Planes, Trains & Birthdays

Cafe Brioche
Managed to coordinate my travel plans with a friend in Boston and my sister in Baltimore. Then, after figuring out the right dates, flights, and train schedules, got the very same email from both of them: “It’s my birthday on 11/19!” “It’s my son’s birthday on 11/19!”

How unlikely is that, that you would schedule a trip during someone’s birthday without knowing- and to do it twice, to two people who are having their birthdays at the same day. Really, really unlikely. I just calculated it: 1 in 676 chance.

I’ve never done much surface travel in the North East, so I’m taking the Acela Express train from Baltimore to Boston. I’ve flown in and out of NYC, Boston & DC a few times, and driven the DC beltway, but for once, I get to see the backyards of all these towns on the way. I told Tink this and she responded that when taking the Oakland Amtrak route she actually saw a pimp in full regalia in someone’s backyard. The round trip price from SF-Baltimore is the same as the round trip train fare. I’ve trained the major Western routes, North to Portland and Seattle, south to Arizona, Texas and New Mexico. East to Colorado. that was one of my favorite routes. A family actually skied off the train in the Sierras.

One thing I really like about taking trains is that once you arrive in town, you are ready to party. Perhaps because there’s less transition issues, and it’s more relaxing and slow-paced. Arriving in Denver that time we had had a dress-up cocktail hour in our sleeper car, so we arrived in town and walked a few blocks with my sister who was living in Denver, and had a nice dinner out right after we arrived. In planes, you have that wobbly leg feeling, and nausea (for me), and fatigue, and the shock of arriving in a new climate and time zone. With trains I feel so rejuvenated right when I arrive. I also tend to sleep really, really well on trains. I took a train from Paris to Florence, over night, and woke up to cappuccino and croissants. I was in a women’s couchette with two older Italian ladies. They were super silent and fastidious (we had our own sink & vanity in the cabin). We arrived in town in the morning and I met up with my friends there, and we had a great day out. There’s no strange transition time of taking a shower, napping, etc.