Wednesday, November 04, 2009

A weekend aboard Amtrak, the return

After a fashionably late dinner of pot roast, whipped butternut squash, roasted root vegetables and homemade berry pie (with ice cream of course), Susie and I hit the sheets tired but happy to be in northern Virginia. I suspect I rambled on about Mary Heistand during the course of the meal but it was, as always, so much fun to be around those kids. We looked forward to seeing Miss K at breakfast.

Fortunately we had a leisurely morning compliments of daylight savings time -- and after showering and steeling ourselves for the day we popped upstairs to breakfast. Miss K and Glen joined us and soon afterwards so did Christina.

Susie had to be at the hotel in Washington by half past eight so we said our goodbyes to Christina, piled into their van and Glen (with Miss K directing from the backseat) drove us into the city.

The rain continued to fall with an obstinate persistence, skewering my plans for a leisurely stroll through Arlington National Cemetery, looking for Mary Heistand and her husband Henry. So I rode all the way to the hotel said goodbye to my pastry queen (photo above). Glen then drove me to Union Station where I grabbed a bagel and sat and read until time to board the train.

The return trip kept to its schedule -- still a little over seven hours is a long time to stay cooped up on a train. At NYC's Penn Station we picked up several hundred additional passengers heading back north at the end of the weekend -- but this particular line on Amtrak always seems packed. But there's plenty of room to stretch out, lots of great scenery to see (assuming you are on the water side of the train) and it does lack the stress of driving I-95 or flying.

Life is, as they say, full of trade-offs.

So now I'm back in Providence where autumn continues to hang on to the bitter end -- warm temperatures and leaves still clutching on for dear life.

Susie returns later today -- Wednesday -- as for me, well I have to report for jury duty this morning. I suppose that's what geezers get for registering to vote. . .

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