Monday 12 March 2012

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Train Travel Is Like This Right?

We've had a little change of plans for our upcoming Spring Break. While I was able to find cheap flights out to Washington, D.C., the only return flights I could find for under $75 were three days after arrival, which didn't like a worthy amount of time to fly across the country for. So I waited on the return flights, and last week my patience was rewarded with the cheap flights that I was looking for. The only problem is, they leave from New York, which means that we're going to have to catch the train between the two cities, and despite my worldly demeanor (and dashing good looks), I've never actually ridden on a train.

Not a real train anyways. I mean, I've ridden a pineapple train in Hawaii, and I've taken a spin on the Stanley Park Christmas train in Vancouver. I've also spent countless hours on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Disneyland, although I suspect that the ride to New York might be a little different (How cool would that be though? Can you imagine how high the first hill would have to be?). Catching a train doesn't strike me as a real hard thing to do, but since I've never done it, I have some questions. Where does the luggage go? Does somebody actually come around saying "Tickets please!"? If a good guy and a bad guy chase each other through our car, are we expected to help or do we just watch quietly from our seats?

See, all of my ideas about train travel come from the movies. I envision the kids climbing aboard, then Lori and I having a long, passionate kiss before she waves goodbye and gets on the train. Then, just as the train starts to move, I'll remember that I'm actually going with them so I'll run alongside the train as it pulls out, jumping on board at the last possible second. I've also pictured the train being robbed, people fighting on the roof of the train as they jump from car to car, and Wile E. Coyote racing alongside the tracks on roller skates with an ACME rocket strapped to his back. To say I'm not sure exactly what I'm getting in to here, seems like a bit of an understatement.

Of course, if you think my ideas might be a little far-fetched, you should talk to the rest of my family. I have one daughter who thinks there will be a giant face on the front of the train saying "I think I can, I think I can.." all the way to New York. The other wants to know if we can walk down the length of the train to find the car where they keep the circus animals because she wants to feed the giraffe. My wife may be the furthest off base as she seems to think it will be a nice romantic ride with the two of us sharing a meal across from each other at a table (I'm not sure where she thinks the kids will be).

Despite our soon to be shattered, movie inspired notions of train travel, I'm sure it will be a fun way to get to New York. It's definitely going to be a different way of arriving there, and I look forward to watching my kids get their first glimpses of the big city as we get closer. At least I think they'll be able to see the city. I don't actually know if we come in above ground or through a tunnel. If we come in through a tunnel, I hope the giraffe knows that he has to duck. That would really shatter my daughter's illusions about train travel in a hurry.