Sunday, December 23, 2007
Train to VA
I took AMTRAK down to VA for Christmas this year, and I have to say it was much more enjoyable than the plane. It may have taken a little longer but for a vacation trip where I have no where to be, at no certain time, it was great. A few reasons why:
No Security - no disrobing, probing, pulling computers out of bags, etc. Plus that means you can show up just minutes before boarding, so you can subtract that from your overall travel time.
Larger Seats - I've got slightly long legs, so this is a real plus. Even with my ginourmous computer bag at my feet, I still had plenty of room. Enough room for the person in front of me to lay their seat back withhout shoving my knees into my chest. I ate my lunch without having the seatback tray shoved into my gut, nice.
No Seatbelts - You can get up and move around any ol' time you like. I don't usually get restless on trips, but it's nice to be able to get up and stroll to the cafe car. On part of the trip there was even a lounge car for a change of scenery if you want. I think people we're even playing cards, gasp!
Food - Yeah food, not a bag of peanuts and a coke.... sure you have to pay for it, and it ain't exactly cheap, but neither is airport food. 7.25 for a grilled chicken sandwich and a bag of pretzels. Qualitywise, eh comparable to airplane, the sandwich was nuked and similar to what you might find in a 7-11. I've had better, I've had worse, it was filling. I guess I don't expect much from mass transportation food. You could do worse at a rest stop on the highway. I was just happy there was a selection, when I wanted it, on my schedule.
No electronic device restrictions - Get on fire up whatever electrical device you want, no waiting for beeping lights or the crew telling when to shutdown. They even have electrical outlets!! This also means you can use your cell phone, and I was definitely worried about that, and perhaps it was beginner's luck, but there were no cell phone abusers. I was amazed, he says, knocking on wood.
Those are my main reasons, but really it just felt so much more relaxed. Maybe it's me, but airports and airtravel seems to have so many rules and regulations, I never feel all that comfortable, the train was easy, and relaxed. For me it was totally worth the extra few hours.