Friday, August 19, 2005

Trains, Planes, and Automobiles

This week we took a family trip from Omaha to Chicago. We left the car behind at took the Amtrak train – and it was a great way to travel. We left early Monday morning – though not as early as scheduled. But that was ok, since the train representative called us at our house on Sunday morning and told us that the train was running a couple of hours late in making its way from California to Omaha. He knew we were traveling with four children, and he did not want us to sit around too long waiting. How’s that for service! Of course, it would be better if all trains ran on time and everything turned out just as we wished, but in this world I’ll take imperfection with courtesy any day of the week.

We enjoyed a breakfast together while passing through farm fields and enjoying the view. The staff was polite and cheerful, and they went out of their way to make the experience pleasant. The food was also pretty good, and we all marveled at the enjoyment of being together, exchanging conversation, and watching the world go by around us as we began a vacation. No being crowded through dehumanizing experiences, where we are all treated as potential terrorists. No rushing or hurrying. Instead, we had time to read a book, to talk, and to relax. We enjoyed the journey as much as we enjoyed the visit to the Windy City.

Although the demands of business often push us towards the speed of air travel, especially in the Midwest where we have to trek across long distances, I recommend this mode of travel whenever you have the time to enjoy the journey. And many people seemed to be doing that, as the trains seemed full going both directions.


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