I would like to begin by saying this was a rather Alice in Wonderland adventure, and that said, the photo above is expressing that too. This is a photo of one of the trains leaving Union Station, one I took when I too was LEAVING DC, not beginning my trip. So what is forward is backward. At any rate, since I did not take a photo of the actual train I rode into DC, this is one leaving.
I began my adventure in Charlottesville on my 61st birthday and certainly had reached a point of time in my life to get on that train, a long held dream of mine was to ride the Amtrak. It did not disappoint. Train arrived on time, I got a nice comfy seat all to myself, and settled in to an early morning ride to Washington DC. That my friends was my birthday gift to me, and I cannot believe I did not blog about this before now (Dec 10th, 2011)
Fall Colors Splashed Across My Window
As the train floated along through the dale, it was a striking view out my window, I was taken in by the wonderful palate of colors that boldly enhanced my morning ride, unfortunately, unless the train was moving slow, it was hard to get a clear photo, so I wasn’t able to record much of that scenery, but my eyes were filled with wonder.
Trains, Planes and Automobiles….
The closer I got to DC, the train would take more stops and I was able to shoot a few interesting shots out my window. This plane landing across the water was fun to watch.
Suddenly I see the Capitol in view, and I wasn’t expecting to see it from my window at all. The photo would have been better had I known what lies ahead, but that is the fun of a first time adventure, letting go of the oars and going with the flow. However, the photo is not great, I had a earlier better view, but my camera was in my lap, not my hand. Trains don’t wait. 🙂
The Union Train Station was an incredible jolt, I had no idea it was going to be so big, so crowded, so full of people moving so fast. I had just left a not so sleepy little town of Charlottesville, VA and our train station is about the size of a pop stand. Of course I knew Union Station was going to more than that, I have been to St Louis and Kansas City train stations, both were fun, lively and pretty big. St Louis has been the stopping place for me in years past, as I even stayed in the adjoining hotel, which was very lovely. All that said, I may have just forgotten, but I was not prepared to take on Union Station in DC. What a shock….
Lunchtime and the Food Court (photo was taken about 4pm)
Upon arrival, I decided to make my way into the food court and see what they had to offer food wise, I must say it was brimming with people, elbow to elbow, and I was much too intimidated to be snapping photos at that time, I was just trying to figure out the layout and decided on someplace to eat. I had not planned any of this ahead of time and never thought I would want to eat my birthday lunch in a food court, but I got caught up in the moment and was dazzled by the vast array of choices. So I took a stroll down through this space, as shown in photo above, (which was no where near the crowd I encountered at lunchtime) and found a nice Indian place called Aditi Indian Kitchen it really was surprisingly good, and considering I was stumbling along in the hustle bustle of the Food Court at Union Station, one would understand that I was fortunate to find this one at all. Next time I will go a little deeper into the rabbit hole of food choices and get a real taste of nice dining that is also offered (which I located later of course).
Architecture and the Train Station
The visit to Union Station in St Louis is fun, it too has lots of things to keep you busy, and the train station in Kansas City is also a worthwhile stop, even if you are not traveling by train, but the DC Union Station is by far one of the most majestic in terms of architectural designs that I have seen (so far). I love the feeling you get from this place and I am certain this could be a day trip by itself.
I spend a good amount of my time walking about taking photos and the possibilities are endless. There are three floors and all of them stocked full of beautiful shops with gorgeous array of gifts, clothing, jewelry, and just about anything one would want or need.
Each level of the Union Station offers incredible host of high end shops and I haven’t even gotten to the main interior of the station.
Of course there are several places to get a little pampering done, just out in the open get your eyebrows trimmed…
Here is an interesting cafe, maybe I will go there next time….
More great places to see? In DC? Of course, and I did leave the station for a while, but it was raining that day and I was planning on walking from the art museum to other part of Smithsonian but weather did not agree, so spend a lot more time around the Union Station than previously planned. It was fine, so much to see just going there.
If you want to go to DC by train, and if you like to shop (I don’t) then you can spend hours here and lower your checking account balance at the same time.
DC in a day, impossible….
Outside the Union Station
I have many more pictures and they are of the http://hirshhorn.si.edu/ which is still showing Andy Warhol’s collection Shadows up until Jan 15th 2012. It was an amazing show, and I am so glad I went. I have much more to share, but I am closing shop for the day, I have other things to do, and uploading pictures is slow, slow, slow.
Thanks for viewing!