Tuesday, October 10, 2006

All Aboard

And off I go to cover leaves.

Okay, not leaves. People looking at leaves.

I'm catching this morning's Adirondack train out of Manhattan's Penn Station, and taking it all the way to Montreal.

I'm writing a fall foliage story for the Amtrak online newsletter. Tonight I will stay in Montreal, and tomorrow I'll do the trip in reverse.

It's a ten-hour trip each way. Them's a lotta leaves.

I'm supposed to get a release form off anyone who speaks to me, and give them a dollar. I still haven't been paid by the clients who just sort of stopped paying a few months ago, and that means I'm well past overdraft now and into credit card cash advances. I guess I won't talk to that many people.

Who has a brilliant idea for what I should write about?


Outsider said...

How did you got to be a travel writer?!

I guess it must be one of the best jobs on this planet.

Steve Buccellato said...

I took that very same trip several years ago, at this time of year. It's very picturesque.

When you get to Montreal, try those french fry things that they eat with gravy. Don't remember what they call them. Maybe it's something worth writing about.

Marie Javins said...

No, wait, I can't write about Montreal or its gravy fries. It's about the train, the experience. Montreal just kind of happens to be at the end of the line. then I turn around and do it again.

Steve Buccellato said...

Maybe they'll have gravy fries on board! BTW-- I looked it up. The dish in question is called "Poutine." Try them. And write about something else.

Ed Ward said...

As an experienced visitor to Montreal, just let me add that poutine (pronounced, unbelievably enough, "puh-TSIN," up there) is totally inedible by non-Quebecois. Plus, it has curds in it, so you're trying to poison poor lactose-intolerant Marie! The other thing to avoid is "BBQ Poulet," which is baked chicken with some hideous yellow sauce on it.

Marie Javins said...

No worries, I'll be in Montreal for about ten minutes and the last thing I'm going to be thinking about is what local delicacies to try. The first thing I'm going to be worrying about is my other job--in which we are putting our first original monthly comic to press this week. No time for poutine or poulets. I'm not even in Montreal long enough to quit stumbling over all the languages in my head and come up with... French. I'll probably try to practice my Arabic in the deli. Oops.

Marie Javins said...

2.5 hours in... and the conductor tells me that most of the leaves north of here fell early this year.

Sigh. The fun-filled life of a travel writer.

Anonymous said...

Climate change strikes again!

Sara Kocher said...

Amtrak's point is to get people to ride the train, so anything that makes people want to leaf-peep at 60+ mph will do the trick.

Maybe something about traveling from fall to winter and back again since the leaves up north have fallen. Or about meeting interesting people on the train, assuming you can afford to.

Can you give 'em a dime instead of a dollar for talking to you? Or maybe two cents, since that's what you're asking them to give you?

Marie Javins said...

9 p.m. and I'm just getting settled in my room.

The train was late--held up at the border for ages.

I saw the Montreal train station, and the two blocks from the subway stop to my hotel. Very exciting.