It's spring break - and I'm taking Elliot to Vancouver on the train. We boarded the Amtrak in Emeryville, and headed up to Seattle in a cosy 'roomette' sleeper. We actually spent most of our time in the lounge car, and the dining car, but we also made some time to practice the guitar!
We took the train in part because it's way less carbon intensive than flying. Amtrak isn't Deutsche Bahn - or even India Rail - but even with its shortcomings (principal among them being that Amtrak often runs late because freight trains take priority on corporate-owned American rails), I still love riding Amtrak. Train travel is just more relaxing and more enjoyable than flying. You see stunningly beautiful parts of the country you'd never see otherwise, and you meet some really nice & interesting people. (At lunch, for instance, we met a fellow who works in Idaho selling goods to the folks working in the oil industry. But it turns out he also runs an export business selling used goods to Senegal and to Dubai - and he's hoping to open a refrigeration plant in Senegal to help expand their fishing markets. When I mentioned the possibility of creating a solar-powered microgrid to power it, he got very excited.)