About Me

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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Riding the Rails

There is no better feeling in the world than Robby wrapping his arms and legs around me after I return from a trip. I was only away for two nights, but I missed my little buddy. Although he had fun with his Nana, it's nice to know that he missed me.

When I was asked to travel to New York City I began to compare traveling by train versus plane. Looking at my options it became clear that the total travel time would be less if I went by Amtrak. When I realized that my hotel was directly across from Penn Station, my travel plans were sealed.

I haven't been on an Amtrak train since I was in elementary school. Before this trip I tried to find information about the passenger security screening procedures. I couldn't find any information. I now know why my queries yielded no results: there is no screening for the train.

When I was leaving New York City out of Penn Station I saw no fewer than a dozen fatigued military personnel armed with stun guns. They were certainly an imposing presence. While they were intimidating, I did not witness any passengers being screened, patted down or searched. If it occurred, the general public was not involved. Traveling by train, at least for this amputee, was a breeze! It appears that traveling by train is not as much of a perceived security risk, and I thoroughly enjoyed my experience without scanners, scopes, and molestation--whoops, I mean pat downs.

Although the travel time was 3.5 hours, I enjoyed the quiet that the train afforded me. Many times, when I am traveling by plane, my residual limb is sore by the time I disembark. On the train I was provided more leg room and wasn't cramped into a space designed for a malnourished Pygmy. I was able to stretch out, kick off my leg and put my foot up. It was a relaxing trip, and I felt refreshed by the time I reached my destination. The electric outlets by each seat were another unexpected perk!

I had a wonderful time exploring the city and meeting with various publication representatives. Sometimes it's nice to be in a professional environment for awhile. As an unexpected bonus perk of my trip, Robby now thinks that I am "super duper cool" because I went on a train! I have to admit, however, that I am thrilled to be back in my pink flannel pajamas, watching Billy the Exterminator with Robby.


  1. The train is a much more dignified way to travel than air these days. On the Surfliner and commuter trains in LosOrangeIego we occasionally have visits from sheriffs with dogs but they are really not disturbing.

    One thing to watch for on Amtrak is the exits. The newer equipment has doors that open wide to give room to swing your feet and have a low step to the ground. At least out here, they sometimes pull out 1970s ere equipment that has narrow doors with steps to the ground that are very short. It's easy to get a metal foot caught in the steps. Ask them to pull the steps up so you can jump out.

  2. The boys and I traveled by train from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh last year. We loved it! It was stress-free, no hassle, comfortable and child-friendly. I'm glad you enjoyed a similar experience. When I have the chance, I always choose train over plane.