My readers may be wondering about my silence for the last week, or maybe you were aware I went to my cousin’s wedding on Long Island. Travalon and I took the train out, and both ways there were four-hour delays on the first leg of the trip, but we just made our connection so we arrived on schedule. The train is a fun way to go, in spite of the delays, because you get to see everything between Points A and B. The Lakeshore Limited runs along the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers, so it is very scenic. Yesterday morning we woke up somewhere in Ohio with water on either side of us. The train also runs right through the factories in Gary, Indiana, and we noted with some amusement that there are now casinos in the midst of them. We may try to visit one sometime, since I have always been sort of obsessed with Gary, and Travalon enjoys casinos.
Our first full day on Long Island, we drove out to Montauk Point, which we were told would take about two hours… but not when you take the scenic route! We stopped for an amazing lunch of lobster and clams, since we both love seafood. Every little town was having a car show or art festival, so our forward progress was somewhat impeded much of the time. By the time we arrived at Montauk Point, they had just stopped charging admission, so that was the up side of arriving so late. Then we went to Mass in the village of Montauk, at a church called St. Therese of Lisieux, and explored the beaches there and at Hinter Hills State Park. We returned to our hotel kind of late, and the key card to our room didn’t work. While Travalon went to the front desk, I began a rosary. The front desk guy and another guy came, and they tried to open our door with the master key card, but even that didn’t work, so they checked the lock with a gauge and figured out the batteries were dead. Then Travalon wanted to watch some TV, and to our surprise, he came across a station where they were praying the rosary. I prayed along with them and discovered, to my amazement, that they were on the exact Hail Mary I was on. How’s that for a holy coincidence?
Sunday Travalon and I went to the beach at Fire Island and played in the Atlantic Ocean. Then we went to my cousin’s wedding at a park I remembered from childhood visits to my grandparents’ house. It is a very romantic park, with a waterfall and lots of swans, and my cousin got married in the gazebo. The reception was at a restaurant on Captree Island, with windows overlooking the water. The cake was super adorable, with black and hot pink polka dots and a topper my cousin had made herself. The flower girl, my other cousin’s three-year-old daughter, was also adorable as she dumped all the flower petals in one spot. Travalon and I talked to my uncle and his girlfriend over dinner, and we enjoyed the conversation immensely. We discussed interesting things like music, politics, and religion, and none of it was contentious. Besides making the cake topper, my cousin also decorated commemorative wine glasses for the guests and made chocolate-covered treats for us. She’s multitalented!
Monday Travalon and I had a little time in Manhattan before having to catch our train, so we walked to Times Square. We saw both the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building, and we stopped into a church called Holy Innocents, where they were having Eucharistic adoration. It was wonderful to get to visit Our Lord, because I missed two of my regular hours in a row; last week they suspended perpetual adoration for the week while they repaved our church’s parking lot, and yesterday I didn’t get back to town in time. We also went to a burger joint where they would put anything you wanted on a burger, so I had all kinds of greens and a hard-boiled egg. It was kind of like having a salad on my burger. Once on the train, we had a two-hour delay in Albany, so we explored around the train station. They have a beautiful church there called St. John the Evangelist and St. Joseph – it must be one of those combined parishes. We had a late, romantic dinner as we passed through Schenectady, which is surprisingly beautiful at night. And that is why I will always prefer the train to flying, even if the delays are something else. Travalon and I amused ourselves by writing limericks about Amtrak, and mine went like this:
There once was a train heading west,
And the food on that train was the best.
The delays were so bad
That they made us quite mad,
Since we had no more time to invest.