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Monday, July 31, 2006

Vacation by Amtrak....

Well this is my returning home post which came behind the post about Mayor Daley. I talked about my trip on board the Southwest Chief last year. Before I got off the train today (The Capitol Limited and it was running late) our train attendant told us about the impending threat to shut down long distance trains and urged us to write our congressman, Senator, or Amtrak and let them know how we as Amtrak customers feel about that.

Well I'd like to encourage that from here. I may make the attempt to do the same on my end. I'd like to think Amtrak is a different animal from what I had know way back when, when Chicago's Union Station nothing more than a basement. All the same the ride was short but I enjoyed it and it was great to be at home again.

BTW, our attendant said that he didn't say we'd be on time but we'd get there safely and that we did. So far my experience on the train has been nothing but pleasant.

This trip I went to Washington, DC for a family reunion. My folks out there are suburbanites poor me as a city guy is forced to stay out in the burbs with them. Either way we did find our way into the nation's capital. I saw the National Mall for the first time in years seeing the Washington Memorial and actually going to the Lincoln Memorial. We also spent some time at the WW2 memorial.

The day we saw all those sights we actually went to tour the White House. There are no pictures because they wouldn't let any tourist take pictures of the White House. We didn't see anything that sensitive but I suppose that doesn't make a difference. I've been reading up on a little White House history before I even knew I could take a tour of the place. It was great to see the rooms, library, hall and the porticos. We may not have made it to the Lincoln Bedroom, the rose garden or even the west wing, it was still worthwhile and those rooms we have seen have nothing but history in them.

And also understand that things are a little different in Washington, DC especially for the federal government thanks to the ever present threat of terrorism. Barricades, closed streets, even retractable street barricades seem to be the rule of the day. Either way this was still a worthwhile experience. Although there were kids in our group and in other groups on tour many of those individuals will probably have the chance to become President and will ultimately be able to see the rest of the White House.

BTW unlike last year when I promised to post video of my trip to LA, photos of Washington, DC are forthcoming. Look for them over at My Mind's Eye. So that was by brief vacation. Anyone have any vacation stories?

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