Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Objectum Sexuals & Bellyachers

When I was planning my trip, there was very little information on taking the Amtrak or anyone's specific trip to kind of give me an idea of how people do this whole train thing.

I did however find a lot of bitching about how slow train travel is, as if people expected a fairly antiquated mode of transportation to suddenly be capable of breaking the sound barrier. Many other train bloggers seemed to fall into the category of people who treat Trains Magazine as being on par with Penthouse or Hustler. This preliminary research helped define my goal of being a travel blogger that was neither:
  1. Under the impression that anyone cared about their bellyachin' or 
  2. Likely on some kind of sexual deviance watchlist.
So a few entries here and there will be some less-scintillating logistics of the trip, how its coming together, packing lists, things I'd like to see in each city, etc. My reader base has now expanded to a staggering and overwhelming three subscribers, so if my throngs of adoring fans have anything to contribute, it would be much appreciated! I apologize if I do not respond right away, but with the volume of mail that I receive it is not always possible.

For today, here is a calendar running down my trip and how long I will be spending in each place. (It also shows off my familiarity with MS Paint graphic design prowess.)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Shit Just Got Real

The ticket is purchased and the trip is on!

After spending 45 minutes on the phone with Jose, my ticket agent with the charming, unfailingly-chipper demeanor of a 60's game show host, all is booked and ready to go!

We're going to be starting here, at Chicago's Union Station on April 17.

Home of the infamous baby-carriage scene in the Untouchables. I don't really plan on launching any children down staircases, but if my train is late, there is only so much Sbarro's that I can eat before I get restless, so I make no promises.

I'll be gone from April 17 to May 11 with my trip consisting of the following stops:
April 18- Austin, Texas
April 23- Phoenix, Arizona
April 25- Los Angeles, California
April 28- San Francisco, California
May 2- Portland, Oregon
May 6- Denver, Colorado
May 7- Colorado Springs, Colorado
May 11-Chicago, Illinois

The trip was purchased with an Amtrak USA Rail Pass, costing $579 for the entire trip. This is only for coach seats, as those quaint little train 'rooms' they always show in movies cost far more than you would ever expect. Basically I could either 1.) buy a Caribbean island or 2.) book a roomette on the Amtrak. So while its no Hogwarts Express, I am perfectly pleased with my accommodations.

This should be an interesting trip, seeing as how my only familiarity with riding the rails comes from a few insomnia-driven viewings of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and "Under Siege 2: Dark Territory". I am currently under the impression that my trip will be exactly like those movies, complete with Steven Seagal and his vast Asian shirt collection, which I plan on using in lieu of travel blankets.