austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Time to remember the heroes you thought you could be

bunny_hugger had a job interview, which is why my mother drove me to the park-and-ride.

Her interview was in central Pennsylvania, and they were putting her up for the night. This would also put her in convenient visiting range of a couple amusement parks, so she figured to pay for a room herself and stretch it out to a weekend of park-visiting ending with an interview. And it's so close to me, why not ... And sure. I didn't feel like driving out that far --- I already drive enough --- but could get a train from Penn Station right to Lancaster, and the bus takes me from Route 9 up to the Port Authority so, hey. Perfect. I figured to take a taxi to the park-and-ride and I know this sounds a little silly, but my mother insisted on driving me herself. All's well, even if I got way too anxious about an unexpected delay (my subway card had expired and needed replacement, and I worried about cutting too close to boarding time; I had plenty of time, it turned out).

Interesting trivia about taking Amtrak's Keystone Service from New York City to Lancaster: apparently nobody's told the engineer that the public address system doesn't work, and his attempts to announce the next stop were just a high-pitched whine faintly modulated by what might have been the human voice, like a failed vocoder demonstration from 1938. So the last few stops I was interrupted in otherwise peaceful reading to look up and try to figure out what station we were at.

bunny_hugger meanwhile did not fly into Lancaster but rather into Baltimore and drove a rented car up because somehow this made sense to the college where she interviewed. She pulled into the station just about the minute I got off the train.

We looked for food first and found a sushi restaurant nearby. Saturday lunch in Lancaster apparently isn't the rush time for sushi, and they lacked any ``Popeye roll'' option but we found a pleasant array of things to try. After they'd served the miso the waiter came over and said they'd noticed we had only ordered meatless sushi and the miso they'd served had shrimp in it; would we want it replaced with a more nearly vegetarian miso? I hadn't even noticed, which suggests I will, in fact, eat anything put in front of me without any questions asked.

The next order of business was checking into the hotel, which was not the upscale one the college was paying for but a cheap one. There are advantages to staying in the cheapest place without horrifying online reviews, such as they usually have free Internet while upscale places charge for the privilege. There are also disadvantages, like everything smells slightly musty. In any case we couldn't find the check-in desk, which turned out to be in a different building separated by a parking lot and architectural style from the one we first entered. And the advantages or disadvantages wouldn't matter much since they weren't ready for us anyway.

So we left our stuff in the trunk of the car and went to the real attraction: Dutch Wonderland.

Trivia: The Pennsylvania Rail Road was incorporated to build a line from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, with a provision that the Baltimore & Ohio would be allowed to extend its lines to Pittsburgh if the Pennsylvania were not fast enough in connecting the state. Source: The Story Of American Railroads, Stewart H Holbrook.

Currently Reading: The First Tycoon: The Epic Life Of Cornelius Vanderbilt, T J Stiles. I'd got this book at the library book sale because I thought it was Edward Renehan's biography of Vanderbilt, which I'd read as an audio book and thought would be good for trivia mining. It's not, but Stiles talkes about Renehan's and brings up Renehan's recent and startling problems with source materials and how they come into his possession and wow, what a footnote.

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