I have lots to tell about our trip to DC so let me get started. To begin with we took a plane up and the train back. For some reason, I was able to get cheaper tickets that way. It was also something my family wanted to do because my sons had never flown or taken a train. The train ride was 9 hours long. The flight was only 3 hours but that doesn’t count the waiting. For the flight, we had to arrive 2 hours early. Then there was a 2 hour hold over in Atlanta. It also took us 30 minutes to get our luggage so the total flight time was 7.5 hours. It was also much less of a hassle as far as security to take the train. They didn’t make us take our shoes off or unpack my CPAP.
The plane seats were small too and I rubbed elbows with the people beside me the entire flight. My knees were also jammed into the seat in front of me. The seats on the train were large and there was a foot rest to prop up your legs. We could walk around whenever we wanted. On the plane, they gave us a 2 oz pack of pretzels and about 4 oz of soda. We had to pay for everything on the train but they had a club car and you could get pizza, sandwiches, burgers, sodas and mixed drinks. I had some snacks and a little wine. You could even bring food and drinks with you if you wanted to. I very much preferred the train ride.
The only thing negative about the train ride was the guy behind me. I think he was Forrest Gump from the way he was talking. He has done everything and seen everything this world has to offer. There was no subject that he wasn’t an expert on. For instance: (and I am not making this up, He really said all this)
Did you know that the Pope has a pilot’s license? It’s true. He drives himself around in his own private helicopter. It’s called "Air Pope One". There is a big cross on the side and everything……Ok I spewed wine out of my nose on that one.
You probably didn’t know this but “Wife Swapping” was originated by Air Force Officers. You heard it right. Back in the day, they would ask their buddies to take care of their wives when they were away and it sort of developed into a wife swapping thing. These days though, Firemen are the biggest swappers. It’s because they spend so much time together that it is just like sharing with family. At this point, I am laughing so hard my eyes are watering. I passed a little note to my wife on the other side of the train and told her that I never knew that. I am shocked because my father was a fireman. I put a note saying. “Mom was naughty I guess.”
And here is a little known fact: In Spain it is illegal to flirt with a married woman. When this guy was in Spain, he witnessed this himself. A married man and woman were walking down the street. The woman simply smiled at a passing stranger and he smiled back. Seeing this, the husband became enraged. Fortunately for him, he was carrying a large sword. (I know I often carry one around myself) He took it out and cut the strangers head off with one quick chop. The police arrived and arrested the woman for flirting and did nothing to the husband because he was within his rights. See what you learned here today.
This guy talked about politics, sports, science current events and even religion. He knew so much about religion I think he could be the pope. I learned things about the Bible that I never knew existed. He talked constantly for 6 hours until the guy next to him got off. (Either that or he shot himself I am not sure) Once he shut up, I got a little nap in.
All in all the travel part of the trip was excellent. I think next time we will take the train both ways. There is a nite train and you can sleep the entire trip if you want and wake up at your destination. Once you get to Union station, you can just jump on the Metro to get around. I will tell give you some Metro Tips on my next post. Let me leave you with some advice and some pictures. The Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument are really spectacular. I highly recommend visiting them at night. The Lincoln picture is a little fuzzy but I think it looks good that way. Click on the pictures for a full sized view.