Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My Introduction To Amtrak

I, Douglas Lee Dunnevant, being of reasonably sound mind and body, do here-by declare that I have placed my future in the hands of the government run passenger train system for the next six hours. This is my first ever ride with Amtrak. So far I like it. Feels a little Arlo Guthrie-ish. Feel like any minute some old hobo will walk down the aisle with a six-string singing folk songs.

Anyway, Pam and I are headed up to New York city today to see Patrick and the Westminster Symphony choir perform Verdi’s Requiem with the Philadelphia Orchestra at Carnegie-Freaking Hall. No big deal. I’m sure that’s exactly how it will be billed too…”Patrick Dunnevant and the Westminster Symphony Choir present…” Seriously, it’s an amazing honor for him to be a part of something this grand, and it isn’t lost on him. He’s on top of the world. This will be an extremely long day, starting at 5:30 this morning, a 6 hour train ride, walking the streets of Manhattan all afternoon, then the show at 8:00 PM, followed by a couple of hours with Patrick, dinner at some yet unnamed restaurant around 11:00, then finally back to our hotel around 1 or so.

Just pulled up to a charming station in Fredericksburg. There’s a place called The Bavarian Chef right beside the tracks. So cool. This train travel thing really does give you a different view of the world. It’s amazing how many apartment complexes and crappy neighborhoods back up to railroad tracks. But once you get into the countryside, the views are overwhelmingly beautiful. Wheat fields, rivers and streams, trees ablaze with fall color, punctuated by junkyards, piles of discarded tires and hideous graffiti slathered on the backs of old buildings. America…the good, the bad, and the ugly. Unlike air travel, I’m allowed to walk up and down the train. Right now, I’m sitting at a table in the cafĂ© car with my laptop plugged in to an AC outlet with free internet service. Cool. On an airplane, I’m not allowed to use my cell-phone, but on the train, I’m free to receive a call and a text from Sherri Matthews who informs me that the book and DVD that I left under my seat at church Sunday have been partially recovered. If someone stole my Art of Marriage DVD, well, I hope they put it to good use.

More to come…