America 2017: Day Twenty-Three (12 November)

I see you on the street and you look so tired
I know that job you got leaves you so uninspired
When I come by to take you out to eat
You’re lyin’ all dressed up on the bed baby fast asleep

Go in the bathroom and put your makeup on
We’re gonna take that little brat of yours and drop her off at your mom’s
I know a place where the dancing’s free
Now baby won’t you come with me

‘Cause down the shore everything’s all right
You and your baby on a Saturday night
Nothing matters in this whole wide world
When you’re in love with a Jersey girl.

– Tom Waits

Sunday 12 November

Newark, New Jersey

We are staying overnight in New Jersey, near Newark-Liberty Airport (and just across the Hudson River from New York City) before we continue north, to upstate New York and the town of Lake Placid in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains tomorrow.

Our day began with a well-deserved sleep-in. Didn’t start eating breakfast until after 8am, which was good considering I stayed up to nearly midnight watching football. We left the apartment around 10:30am, caught an Uber over to Union Station and had some lunch before boarding our train to Newark.

The one pitfall to Amtrak’s Washington, D.C.-New York City-Boston northeast rail corridor is that there are no reserved seats or checked baggage services. Basically, you fend for yourself. When the track is posted, you get to the gate as soon as possible, and when they let you down onto the platform, you make your own arrangement as far as seating and luggage storage goes.

At least there are places for large suitcases at either end of each carriage, and because were first in the line for non-priority passengers, we moved down to the front of the train, were able to stow our suitcases and got seats together.

What’s good about Amtrak is the generous leg room, the large overhead luggage bays and the fact that, unlike in a plane, you actually get to see the passing countryside. Oh, and you don’t have to go through the same rigorous security checks as you do with planes. It’s very relaxed, and if you don’t have major time pressures, the best way to see America.

Our Northeast Regional service came up from Norfolk, Virginia and stopped in Baltimore, Philadelphia and Trenton on the way to Newark-Liberty Airport, where we collected the car – a Nissan Pathfinder – that will take us upstate this week, back down to New York City for the weekend, and out to Chicago for Thanksgiving week.

Tonight, we’re staying at America’s Best Value Inn, and, after another nice meal at Applebee’s, we ended the night watching back-to-back-to-back episodes of Law and Order: SVU. Believe me when I tell you that Dad loves this show…almost as much as NCIS! (I may be exaggerating here?)

Upstate tomorrow. Can’t wait.

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