Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Amtrak: San Antonio to Fort Worth

So that was San Antonio, and a delightful 1 and a 1/2 days there. Early Friday am, we headed off to one of my new-found (not) secret pleasures: Amtrak! It cost $60 for the two of us together, and was much less expensive than renting a car. This was my second adult trip on Amtrak, and was from San Antonio to Fort Worth; seriously, you've got to consider it! Also, consider that if you travel with Doug (and then I'd ask you WHY?), he's going to search for the perfect seat. He's a little like Goldi-Locks, "too small, too big, wrong side, too far back, too far up, what about the sun, what direction are we going in?" and if you sit down with all your Stuff, you're just going to have to pick it up again and keep moving. Yeah. Easy for him to say. He's not carrying a purse, carry-on, headphones, plane-pillow, muffins and water and snacks. I've finally learned that it's best to just sit down once and say, "OK, figure out where you want to sit, and I'll follow you," and then watch all the amused other people watch him check out the seats. This works well in movie theaters as well. And ordering in restaurants? Like I said, he's got "radar" (or maybe more patience with forethought)for great food; just tell the server to come back Later. (Much Later.) And then order what he orders, but add chocolate. His radar works well in grocery check-out lines as well. I impulsively pick the nearest one, and think it's good enough. Then the person in front of me runs back for bat soup. And the clerk accidentally rings up 500 avocadoes and the manager has to come void out the sale. All this before the clerk lapses into a sneezing fit, and gets distracted by trying to remember the change he/she counted out.

But I got off track here. Back to Amtrak.

This first is a photo in the early morning hours of the Tower of the Americas, near the Amtrak station.







The Find-the-best-seats-the-best-lines-the-best-food Guy:


I just liked how dreamy and cute these kids looked, waving "goodbye" to someone on the train. . .



One thing about taking a train is that you see very different things than if you fly or drive. The train sometimes routes through areas of cities that are sadly dismal. Just outside of Austin, in the early morning light, I could see lots of sleeping bags and tents and piles of belongings set up along the train tracks. It really is a strong reminder to feel gratitude for the kinds of life most of us get to lead. I found myself wondering how many more hidden-away "tent cities", or similar tough living situations, there are throughout our country, just beyond plain sight. Apparently, even in large airports, a number of homeless people are finding shelter by skillfully blending into the backgrounds, choosing the times and spots among passengers, in the non-secured areas, these days. Sad.

13 comments:

pat said...

I think that the homeless situation is going to become even worse, given the current economic melt-down and the numbers of families that are losing their homes. There is a large homeless population in Seattle and a constantly relocating tent city. Very sad.
R and I traveled Amtrack once, many lifetimes ago, and it was a blast.

Steph said...

I like the picture of the inside of the train, just very telling and photojournlistic!

Kristina said...

You know, I've never taken a train in the USA!

Becky said...

I love trains also as long as the ride isn't too too long. I love your travelogues!

Michelle said...

trains are so much fun! looks like you caught some good pics of your trip.

Sharon said...

Regarding the "homeless" in Austin, there is currently a really big, HUGE, music festival going on this week. Over 1800 acts. So maybe, hopefully, are of that is temporary.

I loved your post today. I think the boys would have fun traveling by train. I wish there was one close to us.

Michelle said...

I've never ridden Amtrak but I'd like to some day. The picking of the seat ordeal sounds something like my husband would do. :)

shirley said...

I generally love trains, but somehow Amtrak up here always runs late and slow. I love the trains in Europe - you get to see so much of the countryside - but they spent lots of $ on that infrastructure.....
It does sound like you got a deal on your tickets, and it is always interesting to travel by train. My favorite pictures are the ones of the train in the station. Again, thanks for sharing your adventures!

http://erikabphoto.com/blog/ said...

I'm loving looking at all your SA pics! You took a ton of amazing ones!

Beth said...

I love your comments about your DH :) Very funny! I admire all of your adventures!

Reds said...

Love taking the train - love your inside shots!! So sad about the homeless - we got so many here... almost don't see them anymore :(

Mandy said...

Angela...thank you for posting this. I was watching something on the news about tent cities too. It really breaks my heart...there is just so much we DON'T see.

And I have never been on Amtrak, but I would SO love to. They just build a new station here in Maine a few years ago, and I am just waiting to steal Michael away for a weekend (god forbid if the man give up fishing for ONE weekend) so we can take a trip to Boston.

I am just like you with the check out lines too. I ALWAYS choose the wrong one. Hahaha.

Anonymous said...

Great piece of work. Forever keep publishing posts!