Tag Archives: Philadelphia

Here’s to eavesdropping

I was standing in a crowd of people today, unintentionally eavesdropping on the conversation of two people standing close by.  I admit it.

I even told them.

eavesdroppingOne of the woman said she was going to walk to the train station in Philadelphia after our meeting ended. I was headed there, too, and I knew that walking that far was out of the question…especially with luggage, which we both had.

So I told her.

We ended up sharing a cab. We also ended up on the same train — she was headed to New York City as well.

It was her first train trip, first trip to Manhattan, first trip to the cafe car.  She was joining friends here for the weekend.  I usually travel alone on business, but watching her excitement at every step of the journey made what was a routine trip home for me a lot more fun.

Glad I was listening!

Those aren’t pillows!

Planes-Trains-and-AutomobilesA taxi.

An airplane.

Another taxi.

The subway.

A train.

Yet another taxi.

That’s how I traveled from Boston this morning…made a brief stop home in New York City mid-day…and arrived in Philadelphia early this evening.

I can’t help but think —

Steve Martin and John Candy would be proud.

Rockin’

I took Amtrak yesterday to a business meeting outside Philly.

Why do trains kick air travel’s butt so soundly?

Of course there are the simple logistics.  No TSA security. No baggage check for most standard luggage. No plastic bag for toiletries, no removing coats and shoes, no arriving an hour before departure.

No hassle.

But I realized last night — as I sat in a comfortable semi-coma on a regional coach headed home — what makes trains more than merely the easier way to travel.

It’s the chugga chugga.

Trains literally rock you while you ride.  That signature motion soothes the nervous traveler and helps the overtired find sleep.

I think it takes us all the way back to the cradle.  Or, in my particular case, to the clothes dryer.  My mother used to sit my bouncer chair on top of the dryer to help me fall asleep.  The rocking motion and the warmth from the machine totally knocked me out.  (Still does.)

Now, people may not ride the train because of it, and Amtrak certainly doesn’t advertise it, but I think this subliminal motion really rocks.

Airplanes?

Well, the only motion they have to offer is turbulence.