Sunday, October 25, 2015

Words to live by


   ME 
How do you have so much energy? 
   DANNY MY 6-YEAR-   OLD NEPHEW 
Video games. And love

I am in the Orlando Florida area for my niece Jamie's wedding this weekend. I hate to fly and avoid it whenever I can, so I took the train from NYC. I splurged on a sleeper car, which turned out to be not quite as nice as it sounded. For one thing, I couldn't sleep very well, which surprised me. I can never sleep on planes, but I thought I would be fine on a train. Not so. For another thing, I don't know if it's a problem of maintenance or design, but there's something up with their on-board sewage system. I first noticed when I entered the train in the sleeper car section, that there was a slight but unmistakeable smell of rotten eggs like someone had turned on the gas oven without the flame. And then when I was in my sleeper car room (or "roomette") I would notice several times per hour the smell of sewage. Not enough to gag you, just enough to remind you that you were stuck on this train for almost 24 hours and there was nothing you could do about the smell.

me and my daughter
Early morning, as I lay semi-awake I smelled a distinct cleaner fluid smell and then the rest of the trip  I didn't notice the sewage smell. So the smell probably isn't a design problem so much as a maintenance problem. I did some Googling - on my cell phone - they don't have Wifi on long distance trains yet(!) and found I wasn't the only Amtrak passenger who had noticed the smell.

The wedding was very nice, and I got to see family members somewhere besides Facebook for a change. And I found out one of my nephews is gay - apparently everybody knew but me. I feel like I'm always out of the loop. Fortunately my siblings and I (with the exception of my brother Brian, the ex-Marine) are all much more progressive than our parents, so it's no big deal.

I'm not too happy about the accommodations here though, there's no Wifi so I'm spending lots of time at Starbucks. I do have the option of going to one of the many amusement park configurations here, but that's really not me. The reason we're all here in the first place is because my cousin and her new husband both work at Disney World as tour guides. I thought it would be a nice change of pace for a few days, but I'm missing New York and the autumn - it's like I regressed back to summer here, in the mid-80s every day.

One thing I do like, the smell here is amazing - some combination of flowers and trees and maybe distant balmy ocean breezed. Definitely better than the train.

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