July 10, 2011: Taking Amtrak Back to Rochester

Medifast Status: Day 69, Down ~38.5lbs

Originally the plan had been for Dominica, Bennie, Liesl, Luciana, Oreo and I to drive from Frankfort out to Peoria today.  Bennie was to come with us as he is flying out of Rochester’s airport tomorrow morning to return to Houston.  But we don’t have enough room in the car, Dominica would like to stay another day and other reasons compounding into it making sense for me to attempt to find alternative transport to go out to Rochester today.  We pondered for a while before suddenly it occurred to me that I could ride the train!  Sadly we had not been prompt in our thinking or I would have ridden with dad as he drove this exact stretch of highway first thing this morning – in his “new” Volvo convertible that he has had for only a couple of weeks.  But I do adore train travel and would be loathe to complain about an opportunity to travel such.

First thing this morning, and by first thing I mean way too early considering how late the party was last night, all of us – the cousins – sans Joe and Brittany who were too tired to go anywhere, went to Denny’s in Herkimer for one last hour of visiting before everyone started heading back in their separate directions.  My dad joined the “sisters” breakfast at a local diner with Dominica’s parents and her mother’s siblings.  From breakfast dad headed back home.

After breakfast we returned to the house and I booked my train trip on Amtrak.  I am really glad that we thought of that.  We were struggling in our attempt to figure out how to get me and some of my stuff out to dad’s and without having spare cars it was looking like I was going to have to fly.  Of course, Utica to Rochester is one of the best places to be taking a train.  The route is straight and relatively free of delays and the train ride takes little to no time longer than does the drive itself.

I booked my afternoon train ticket – only $39.  Talk about cheap.  That is less than the cost of gas plus wear and tear to traverse that same distance (about 136 miles) and doing that by car and that doesn’t take into account the cost of the tolls that you will encounter on that drive too which must be several dollars on the New York Thruway.

Dominica drove me to the train station around five so that I could catch my train.  She stayed for a few minutes to make sure that the train was on time, which it was, then she returned to her parents’ house.  I boarded my train right on time and rode the Empire Service from Utica’s Union Station to Rochester.

The ride went very smoothly.  I ate dinner on the train – a simple salad and some really excellent cous cous.  I listened to the remainder of “The Scratch of a Pen” which I have been reading on Audible covering the ramifications of the 1763 Treaty of Paris which had ended the Seven Years War, known widely as the French and Indian War to Americans.  The book was quite fascinating and really did a great job at giving me a picture of live in the colonies during the period between the two great wars of the later American colonial period.  I never learned in school just how important the Seven Years War was on the world during that time and how much it lead to the formation of the current countries of the United States and Canada and how it impacted people all over the world.  Fascinating.

Dad picked me up at the train station.  The train was right on time.  This was my first chance to ride in his new Volvo C70 convertible.  It is a pretty nice car, to be sure.  Smooth ride and quite comfortable.  He has been getting more than thirty miles to the gallon from it which is really amazing considering that he always drives with the top down.

Dad and I got to hang out for a while this evening.  Dominica will be coming out late tomorrow morning.

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