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AMTRAK: Los Angeles to Boston

            This begins our 13th trip through a region of Europe and we have run out of places to go.  This time we decided to finally visit Greece, which we have never seen except for the 2009 cruise stop over on the island of Corfu.  Our IOL Power Club had set up a special meeting in Athens which coincided nicely.

            We combined this with a week in Vienna as  tourists, a week day-boating around the the shore towns on Lago di Garda in Italy and stopovers in Sofia, Bulgaria, Belgrade, Serbia and Zagreb, Croatia.  Since I have reported on our trips to Boston several times in the past, I will keep this one short.

            As a prelude, I had hoped that my colleague from Greece, the famous Dr. Iannis Pallikaris (below left), would help me with advice and recommendations regarding this trip and especially how to book a cruise to the Greek Isles.  To my great disappointment, he was of absolutely no help at all.

            The ongoing frustration for us over these past twenty years has been the value of our dollars when travelling in the EU.  As can be seen from the below graph, the Euro always gained in value in the summer just before we left after having been lower during the preceding months.  From year to year, it gradually decreased and took a deep dip in 2015 but since we were mainly in the UK a lot the British pound did not.  Of course it went directly back up for this trip.


            And, as can be seen in this graph, it did nothing but climb in value from the beginning of the trip to about half way through when it gradually receded.

            Because my Palm Calendar has been relegated to my technology history collection, the Diarios are based on the information I collected on my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge phone to Google Calendar.  This was much more cumbersome.

What is also different is that I used the S7 phone for a lot of the photos.

  June 28-July 10, 2017

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

            Marcia had flown to Boston on Saturday, June 24th so she could visit with her brother for a few days on Cape Cod before I get there.

            I was having trouble with my printer so, at the last minute, I drove over to Printland and waited while they printed off forty programs for the IOL Power Club Meeting in Athens.  After I did my run, Clara drove me to the LA Union Station downtown and we got there at 6:05 PM and I rolled my bags to the First Class lounge on the second floor.  My redcap, James, took me and all my bags on his cart right up to my Southwest Chief car and then Paul, my car attendant, carried them up to my room.  Train 4 departed at 6:15 PM on time.  I was in Car 431 in Deluxe Bedroom B.  At 8:00 PM, I went for dinner in the dining car and had a Bud Lite then roast chicken fettuccini carbonara with succotash followed by a lemon tart.  I worked on my computer in the lounge and then tucked in at a reasonable time (for me).

Thursday, June 29, 2017

            I was awakened by a phone call at 8:00 AM and went back to sleep.  I had a beautiful night's sleep and Paul woke me a half hour before we arrived into Albuquerque at 11:22 AM (twenty minutes early), for their extensive refueling and resupplying.  Below left is looking east toward the engine (being refueled) and on the right is looking west at the double-deck cars.  My car is way down at the end near the bridge.


            This time I got some photos of where I do my run here in the hot sun and high altitude (5,312 ft; 1619 m), almost a mile up.  And, you can really feel it when you're running.  At 11:28 AM, I ran over to the Bus Depot section of the station (in 95º dry heat) where there is a covered waiting area and just run back and forth under the roof.  Below is looking both ways from the midway point.  It doesn't look it but it's all outside except for the covered roof.  It takes about four to five circuits to make a mile.


            When I am finished, I always go past the bus station (below left) to the coffee shop located below right.


            Inside they have a nice room (below left) where I can fast walk for my remaining time in air conditioning.  It is a shame the coffee shop went out of business and now just sits there empty (below right).


            They call this whole complex the Alvarado Transportation Center.  In their map (below left), the red upper left box is the room where the coffee shop was and the elongated red rectangle on the right is the covered area I run in.  They have this large map detailing downtown Albuquerque.  Sometimes, if the train comes in too early, I will fast walk around the area but it's really not very interesting.  Waiting for me when I am done is Paul, my car attendant (blue shirt) for the LA-CHI trip.  I've had him for several trips in the past and he takes good care of me; letting me sleep and making sure I am up for my run.


            We pulled out on time at 12:10 PM.  I worked on the computer in the lounge car until it was dinner time at 8:00 PM and I was done at 10:00 PM.  Dinner cost me $11.50 because I had a glass of wine.  I finally went to sleep.

