We’re getting ready to head out on our train trip!
It’s been a busy week of last minute errands getting everything in place, in addition to received a bunch of orders to keep our shop as stocked as possible while we’re gone. We’ve been picking up things for the shop and things for the trip and trying to clear off memory cards and finish up the laundry.
And of course I’ve been thinking about which of my pens will be making the journey with me, and the even tougher decision, which inks to put into them, along with which notebooks I’ll be bringing along with me.
It’s a short list! Coming up to this trip, I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort to wash and dry pens after they’ve been written dry, so I don’t have to leave pens at home with ink in them, or bring along too many.
Here’s the list:
TWSBI Vac Mini, medium – mystery ink, I’m guessing Asa-Gao (someone returned a Vac20 bottle with ink in it already, and Jon used my Vac Mini to demonstrate filling with it.
Pilot Custom 92, medium – J. Herbin Caroube de Chypre
Franklin-Christoph Model 20, medium – Pilot Iroshizuku Ina-Ho
Parker Lucky Curve, soft fine – Rohrer + Klingner Sepia
Kaweco Luxe, F (not pictured) – Kaweco black cartridge
Parker Duofold, medium – Diamine Ancient Copper
Parker Sonnet, medium – Noodler’s Blue Upon the Plains of Abraham
And look at this! It just arrived this week – the Lamy 4-pen, or four colour pen. When I was a kid, I used to love the white and blue Bic four colour pens, so how could I resist.
We only ordered a few of them, but despite my very good intentions of not accumulating more pens than I can use, I’m keeping one. It has a very good gravity-directed colour changing mechanism, and I’ve been changing colours willy-nilly just for fun.
I have to admit that it’s not exactly the same writing experience as a fountain pen, but it’s not bad for a ballpoint. It’s really the four colour function that sold me.
I’m going to be bringing a handful of Preppies in case we bump into anyone on the train or around who might like to try a fountain pen. I try to carry one or two in my bag, punctured, in case I come across someone running an errand or at a cafe.
I like to have at least one or two at the ready immediately, so in the heat of moment we’re not left awkwardly waiting to see if the pen is going to write. I’ll scribble a note or two with it if I haven’t given it away in a few weeks.
Here’s Jon and his pen roll. He has opted for the “I’m bringing whatever is in my pen roll” route, which are these pens in the photo. I don’t know how he lives with himself.
We’re taking the train to Vancouver, hanging around for around a week and then flying home. I’m thinking by the time we make it to the plane, some of our pens may be dry, but it’ll depend on how much time we have for writing postcards and writing in general.
For notebooks I’m bringing my personal journal (the B5 brown covered Life notebook), my Midori Traveler’s notebook for everyday notes + keeping everything together, and my Hobonichi for my three daily gratitude thoughts.
My personal journal is just for my thoughts and ramblings and whatever comes to mind. I’m thinking and hoping we may have some down time, first on the train for a few days, and then secondly in Vancouver with Caleb, where we’ll be home early for Caleb’s bedtime. I had considered using an insert in my Midori TN for personal journaling to save weight and room, but we won’t be backpacking or hiking with all of our gear, just moving from the train to the AirBnB, and then to the airport, so I think we’ll be okay.
My Hobonich is for the same, and I have to admit there are a few days where I’ve missed! Maybe I’ll try to catch up, or just use those pages for other memories.
My I revamped my Traveler’s Notebook a bit for the trip. I have one notebook for planning, organizing and notes – I’m hoping to do a few blog posts, and keep in touch with a few things going on in the shop.
I’m hoping to keep a notebook of just memories, photos and details from our trip. As we travel more, I’m planning on keeping all of these notebooks in one of the 10th Anniversary Midori TN tins. I’ve tentatively packed a few items to bring along for keeping a Travel Notebook on the road, and hopefully I’ll have some time coming up to share more about that.
I love that I’ll be able to go out day to day and keep everything together in my Midori for organizing and keeping ticket stubs or little pieces of paper all together. I’ve also got the matching Pan Am zipper pocket so I can tuck away things in there until I get back to our Air BnB.
We’re excited! There will be no wifi access on the train, which is giving Jon a bit of grey hair, but I think will be a nice break. I’m thinking I will still be able to write blog posts, and post them whenever we get into a station and I can hook up to wifi for a few minutes.
I mentioned before that Jon and I took the train from Russia through Mongolia to Beijing, which was a crazy adventure, but also quite an experience in the train itself. The VIA rail is going to be a train ride, but I think a completely different type of ride.
There will be showers, and our family will have its own little cabin, and we’ll also have tasty meals! Everything I’ve seen and read about taking the VIA has talked about how wonderful the food is, so my expectations are high! The views, and the glass-top car when we get to the western provinces, time for reading and explore the cars with Caleb. I can’t wait to share with you all how it is.