24 December 2004

I have arrived in Texas despite a series of inconveniences. The eastbound train never arrived in Tallahassee, but they sent some buses out to pick us up so we could catch it in New Orleans. I started taking Amtrak three years ago just so I could avoid being crammed onto one of those sardine cans. We arrived at New Orleans at four in the morning, and fortunately we were able to board the train, even though it did not leave until 11 AM, and I was able to get some decent rest. Once we started moving, however, our schedule kept conflicting with the freight lines. Since freight takes precedence over people, we had to concede the tracks at least three times, and I arrived in Houston three hours late. I can't really blame Amtrak for these problems. If they were subsidized at the rate the airlines were, a lot of these irritations could be eliminated.

Had a good visit with Adam and caught him up on all the Tallahassee news. He works for the VA at Baylor Medical, and finally finagled his dream job; working for the VA and Tulane at New Orleans. He expects to move sometime next spring. It looks like we are going ahead with our plans to spend New Years in New Orleans, so I'll see more of him and our friend John Burris. More about Burris later, he deserves a seperate posting.

Adam and I had lunch this morning at his favourite restaurant, La Madeline, then he dropped me off at the Greyhound station. The rest of the trip went pretty smoothly. As much as I hate "Ridin' the Dog," I at least know what to expect. It was pretty crowded, but did not turn out to be the painful, leg-cramping agony I thought it would be. Those seats are just not designed for anyone over five foot tall. The relatives are gathering over the next couple of days, and we'll have our Christmas dinner on Sunday.

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