Travel Questions from Sunday Stealing

It’s ALWAYS been the train

travelogueThis version of Sunday Stealing, Travel Questions starts with a couple of bits that we answered LAST week. But it evolves from there.

To which countries have you been?

USA (where I live), Canada, Mexico, and Barbados.

Which countries would you love to visit one day?

Many. France and Ireland may be at the top of the list.

Have been on a trip this year, or have one planned for later?

Most of our trips are of short distances and brief duration. Some of this is based on a resurgence of COVID but also wanting to see local venues within an hour or two.

What kinds of transport do you prefer to travel by? (train, car, plane…)

It’s the train. It’s ALWAYS been the train. The last time I took a plane was to see my sister Leslie in San Diego in 2018. She was 2832 miles away. And as I had previously surmised, it was a flying bus, only worse, especially the Newark to San Diego segment. Middle seat, no legroom.

Do you get yourself a souvenir to take home? If yes, what do you like to buy?

WAY back in the 1900s, my late mother collected porcelain bells. I’d buy one for her. Then she quit collecting them and decided to eliminate her collection as dust gatherers. Thanks a lot, mom, for screwing up my gift-giving opportunity.

For myself, I liked to buy shot glasses. I still have a few, including some that folks have brought me when THEY went on trips.


Do you like to try local food? Can you recommend anything or advise not to try something?

When I was recently in my hometown of Binghamton, NY, my MIL and I talked with a young woman from the Midwest. I recommended the spiedies from Lupo’s or other local establishments. Conversely, I railed at what passed for spiedies at the 2019 New York State Fair in Syracuse. It tasted like boiled (not grilled) unmarinated chicken.

I was in Montreal in 1991 and 1992. I tried poutine but never warmed up to it.

Do you book your travel online or classical in a travel agency?

I used to use a travel agent, but haven’t in a very long time.

Name three things you can not go anywhere without and have in your suitcase.

Dental floss, cough drops, and clean underwear.

Tell about a funny travel experience you had.

I took a train to NYC and saw a guy I’ve known since kindergarten. Oh, here’s a train story.

Tell about a bad travel experience you had.

When my wife and I flew from Barbados to JFK in NYC, we had to go through customs. The queue was in a figure-eight, and our part of the line didn’t progress for a long time.

What accommodation do you usually stay in when you go on trips?

Motel or with friends or family.

All By Myself

Have you ever traveled alone by yourself? Did you like it? If not, would you want to try it?

Before we were married, my then ex-girlfriend seemed to think I couldn’t or wouldn’t travel alone. That was absurd, as I said at the time. I traveled by myself many times before I ever knew her.

Still, in 1998, I took a train from Albany to Detroit to Cleveland to Albany, which I described here.

What is the first thing you do when you arrive at your destination?

If I’m staying more than one night, I hang up my clothes. But I’ll live out of the suitcase if it’s just one night.

What kinds of activities do you like to do when you are traveling?

Museums, baseball stadiums, and non-chain restaurants.

How do you like to spend your vacation? (on a cruise, backpacking, etc)

Mostly in cities, so tour buses or riding around on local transit. I’ve never been on a cruise.

Do you like to travel in your own country? If yes, can you recommend a place?

I LOVE to go to Washington, DC. Beyond that, I like a place with good local transit. San Diego used to be a drive-only place, but the light rail system is tremendous. I know people hate the NYC subway system, but I find it very useful, WAY better than driving in the city.

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