Friday, April 6, 2012

the train, The Train!

We're leaving for Orlando on Saturday - taking the Auto Train (again) from Lorton, VA to Sanford, FL.

"It is better to travel well than to arrive." ~ Buddha

Brian totally believes that quote, but I've been more of the "it's better to arrive than to travel," state of mind - maybe because I don't like modern travel methods. 

If I could take a ship to Europe, I'd be happier than taking an airplane. 

If I could take a steamer that traveled along the coasts - I'd be happier still. 

If I could travel the Nile on a Dahabeeyah, I'd be REALLY happy. 

Apparently, I think my own happiness is of some importance, and also I'm beginning to think I like slow travel, except that I DESPISE a long trip (if it's just straight through with potty breaks being all you have to look forward to;
3 hours is about all I want to travel per day via automobile).

Our first trip on the Auto Train was almost horrifying - the seats were hard; we were so uncomfortable in the regular car that we moved to the Lounge Car around 3 a.m. where the seats were more comfortable but we had to listen to soft jazz during the following 5-6 hours. If you like soft jazz, check out Watercolors on Sirius. Had to sit through a lot of dross to hear anything we liked at all, at all. Misery.*

On our ride back from Florida, which was much better because the seats were more comfortable, the lounge car was playing soft rock, which we waaaay prefer to soft jazz. I mentioned the music choice to the bartender, who proceeded to try to figure out which train team we'd been riding with on the way down, grilling me on what the bartender looked like, etc.

Apparently different teams prefer different music.

In my possible ignorance (based only on my own opinion), I find jazz pretentious. I don't see how anyone could actually like it. 

Of course, I hate the music of Michael Buble... ;)
Sooooo - Brian splurged for a sleeper car on this Auto Train trip. His parents will be on the same train, and I imagine we'll be in the lounge playing Euchre for much of the trip - we'll arrive in Sanford drunk and disorganized at 9 a.m.

Not really - we DO have limits, such as they are.

I hope that being in a sleeper car makes us happy - we really prefer the "slow trip," and found ourselves much more relaxed when we arrived (compared to air travel), despite the horrors of the first trip.

I like Amtrak.

So I was shocked when Romney off-handedly in a recent interview said that, were he President, he'd get rid of the Amtrak subsidies.
“Of course you get rid of Obamacare, that’s the easy one, but there are others: Planned Parenthood, we’re gonna get rid of that. The subsidy for Amtrak, I would eliminate that. The National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, both excellent programs, but we can’t afford to borrow money to pay for these things.”
Mitt Romney via ABC News.**
Wow, I sure hope he doesn't become President, but if he wants to save money on subsidies, he should look to the Air & Highway funding:

U.S. Department of Transportation Funding, 2002 
(I know, these are old numbers...wot the hell, wot the hell; yes, I was too lazy to look further):
Aviation/ airports
$  5,000,000,000

Mass transit
$  4,000,000,000

$     521,000,000

(short shrift for Amtrak, yes?)
Federal transportation funding 1971-2001
$1,890,000,000,000 Air & highway funding 63:1 ratio
$     30,100,000,000 Amtrak funding
-Sources: NewYork Times, Washington Post

Now that we've discovered the train, The Train! I don't want it taken away from me!

I much prefer President Obama's ideas on transportation funding:
“President Obama made clear in his State of the Union address that investing in transportation means putting people back to work, and that’s just what our TIGER program is doing in communities across the country,” said Secretary LaHood.  “Americans are demanding investments in highways, ports, commuter rail, streetcars, buses, and high-speed rail.  These kinds of projects not only mean a stronger economic future for the U.S., but jobs for Americans today.”
So that's all I have to talk about today.

ever & anon/mj

btw - the reason we're going to Orlando again? My son is getting married there next week. Should be fun, right? :)


**Actually, I'm totally nauseated by his offhand way of announcing the disposal of these programs... but then, I'm a Liberal. Power to the People!*** Right on!

***John Lennon.

No comments:

Post a Comment