Archive | December 2012

Lots of trains

Growing up near Trenton, NJ; everyone knew that when you said you were going to the burg, it was the Italian neighborhood in Trenton.  Home of the best bakery in the world, and one of my best friend’s family.  So when I had the opportunity to visit another burg, or ‘Burgh, as they say, I though that would be cool.  I mean, who doesn’t want to go to Pittsburgh in December? 

We started out planning a train trip there.  We could catch the train from Philly and be there within 7 hours.  Not bad!  It turned out that the fates were against us from the start.  First was a major traffic jam, making us pretty late, and a visit to the mechanic.  Naturally, since it was the only train to Pittsburgh all day, we missed it.  We were still not quite out of luck.  There was a train leaving for Washington DC about 10 minutes after we arrived at the station, so we jumped aboard and breathed a sigh of relief.  Washington DC had the good fortune to have a train leaving later that day and would stop in Pittsburg on its way to Chicago.  We wouldn’t arrive until midnight, but that was ok because I viewed the train ride as part of the whole experience.   The train going to Chicago was a massive double-decker with cabins and a dining car.  Much grander than the other one which was just a normal but comfy train with no cloth tablecloths and only plastic utensils in the cafe.  It was a great experience to ride, and the trip was a bit surreal as we kept slipping in and out of naps.  Even after a full night sleep, I can’t stay awake on a train.

Pittsburg turned out to be a pretty little city, although I would love to visit in the summer, or spring and really enjoy the outdoors.  We visited a few museums and walked around, thankful for the 60 degree weather.  Even the rain didn’t dampen our spirits. 

The ride back was as uneventful as we could have hoped for.  We had no traffic jams since we walked to the station, no missing of trains (which is great because there would have been no second chance) and no cloth table cloths.  I did eavesdrop on a very interesting conversation between two gentlemen who apparently had both lived in the same area and both also lived in California.  I dozed and listened to the difficulties of moving, bad jobs, and bad relationships from the two men. 

All in all it was a really great trip, and I am very happy that we missed our train because now I am eager to go back and maybe on to Chicago as well.