Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Up to Philly for the Day via Amtrak
This past Saturday, I got up early (5 a.m.) and rode my Bike Friday Tikit to Union Station to catch a 7:30 a.m Amtrak train to Philadelphia. (Here's a picture of the 30th Street train station in Philadelphia). I picked up some snacks at the station and got to the gate right after they had opened it up for boarding. How's that for timing? :) This was my first time taking the Tikit on Amtrak, so I was a little anxious about finding a place on the train for my bike, and whether I would be able to find a seat right nearby, to keep an eye on my bike. I removed my front pannier, and folded the Tikit - while hearing a young kid pass and say, "Hey, look! A folding bike!" :) I rolled it up to the gate and showed my ticket and made my way to the train. I got on where directed (after the Business Section cars) and lifted my Tikit onto the train. The car I entered had the open area where you can set luggage. So I propped my Tikit there and then took a seat in the front row next to that area. There was a lady sitting at the window seat, and she had a lot of Crate and Barrel shopping bags and a big basket with bottled beverages in it. These were in the luggage area in front of her, next to my Tikit. She was headed to a Bridal Shower in Philadelphia, and amazingly handled all these packages and the basket by HERSELF when she got off in Philadelphia! I thought I had quite enough to handle with my bike and pannier! :)
The lady sitting across the aisle from me was from Connecticut, and it was her FIRST train ride (she looked to be in her 50's or so). She said she wasn't a traveler and that this was quite the adventure. So I congratulated her on being brave and adventurous, and commented that taking the train is a nice way to go. She agreed.
The train left on time, which is always nice. :) When we got up to Philadelphia, I met up with a couple of new biking friends (Teresa and Barbara) to ride the Schuykill River Trail. I haven't ridden the trail in many years, and was surprised to see the development along the trail - new apartments, condos and office buildings. Also, there were additional trails branching off from this trail. It was a beautiful sunny day - you couldn't ask for a better day to ride! :) We stopped at Barbara's house for lunch, and then later stopped in Manayunk for dinner. Teresa and I did over 50 miles of trail riding, and getting to know one another along the way, sharing experiences, etc.
The return train home, unfortunately, was delayed. It was supposed to leave at 7:30 p.m., but instead we left at 9 p.m., so I didn't get to Union Station til 11 p.m. It was a LONG day, but definitely a FUN one!! :)
The next day, I had arranged to rent a snazzy red Mini Cooper Zip Car. :) I drove it up to Baltimore to meet with my sister and brother, to celebrate my sister's birthday. :) I thought it'd be fun to rent a fun car in honor of her birthday, and she enjoyed it. The dash on the car inside was like a space ship - with very modern instruments, etc. :) It also had quite the fast and powerful engine in it. It could easily cruise along at 70-75 mph!! Of course, everyone else around me was doing that speed and MORE! I wasn't the only one!
So, it was a fun intermodal transportation weekend! :)