Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I have a lot of travel coming up in the fall of 2009 - mostly for work, some for pleasure. The pleasurable parts include trips to Louisville and Dallas for close friends' weddings. My usual airline doesn't fly to Louisville, where the first wedding takes place in October. But hell, it's not that far from New York. Why not take the train?

I'll zip south through the Mid-Atlantic, through fields and forests with cows and grass and trees just starting to turn golden. I'll stretch out, have a glass of wine, maybe take a nap. I won't have to take my shoes off unless I want to; I can brush my teeth with a jumbo-sized tube of toothpaste; I can clip my toenails with abandon. I might even be able to spray paint something. I'm sure I have lots of things around my apartment that need spray painting.

Training: it's the wave of the future.

I visit the Amtrak website and request a trip from Penn Station to Louisville. The following itinerary pops up:

At 9:30 AM on the 10th of October, I'll take the 141 Northeast Regional from New York to Washington, DC. It's a three-and-a-half hour ride.

Then, at 4 in the afternoon, I'll hop on the 29 Capitol Limited and head for Chicago.

Yes, the one in Illinois.

That leg of the trip takes over 17 hours and arrives the following day, Sunday, at 8:40 AM.

Granted, the wedding takes place that day, but I'll have seven hours to wait for my next departure, so I might as well visit the MCA. Maybe get some Indian food on Devon.

At 3:55 PM, around the time I imagine my friends will be exchanging their vows, I'll hop on a bus - a Greyhound bus - and head for Louisville. I guess they don't have trains there.

I'll get in at 11:55 PM and hitch a ride (hail a cab? Do they at least have cabs in Kentucky?) to the reception, where I'll proceed to get drunk on the fumes of the other guests' bourbon breath. Because by that time, the open bar will be closed.

Trickier still, I imagine the newlyweds will have taken off to do whatever newlyweds who've lived together for years do on their wedding nights (watch Nick at Night reruns), but I'm sure I can just text them a congrats message with clinking champagne glasses or something.

It'll all work out in the end.

Oh, and the price? For my 28-hour trip, which, incidentally, will last sixteen hours longer than it would take to drive?

$164.00. One-way.

I go to Expedia. There's a one-way from La Guardia to Louisville for $108. It will take two hours.

I buy the fucking plane ticket.

Cause honestly, I don't know how well that congrats text would go over.

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