Travel Report – Three Days Later

Back again … this time from Boston.

Half of my train travel has now been completed … the Sunset Limited from Los Angeles to New Orleans, followed by the Crescent from New Orleans to Washington. I had a four hour layover there, which was highlighted – as prediceted – with a very enjoyable lunch with Congressman Neil Abercrombie. Neil is, as mentioned in an earlier post, an old friend and someone whose company I enjoy very much.

Neil is a rarity among the politicians I have known – and there have been more than a few. Neil takes his job, and the responsibilities that go with it, very seriously. At the same time, he doesn’t take himself too seriously. The net result is a very bright, very competent and genuinely dedicated public servant who has his priorities straight. Neil is at the moment weighing the possibility of coming home to Hawaii in a couple of years and running for governor… and I for one, say, “Go for it!”

At any rate, following that very enjoyable lunch, I caught an express Acela, Amtrak’s high-speed train, and arrived in Boston smack on time at 8:33 p.m. A quick cab ride later and I was warmly greeted at Abigayle’s B&B where I stay on one of these pilgrimages to Fenway Park.

A note of possible interest to some: veteran newsman Dan Rather was sitting across from me in the first class car on the Acela and, as we approached his stop in New York City, he was approached by several of the other passengers. Each, in turn, said hello and offered compliments in one form or another. Rather responded directly and — this is the most appropriate word I can think of — humbly … asking each person’s name, and calling him by name for the rest of the conversation. No sign of brushing anyone off. Courteous, polite, respectful, friendly and, yes, humble. I have met many celebrities in my day and must say that I was genuinely impressed. Short version: by all appearances, a very good guy.

So … here I am in Boston, where I will be for the next five days taking care of my other active passion: the Boston Red Sox. I have tickets for the next four games and am looking forward to all of them. Seeing the Red Sox play at Fenway Park is an experience no one should miss, even non-baseball-fans. It’s like Las Vegas … everyone should go there at least once.

I checked with Amtrak this morning and was relieved to hear that the Empire Builder — Amtra’s daily train running between Chicago and Seattle/Portland — is back to normal operations after several days of disruption due to the terrible flooding in the mid-West. Good! I’m due to be aboard that train next week!

OK … more to come over the next several days.