I sat straighter looking around our small sleeper compartment, that was when I noticed something was different. Looking down at my lap the small weight that was my wife's head was no longer there. I scanned the small sleeper car knowing my worry was just a product of being started awake. "Kiki?" I asked standing up from my seat looking around wiping the sleep from my eyes. Her small voice came out of the bathroom, "Just a moment Nick." She stepped out of the bathroom a few seconds later looking rested and happy. "Now what shall we do Nick?" She asked her voice was chipper. Thinking just for a moment, I decided to surprise her, "Follow me."
The door slid open with ease as I stepped into the small hallway excited to show her the observation car. When I was little it was my favorite car on the train. Catching fleeting glimpses of the world outside of the windows, never be a part of them, sparked something in me. Something about the sensation of not being able to hold onto that moment or re-see what had passed the window excited me. My imagination was able to take over and create fantastical new worlds that couldn't exist on earth. I hoped that it was as good as I remembered it to be. As we got to the area between cars I opened the door looking at the rickety enclosed space we had to walk through to get to the next car. Then I looked at Kiki just knowing she would be jostled around mercilessly. Not wanting her to get hurt I picked her up, somewhat awkwardly, with one arm and gripped the railing with the other.
"Nick," She giggled, "what are you doing?" I took a hesitant step onto the swaying platform, "These parts of the train are extremely dangerous. I really don't want to see you get hurt." What I was saying was an exaggeration of the truth. It was more dangerous for certain people to cross these areas, in Kiki's case she would be tossed around like a rag-doll due to her small stature and lack of muscle or fat. It was also an excuse to hold her close to me and feel like a hero. She gripped my shirt and I gave her a reassuring smile, "We will be just fine." Keeping my weight centered I safely crossed the space. As I was bending to set Kiki down in the other car she wrapped her arms around my neck, "My hero." She kissed me on the lips and I kissed her back closing my eyes. We broke the kiss after a few seconds, Kiki's eyes started to roam the car, "Where did you carry me to Nicky?" We were still in the area that was between the two cars, I opened bowing slightly, "The observation car, my dear."
She giggled and curtsied in response to my bow before she stepped through the door. I could hear a small gasp, "Nick, this is amazing." I watched her run to the window, I followed her easily keeping up with my long legs. I wrapped my arms around her shoulders, "This is still my favorite car. Makes it better that you are here to share this with me."
We sat together and watched the world outside the train fly by. She was close to the window with me next to her, my arms wrapped around her. I could see her reflection in the window as I held her close to me. She looked so excited with her wide-eyed expression and grin that went from ear to ear. She leaned into me after a few hours of having her face almost touching the window. I was shocked her stomach let her stair out at the passing scenery for so long without getting ill, "Nicky?" I smiled at the nickname, "Yes Kiki?" I felt the air leave her lungs in a soft sigh. She shifted so she could look at me, "Remember the morning after the wedding?" How could I forget, I nodded at her urging her to keep talking. "I woke up before you did," her eyes twinkled as she spoke, "I love the peaceful look you get when your asleep, that was the first time I saw it when you weren't sick or watching a movie. This is the first time I've seen it when you were awake."
It's so good to hear from you, and I've enjoyed the newest chapter very much.
Yes, I've been on trains for long, overnight trips, and I really love them. If you've not been on one before, there are a lot things you should know.
First, the train is in constant motion, of course, and one can sense the motion at all times. There are rhthmical "clickety clacks" from the wheels that change with the speed. There is the horns and whistles from the engine, which can be plainly heard, at all times, too. These sounds make it harder for some people to sleep, and creates the perfect condition for sleep in others, oddly enough. In addition to that, when a train pulls into a new town and passes by other trains or noise-makers, one can plainly hear the "Doppler" effect, as they go by.
Another big essence of trains is the constant staring out the window, observing the world go by. It is a beautiful experience, but also a bit weird, because we can only see fleeting glimpses of the environments, and never be a part of them, as long as the train is running. It's very odd, really, but remarkable, too.
At one time, there were colorful people who worked for the train, i.e. conductors, who "took tickest," and stewards who would help the passengers and were always announcing stops, even in the middle of the night.
Perhaps you should rent a few "train" movies to watch. A Hard Days Night has some terrific train sequences in it, but it is, of course, very dated now. Still, it catches an English train very nicely. Maybe you could search You Tube for train rides or train interiors, or Amtrak, or something. There might be something there to help evoke the flavor of the experience.
I like the idea of the Apple Farm very much, by the way.
So you're a bit blocked? I know what you mean. So am I, or perhaps I'm just lazy as all get out. I have several stories brewing but I still get chicken when it comes to sitting down and writing. Alas !
When it comes to their honeymoon, I have a suggestion for you. You have described their world and their friends and relatives so very well, creating a glimpse of the personal world of Nick and Kiki, but we have not been immersed in the essence of them as purely two people in love for several chapters now. I'm hoping you can evoke their magical relationship from the fist two chapters, and imbue the honeymoon chapter with that same special glimpse into their personalities, and how they fit so beautifully like pieces in a puzzle. Combined with the train and the farm, and those special little humorous things your mind invents, I'm sure it will be very fine reading.
Let me know if I can help further, by all means, okay?
By the way, did you get a chance to see that video link on my Channeling Norah Jones picture. I especially wanted you to see it. You'll be so pleasantly surprised.
I'm so glad it helps. I thought of one more thing or two. One is that between the passenger cars one has to meander between two heavy doors and walk through a rickety closed space where one is jostled about mercilessly.
The other thing is the joy of finding the dining car., or the lounge car. When you get hungry you will want to head for one of those, and it could be quite a distance. You may have to travel through ten cars to get to it, and walk through many different environments along the way. It's always a fun journey, though.
There is one more hilarious reality that is common on Amtrak trains. It has to do with bathroom facilities. If you want to know about that, let me know. It's pretty funny, for sure.