Leaving from BWI Amtrak Station
Because - most unusually for VT - there is no location for BWI even though it has its own zip code, I've started the narrative of this trip in Linthicum. It is the closest town to BWI (Baltimore Washington International Airport AKA Thurgood Marshall Airport), and I have too many travelogues in Leonardtown, Maryland and Baltimore to use those locations.
"May 28, 2007"
My mom took her grandchildren traveling with her after my dad died. She died last spring, so I'm trying to do for my grandchildren what she did for my children. My son's son is the oldest available grandchild (I have two grandchildren that are much older (26 and 24 years of age). He was 13 at the time of the trip, but he would be turning 14 the week after the trip ended. We went to Ireland with a couple of days in London at the end.
My son's family arrived here last night. Bob is taking me and and our grandson to the train station on Tuesday to go to Trenton, and my sister will take us to the airport on Thursday May 31. He is already writing in the journal that she gave him.
Yesterday I panicked because I forgot that the airline tickets were e-tickets, so spent most of the time looking for them. Today I'll have to get the remote printer working so I can print the ticket stuff out.
Yesterday (Memorial Day), I finally got down to packing, and he helped by packing my suitcase for me the way they taught him in scouts. Since I can have only one reasonably small suitcase and ONE carryon, I've put my camera stuff in a small bum bag, and the pocketbook stuff in another one.
We had some discussion about how to play his violin piece and whether one of the notes should be sharp or not, and whether to take his violin to my sister's, and we finally decided that he should take it.
"May 29, 2007"
Today, we left about 9:30 because my sister said that sometimes the automatic kiosk things didn't work (which they didn't) and sometimes there were long lines at the ticket window (which there were). She had told me not to bother getting a train to Princeton, just to get one to Trenton and she'd come over and pick us up - not enough trains go to Princeton. And she didn't tell me, but she said she would have if I had booked it, to only get trains originating in DC and not farther south as they were often delayed. Indeed, the train before ours was an hour and 15 minutes late, which meant our train was only 20 minutes after it.
He was excited about riding on a train - he had flown before, but he had never been on a real train. In this area, a train is really the best option - fast and not too much hassle. I had a child's ticket for my grandson, and a senior ticket for myself, and the round trip for the two of us was $137.70
Bob drove us up to the station and let us get out and then parked. My grandson got some twislers at the vending machine, and we watched people in the station.
A lady asked him if he was any good on the violin and he kind of shrugged and she told him to say that he was VERY good of course. And then she said that we could tell that she was an old music teacher.
When our train was called, we went out on the platform, and I looked to see where the snack car was - it was second in line. So we walked up to the third car and got on that. I had a bit of a problem lifting my bag over the gap, so a man with a German accent picked it up and moved it over for me and then asked me if I wanted him to carry it. I felt just like mother and I said yes please, so he put it up in the rack for me.
I had thought that we could each have a window if the seatbacks would move, but they would not, so I let him have the window. As soon as the conductor came around, we went to the cafe car. He wanted a breakfast sandwich, but they were out. So he had a hamburger which he said was good, and a Pepsi and I had a tuna sandwich on wheat (which was soggy) and cranberry juice and a choc.chip cookie which I said I didn't want heated. I said that the melted chips made a mess.
So later, he went back and got a heated cookie and sure enough, got chocolate on his shirt.
We went out of Baltimore, and crossed some rivers and got to Wilmington and then got to Philadelphia. When they announced Trenton, we got up quickly so that we'd have enough time to get off the train, and when we got off, there was my sister. She got the car and drove us to her house in Princeton