Friday, June 30, 2017

            I woke at 4:10, 5:55 and again at 8:30 AM and then wound up staying up.  We had stopped in Kansas City for awhile at 7:20 AM.  We pulled into Chicago at 4:10 PM, almost an hour late.  I got packed up and Jerry, my redcap, drove me into the terminal and to the new First Class lounge.

            At 4:40 PM, I did my run in 75º fair weather four times around Boston Blackie's block.  When I was done, at 5:10 PM, I went for a free cappuccino at Peets, because I just enrolled in their Android app. While on the train, I had called my colleague, Dr. Manus Kraff and planned dinner with him.  So at 6:35 PM, I caught an Uber and Kristine drove me to Carmine's Italian [1043 N Rush Street, 312-988-7676], which I have shown before in these Diarios.

            Manus and I both like this place, even if the food isn't always the greatest, sometimes it is.  I enjoyed two Krombach Austrian pilsners and then had tortellini carbonara with prosciutto and peas (below right) which was pretty good.  As it turns out our waiter, Niko, was from Bulgaria so I got some good advice about his country.


            We had a good time getting together and when we were done, I had some time to walk around Rush Street before catching another Uber at 8:35 PM and Raid got me back to the station for $9.78.  I walked around in the station and stopped in a Faber Store #1628 [444 W. Jackson St. 2007 Chicago US]  $7.66 and then got a take out cappuccino at the Corner Bakery Café [222 S. Riverside Plaza Chicago US 312-441-0821] $4.19.

            I walked back to the Lounge and then the redcap took me and my bags to Amtrak's Lake Shore Lmtd, Train #448 to Car 4820 and my car attendant, Chris, put them into my Deluxe Bedroom A and I settled in.  The train pulled out at 9:30 PM on time.  I had already had my dinner, but the provisions I bought made a nice late night snack.  I worked on the computer and finally went to bed.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

            I woke at 9:30 AM and got up and I was all ready for my run when the train arrived in Albany, NY at 2:55 PM.  At 3:03 PM, I did my run on the platform in 85º heat and finished it in my car because the train took off at 3:05 PM.  Our attendant moved our bags to the Boston half of the combined train but I wound up losing my sleeper room as was put in First Class Coach which is about the same as "No Class" Coach. to Boston South Station.  I got a coffee and worked on my computer for five hours.

            I arrived in Boston South Station at 8:10 PM, ten minutes late.  I immediately rolled my bags into the station and right up to the Auntie Anne's Pretzels stand and bought my usual two regular pretzels for $3.65.  I rolled my bags out to the taxi queue and at 8:33 took another Uber and George drove me right to the hotel in 9 minutes for $3.93.  I checked into the Hilton Boston Downtown/Faneuil Hall Hotel (below) [89 Broad Street, 617-556-0006], and went up to room #837.


            Marcia was already there waiting for me and since it was getting late, I unpacked a little and we headed downstairs.  In their lobby they had this detailed relief globe showing all the mountain elevations (below).


            I got this close up shot of it (below right) showing Greece and Bulgaria.


            We headed out and walked to my favorite bar, Black Rose Pub, and at 9:00 PM, I had a pint of Smithwick's Ale and Marcia had a glass of white wine.  After I had another half pint, I paid the bill ($26) and we headed out.

            By 9:45 PM we got to Legal Seafood Long Wharf [255 State St, 617-742-5300] (stock photo below right).


            It's on the ground floor of this large office building on State Street.  We ordered a beer and wine and relaxed while we ordered (stock photos).


            then I had an appetizer of fried haddock c fries and cole slaw (below left).  I told our waiter, Joshua, that the haddock was disappointing and he brought me an another one with fresh onion strings and fries.  Then I had a dinner of a two pound lobster (stock photo) with onion strings and fries.  Marcia had a starter of clam chowder and then for dinner she had a crab roll with sautéed spinach.  Obviously I couldn't eat all the fries.


            The whole dinner cost us $121.00. 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

            This is our second day in Boston.  I awoke at 7:00, 9:00 and 11:10 AM and got up and into my running gear.  At 12 Noon on was on my run down Franklin St. to the intersection with Arch St. and it was 85º.  At 12:30, I attended Mass at the St. Anthony Shrine (below left) [100 Arch St.].  Here it is (below right) from Summer St.


            Here it is (below right) from Franklin St.


