Friday, October 19, 2018

Homeward bound.

We're now homeward bound. The penultimate leg from DC to New York by train. The rolling stock has improved but the gloomy Amtrak waiting rooms haven't.  'The Font' wants to go and straighten a crooked picture and lamp but is persuaded that this is a job for someone else. It takes a pleasant but leisurely 3 1/2 hours to get to New York. In China it would take a third of that. America needs to invest in its railways.

En route to the station a quick trip to the National Arboretum to look at a plant 'The Font' wants to see in flower.

An apartment block in NY with two suits of armour outside.

Zana Hadid apartments by the latest section of the High Rise park. As soon as ( non-matching ) curtains are put up by their new owners they lose their magic.

The recently opened travel concourse at the World Trade Centre a stunning piece of architecture. It's fashionable to criticize it for being commercial - but it isn't. A sensitive addition to a difficult site.

A dinner in a restaurant that is hosting a Japanese boy band. We don't know who they are. We still don't. They eschew wine and drink cocktails and take photos of each course. This seems rather restrained behaviour for seventeen year olds. The worst aspect of their behaviour is a tendency to slouch.

The menu is prix fixe but the bill still leaves the space for a suggested 22% tip.

An interesting amuse bouche.

One of lifes great joys is the 7 am British Airways daytime flight from Kennedy to Heathrow. Breakfast on the plane,  a chance to read et voila ! you're there. On a good day and a strong jet stream 5 hours in the air. Almost no jet lag. Into London in time for dinner. Or, in our case, the last flight to Toulouse and a late pick up for Bob and Sophie. The first thing three young Americans on the other side of the aisle do when they get to their seats is take off their shoes and socks. They seem quite at ease with walking around bare foot. Angus thinks of the dangers of broken glass and who knows what else might lurk on a British Airways carpet. Another sign I've turned into my father.


  1. The entire family will be sleeping in their very own beds tonight! May you have a safe trip from Toulouse to Dog Camp, and then home.

  2. Angus, in accusing teenagers of slouching, you have also turned into my mother!
    Welcome back. Those buildings are stunning

  3. *sitting up straight* Ahem.
    "America needs to invest in its railways." -- we've been saying that for decades. Lotsa luck.
    I sense some happy PONs in the offing.

  4. Safe onward travels to which, no doubt, will be the best welcome ever.

  5. There was just an article about a Korean boy band (the most popular in the world!) in Time: Could it have been them? I know were recently in concert in NYC... So funny :) Glad you are home safe and the flock is reunited!

    1. ...yes, I was thinking K-Pop band rather than Japanese...

  6. I hope all of your trip was memorable in the best of ways! Sometime when you are in my corner of the world (Washington DC) we must get together for a quick refreshing glass of champagne, or for a walk around the National Gallery or Arboretum.

    Welcome back!

  7. Right on with America lagging in the railway department - it could be so much more! You would think given that we pride ourselves with being a "forward" nation that could happen - maybe too far forward and landing on our face?

  8. Hari Om
    one of my great dismays when planning my US/Canada trip was the discovery that the idea of the great railroads countries was rather less in reality. Not only restricted routes but also very expensive.

    ...but yippee! The ROF is populated again!!! YAM xx