Monthly Archives: May 2008

Civilized Traveling

So I had the chance to visit Vermont this weekend to see my good friend, Lauren. With gas prices the way they are now (and to those idiots who keep blaming it on taxes–the price of oil is rising, not the taxes), I decided to do something I haven’t done in nearly 25 years.

Reader, I took the train.

It cost me $110 round trip. It would have cost me $100 except I opted to try out Business Class on the way home for the extra $10. Considering I would have had to fill my tank at least 3 times and it costs me about $50 to do that, I came out ahead of the deal.

I don’t like the actual process of traveling. I mean, I enjoy going to new places and doing fun things, but the getting to and going home parts leave me cold. It may only take an hour of flight time to get from here to say, NYC, but after you factor in the hour you have to tack on for security and the inevitable delays, it’s a lot longer.

Plus when you fly, you have the hassles and stress of going through security check points, the inability to bring your own food and drink on board, the utter hell of being crammed into a tiny seat next to strangers, the fun and joy of discovering that TSA didn’t close up your luggage properly, and so on.

A friend dropped me off at the station. I went up to a ticket agent who issued me the actual ticket that I bought online. She was pleasant. (Imagine that!)

There was no worries about checking any bags. I had a medium sized suitcase that I would have definitely needed to check if I had flown. I was able to bring on my hand lotion and water bottle. Nice not having to purchase a bottle of water for $5, the way they make you at the airport. The train came, I got on it. Put my bag overhead and settled into an extremely comfortable seat with actual leg room.

And business class–for an extra $10, totally worth it (little more room and nicer seats).

Now I will admit, there are some drawbacks to train travel: when the train is ready to leave, they don’t hold it for you. The food sucks (just like on the plane, but worse actually). And the bathrooms are just as dinky and just as unpleasant. The train’s motion made it hard for me to read. So I pulled out my knitting and went to town.

But you know, it felt civilized. Imagine that…