            You have to climb some stairs to get to the main church (below right)




            25 Nuns



            I picked out the dolls representing the wonderful nuns who had such a great influence on my early education and on my life.  A lot has been lost for society with the elimination of these habits.  The doll on the left represents the Sisters of Charity that I had teach me in 7th and 8th grades at St. Mary's Elementary School in Troy, NY (no longer there).  I remember most Sr. Florence in 8th grade.  The doll in the center represents the Sisters of Mercy I had at Catholic Central High School in Troy.  I remember Srs. Mercedes and Florentine.


            The doll on the right represents the Sisters of St. Joseph and memories of my German teacher, Sr. Ambrose but more importantly, Sr. Jean Veronica (above right in 1985) who taught me both Chemistry and Physics, giving me an A in both and recommending me to Fr. John Keefe (the Principal) to award me the four year Principal's Appointee full tuition scholarship to Siena College in Loudonville, NY which, of course, changed my entire life.  She died several years ago and I will always be grateful to her.  That scholarship disappeared many years ago because it used its principle for the awards.  I have been working to reestablish this scholarship in the future not using the principle.

            After I left there, at 1:00 PM and I went and had a cappuccino at Cafe Nero [Burnham Bldg, 10 Summer St., 857-277-1888] $6.


            Left at 2:15 PM  Macy's, Langham Hotel.




            3:00 nap slept to 6:30.  Walk to Boston Harbor Hotel.


            Here is where the Massachusset State Convention voted to ratify the U.S. Consitution.  Tribute to Bishop Jean Decheverus, first Bishop of Boston.  Map of Downtown Boston.


            8:40 PM dinner at Antico Forno Pizza [93 Salem St., 617-723-6733]

            Peroni, WW $22.


            La Marca prosecco, I had fettuccini c ham cream, Marcia had a Caprese salad.


            Marcia had calamari fritti and I had veal saltimbocca.




            11:15 PM Mr. Dooley's Pub [77 , ] two Irish coffees for $24.


            11:31PM CVS/Pharmacy [218 Hanover St. 617-720-2688] $5.62

Monday, July 3, 2017

            Today we drive from Boston to Rockland, Maine.

            11:15 run treadmill













Tuesday, July 4, 2017








            Black Bull is now the Rock Harbor Pub and Brewery.




Wednesday, July 5, 2017







Thursday, July 6, 2017

            Rockland to Camden






Friday, July 7, 2017

            Rockland to Boston

            Lobster Roll place







Saturday, July 8, 2017

            Wyndham Hotel







Sunday, July 9, 2017

Boston 3

            Today is flight day.  I woke up at 12:10, 9:15 AM and Marcia woke me at 2:25 PM and I went immediately for my run at 3:20 PM. 





            We got all our bags and went into the main Terminal.  We waited in the check in line and they took most of our bags except our take-ons.  At 5:50 PM we were checking through customs and the TSA checkpoint.  Once cleared, at 6:30 PM, we arrived at the Lufthansa Business Class lounge.


Since I don't drink alcohol when I'm flying, I passed on all the free beer and wine.  At 6:45 PM I had my dinner there which consisted of a cappuccino.  There is my Galaxy S7 Edge phone I used to take many of the photos.


            At 7:45 PM I took my Klonopin 0.5 mg and at 8:15 PM we boarded the plane (Flight #425, Seats 7A/7C.)


            Once seated and settled, at 8:20 PM, I took the other Klonopin 0.5 mg along with eight Melatonin tablets.  I put my earplugs in, my blindfold on and put my blow-up neck-pillow on.  At 8:45 PM the plane took off and at 9:00 PM I fell soundly to sleep.  The flight is supposed to take 7 hours and 25 minutes and fly 3,854 miles.  We lose 6 hours crossing the Atlantic [CET means Central European Time.]  The Canon camera captured the entire cabin of the plane.  The seat in front of me housed the display of the flight statistics.


        Marcia woke me and asked me if I wanted any dinner.  So I tried what they were serving.  It was some kind of meat with mashed potatoes and green beans.  It was followed by various cheeses and dried apricot.  I tasted a little bit of all of it and then quickly fell back to sleep.  Tomorrow we will be in Munich.


KJH                                                                                       Go To -> NEXT DIARIO #2  

Kenneth J. Hoffer, MD


Munich, Germany

Sent 8-20-2018

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  We Have Now Toured All the Countries in Western Europe Except Greece & No. Ireland

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© Copyright 2014     Kenneth J. Hoffer, MD