(Rail) Road Trip

I haven’t traveled much in the last few years – my various health issues got in the way. But now I’m on my feet and using them. Yesterday I took a day trip to Washington, DC, to spend some time with my son.

The idea was that I’d take the train from Philadelphia to DC, meet my son, tour his office (my first time seeing it), eat lunch, walk around, and come home. And this is exactly what happened. Take a look.

My husband drove me to the station. It’s not far from his office. Normally I would take the commuter train to 30th Street Station to pick up the Amtrak train, but this was a nice luxury.

We parked the car and went in. I was early, as usual – I do not like to hurry when I am traveling. My train was the Palmetto, eventual destination Savannah, Georgia.

train board 5-4-16 small

With time to kill, we wandered around the station. Lots of people going places this morning. Lines for trains stretched everywhere.

Eventually it was time for me to get into line and then head down to the platform to wait for the train.

Waiting for train 5-4-16 30th st small

We got underway on time. I had an aisle seat, a bit of a disappointment since I usually spend the whole trip looking out the window. Well, I looked anyway – I had a pretty good view. At Baltimore, my seatmate left and I took her place. Then I could take a couple of pictures through the window.

We came into Union Station on time. I was interested to learn that the engine on our train would be changed from electric to diesel for the rest of the trip to Savannah. But, I was leaving the train and so I’d have to do a comparison some other time, maybe! I got off and saw my son right away.

We walked through the station. The actual working part of the station is a modern mall-like place built under the old train shed, I think. Could have been anywhere in the US, but very convenient. We got a snack, then went out through the older part of the station.

DC Union Station 5-4-15 small

Union Station, Washington, DC. It’s very large, it’s beautiful, and people just walk through it on their way to somewhere else. The lively part of the building is the modern section behind it. I admit to being less impressed than I thought I would be, and I prefer the look of 30th Street in Philadelphia – less polished, but purposeful and busy.

We hopped on the Metro to go to my son’s office. Another goal of mine was to get a grip on the Metro system and how it works, so that I can visit and go places on my own. I am happy to say I found it clear to understand and easy to use. We got off at Foggy Bottom – my son works in the Watergate building. I am old enough to remember Nixon and Watergate; I would not have thought I’d ever have a personal connection to this place!

Watergate DC 5-4-16 small

I think this building could use an update, myself, but it has a great location.

As we walked to the office, I saw this yellow apartment building. Look at those roses and peonies, and what about all the BBQ grills?

And this little group of houses really caught my eye, especially the yellow one. My son was patient with my exclamations and stopping to take pictures.

After this short walk we arrived at the Watergate. We toured his office and I met a lot of people, all very nice to me. I don’t guess mothers visit the office too often and I enjoyed the celebrity.

Andrew's office 5-4-16 small

We went up on the roof and looked across the river. Interesting fact – my daughter-in-law works in one of those buildings over there. I asked my son if he ever considered coming up here on the roof and waving so that she could look out a window and see him, but – he had not thought of it and didn’t seem to find it as intriguing an idea as I did…

Margaret's building DC 5-4-16 small

Well, now it was time for lunch, so we had a bite, and then decided to walk through Georgetown a bit. We stopped at a café for a Nutella/banana crepe and sat in their little garden out back for a while.

cafe DC 5-4-16 small

Then it was time for me to head back to the train station. We decided to walk part of the way. Along the way I saw another yellow house I liked (I don’t know why so much yellow today – maybe it was the contrast with the gloomy skies?); a relic of a gas station; and this man washing windows, oblivious to everything but getting a nice clean surface to the glass.

Once again I waited in line for my train. My son very kindly stayed with me until it was time to board. Since I was quite early, I was at the front of the line, and I got a window seat this time. The train was crowded and people settled in for their trip – this train was on its way to Boston. As is usual in traveling, by now I was tired, so I just looked out the window and enjoyed the scenery. The trip goes by so quickly and you are home before you know it, so you have to pay attention.

I had a great day. Thanks to my husband and son, I felt very cared for, and I enjoyed making a little journey. Until next time!


About Claudia McGill

A person who does art and writes poetry. That's me!

19 responses to “(Rail) Road Trip

  1. Fancy working in the Watergate building! Do you think it bugs him – ha ha!

  2. It sounds like you had a great trip to Washington DC to spend time with your son. I know Union Station pretty well. My husband spent his teens in the suburbs of Washington DC and we visited my in-laws there until they retired back to the UK. I found the metro system pretty easy to navigate but then I was used to the London Underground system which is much more complicated. We have not been to Washington DC for two years now so we really ought to take a trip there soon and catch up with friends.

  3. Martha Bush

    You are a delight. I so enjoyed your trip. 🙂

  4. My younger daughter and I spent a week there during her winter break as a treat after she finished filling out her college applications. We had made a day trip by train when she visited colleges, but this time we got to walk around and visit all the Smithsonian museums (free!–who knew?) and the memorials. There’s lots to see and do…now that you’ve broken the ice…
    and yes that train station is weird. A shopping mall with beautiful icing on top. (K)

  5. Gorgeous photos and sounds like a fun time, Claudia.

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