8.21.2010

Makin' a Day of It

At the beginning of August I found myself in Philadelphia, seven cancelled plane tickets to my name, and no distinct plan of how to get home. Katie was in a similar situation, but with fewer cancellations and more plans—The Train! It takes exactly 24 hrs and 7 mins for Amtrak to get you from Philadelphia's 30th Street Station to Milwaukee's Intermodal Station, so we decided to make a day of it.

It all started on a Wednesday afternoon a couple blocks from my parents house. At SEPTA's Queen Lane Station we climbed aboard the 12:09 R8—a commuter rail, the 1st of what wold become a long line of public transit. The 2nd came 24 minutes later as we pulled out of Philadelphia on Amtrak's Pennsylvanian, an inter-city rail. After a quick debate concerning our train drinking habits (covertly vs. overtly) we poured some whiskey into our iced tea and broke out the snacks on the train. 
Snack #1: Hot Fries
Other activities included watching "Mad Men" episodes in classic sepia mode, brushing up on our advanced business short-hand, photographing America's train stations, snacking, eating, snacking, snacking, and then snacking again later.

Harrisburg, PA: A Capital City
Snack #2: Blow Pops
Lunchables: American-fare, more whiskey. 
Snack #3: Goldfish (Flavor Blasted)
[Not Pictured: Snack #4: Beef Jerky]

Snack #5: Pretzel M&M's
8:05 PM: Pittsburgh and a 4 hour layover. Just the amount of time needed to add a couple more forms of transit to our repertoire, eat a home cooked meal, and debate the merits of wooden toilet seats vis-√†-vis water transportation—The T across the river (light rail, our 3rd variety of rail!) and the Monongahela Incline up the hill (Funicul√¨, Funicular).













At 11:59 PM we boarded the midnight train to Chicago, fell asleep, and woke up in Indiana. I'm not going back to Indiana. In Chicago we breakfasted on coffee and bagels in the sun, saw a Schmaling, missed a Skoczen, and jumped on the Hiawatha headed north. Milwaukee, here we come.

The final route, in two pieces:






Are you getting a load of my cross-country train travel luggage? They're perfect for toting a month's worth of clothes or all 4 of your bowling balls.


1 comment:

jeremy said...

not enough square corners on those maps. other than that, well-played.