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Over 60 ... And Getting Younger: October 20, 2011

‘America, America’

Europe – too expensive?

The Euro – too strong versus the dollar?

Language Problems?

The Hudson River Valley is “the landscape that defined America.”

How about a railroad trip up the Hudson River? Lorraine and I are going to a Bar Mitzvah in Albany, the state capital.

Instructions:

• Park your car at the Hicksville Station (make sure you have the proper parking sticker).
• At Penn Station, debark and head for the Amtrak R.R. line.
• Buy a round-trip ticket to Albany. Not too, too expensive.
• Take a coach seat on the left side of the car.

In a short while the magnificent Hudson River will come into view. It is wide in some areas and narrow in others. In some places you are only 10 feet from the river. The opposite bank is a full color scene of red and gold autumn leaves and rounded mountains. Sit back and watch the show. It is breathtaking and inspiring.

Passing under the George Washington Bridge is the first landmark to be observed.

Next is the soon to be replaced (?) Tappan Zee Bridge, as we head north. The seats are comfortable and you can read or sleep if you so desire.

Poughkeepsie and the Bear Mountain Bridge are behind us in a short time. The entire ride takes two hours and 15 minutes.

When we arrive at the designated hotel, we hear many tales of woe from those who drove to Albany. “The car trip took five hours. It took two hours to get out of New York City.” “I received a speeding ticket on the Taconic Parkway.” “I’ll never drive here again!” were a few of the hard luck tales we heard from fellow partygoers.

The Holiday Inn near the university was relaxed and cozy. Art lovers will view many of the mountainous vistas captured by the Hudson River School of Art. The history of Albany dates back to the many battles during the American Revolution. The Dutch influence is still present.

The unique government buildings at the Empire State Plaza are both modern and 19th century. The Egg (a performing center) is fun to observe. The Plaza is said to be Governor Nelson Rockefeller’s “Edifice Complex.” He renovated the capital when the Queen of Holland said deprecatingly about the red brick buildings of yore, “Is this the capital of the great state of New York?”

On the return trip to Penn Station we go through the Hudson River towns of Hudson, Rhinecliff, Poughkeepsie, Dobbs Ferry and Yonkers. Most of the trains have café bars for your dining and drinking pleasure.

New York City has not changed on our arrival home.

I hope you enjoyed this travelogue!

In times of economic distress we must seek out close-by places to visit.

Bon voyage and auf wiedersehen!