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The Long Train Trip

Today I picked up the USA Rail Passes for my family and myself. The short description, for those who have not clicked that link: With a pass, you get to travel for a set number of days to anywhere in the US. We have a 30-day pass, which means we get 12 “segments.” Get on the train, get off the train, that’s one segment. We get 12 of them to use in 30 days to go anywhere we like.

It’s my birthday present, delayed from last summer because I wan’t sure how much money we’d have after Uncle Same came around for his share of last years book sales.

Can I take a moment to say “Thank you,” to everyone who bought a copy of my books, and “Thank you very much” to everyone who helped spread the word? We wouldn’t be doing this without you.

Anyway, we have a set list of cities to visit, mainly to see family and friends. Denver, Chicago, Boston, NY, Philly, Washington DC, Miami, New Orleans. I think that’s the list.

Most of our time in these places will be catching up with old friends, hanging w/ family, or being tourists. I won’t be meeting online friends or readers on this trip, because there just won’t be time. We’ll be spending, like, a day in each of these places. Maybe two. Philly gets three because that’s where my family is and I haven’t seen any of them in a dozen years. My son was a toddler the last time we visited; now he’s a teenager.

Did I mention that this is a birthday present for me? We’re spending 30 days together, and if you add together all of the segments (none of which will be longer than 30 hours, I think, until the leg home) they come to about 10 days out of the 30.

That’s a lot of time to spend on trains. If we were flying, we would probably spend 4 days tops, including TSA checkins. We’d have more time in the cities, seeing folks, maybe even visiting a few bookstores. So why the trains?

Well, for me, the time spent on the train is the whole point. We’re together, without TVs, or internet. We can’t retreat to various bedrooms, have no chores to spend our time on. All we can do is hang out together, talking, playing card games, reading, or just being family.

As I mentioned above, my son is a teenager now. He turned 14 last winter, and he’s almost too old to go jaunting around the country with his dorky parents. Not quite too old, because we mostly get along pretty well, but he’s starting to suffer from the stormy teenage temperament, and he can be a bit of a pill.

Still, we have a good relationship. I’m pleased to be hanging with him, and I’m always pleased to spend time with my wife.

Plus, we’ll get to see the Rocky Mountains, travel through the southwest, and Florida, and the eastern seaboard, and we’ll visit the National Mall and Freedom Tower, eat po’ boys, walk on Boston Commons, snorkle, and who knows what else.

Maybe I’ll even get to finish this damn book.

Anyway, on Sunday I’ll be at ECCC signing books, and the following Wednesday I’ll be hopping the Coast Starlight for some intense family time. If I won’t get to see you on the trip, I’m sorry. Hopefully, I’ll sell a shit ton more books and we’ll get to do it again soon.

Mirrored from Harry Connolly. You can comment here but not there.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
sartorias
Mar. 31st, 2016 08:05 pm (UTC)
Have a wonderful time! (I adore train travel)
burger_eater
Mar. 31st, 2016 09:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you! We're really going for it this time. :)
lwe
Mar. 31st, 2016 08:32 pm (UTC)
When will you be in the DC area?
lwe
Mar. 31st, 2016 08:33 pm (UTC)
Oh, and it's Boston Common, singular, not Commons. New England being perverse again.

Edited at 2016-03-31 08:33 pm (UTC)
burger_eater
Mar. 31st, 2016 10:00 pm (UTC)
Gods and the devil both laugh at people who plan according to Amtrak schedules, but we're due to arrive in DC on the fourth of May and we leave the next day.
lwe
Apr. 1st, 2016 04:07 am (UTC)
Aha! We'll be back from China by then. Maybe we can buy you a cup of coffee at the Union Station food court or something.
burger_eater
Apr. 1st, 2016 02:30 pm (UTC)
That sounds cool. Let me email you when I get back from writing.
rosefox
Apr. 1st, 2016 07:49 am (UTC)
I'd love to see you all when you're in NYC, if you have time!
burger_eater
Apr. 1st, 2016 02:25 pm (UTC)
And I would love the chance to meet Kit! Let me check with the list of stuff we're supposed to do.
resonant
Apr. 2nd, 2016 07:46 pm (UTC)
Sounds awesome!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )