Winnie on Tour

Town Hall

“Awesome architecture!” Raylene snapped another picture.

Winnie eyed the building. “All that brick to whitewash.”

“To achieve such symmetry back in those days…”

Winnie frowned. “All those windows to clean.”

“Oh, well. Help was cheap back then.”

They heard some chatter and the two cousins turned to watch a number of children crossing the street. “Looks like a school tour,” Raylene commented.

“Now there’ll be grubby little fingerprints everywhere.”

Raylene sighed and turned to gaze at the City Hall again. “I think those flower boxes add such a nice touch. Don’t you? The town fathers back then didn’t cheap out when they set up office.”

“Still don’t,” Winnie grumbled. “Just think how much red tape they could produce in an office this size.”

At that second Raylene wished for a roll of duct tape in her hand. She pushed the uncharitable thought away and checked her program. “I see the castle tour is next.”

“Hope we do the dungeon. Dungeons have always fascinated me.”

Raylene rolled her eyes. Somehow that fits. Then another thought flashed through her mind and she chuckled. Her cousin Winnie could probably bring an ‘Iron maiden’ to tears.

Winnie looked at her curiously. “Did I miss something funny?”

“Oh, I was just remembering how the cream on our table at the bistro was sour.”

“Hmph! That’s funny? And our table was the only one with sour cream. Really odd, I’d say.”

“Yes. An odd sort of funny. Let’s go find the rest of our group.”

Holiday Adventure Surprise

It was all Shanz’s idea that we take this scenic trip through the hills and spend a few days at Pineridge Lodge, a great “wilderness adventure” he’d read about. Boating, swimming, fishing, all gear for rent at lowest rates. Sounded like a great plan! And after all, we guys hadn’t taken time for ourselves or gone anywhere special for at least five years. Time we took ourselves off for a relaxing male-bonding holiday.

Shanz sweetened the prospect considerable by showing us an ad in the Turnbull News Herald where the Barnum & Willsby Railroad was offering a bargain rate. “Tuesdays and Thursdays only, special discount fare to Catfish Bay with connections to Pineridge Lodge.” So Shanz, Lester, Nate and I reserved a “Three-day Lodging-plus-Meals package” and we each bought B&W Rail’s bargain ticket, leaving on a Thursday.

For the next few weeks we carried on like little boys headed for a Disneyland holiday. Sad to say, though, Nate had to cancel out on Monday ‘cause his in-laws showed up for a surprise visit. He almost shed tears when he told us about his change of plans.

The rest of us boarded the train this morning expecting to ride all the way to Catfish Bay. But we found out when we got here that there was some fine print we never read. You see, the Lodge is six miles out of town. And the fare, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, doesn’t cover those last six miles.

The agent said we could wait over ‘til tomorrow afternoon, when the local train that does go out to the Lodge hits town. But by the time we got there we’d almost have to turn around and go home again.

So what do you do if you wanna get there today? Hire a taxi for an additional $50? Nope, not us. We got more energy than money.

Too bad Nate couldn’t make it. He’ll be downright grieved missing out on this adventure.

Walking the tracks