A Digital Post Card from Guy and Andrew
Andrew has retired, as of last Friday. So we’re happy to report that the first thing we’re doing is taking a vacation. Amtrak and Canada’s VIA Rail offer the Maple Leaf service to Toronto, and we’re taking advantage of it. We’re traveling along the Hudson River Valley and the Erie Canal, and despite a rather gloomy morning (weather-wise), the sun has now come out for Canada’s Thanksgiving Day (which we won’t be able to celebrate). Once we’re In Toronto, we’ll have short visit before we board VIA Rail’s The Canadian on Wednesday to travel across Canada.
It’s been a long morning. The Maple Leaf left New York, traveling from the beautiful new Moynihan Train Hall, at 7.15am. [Guess what time we had to get up?] We’re pleased that we left from the Moynihan Train Hall, because Senator Moynihan was a very special person, to our way of thinking. Opened just last year, the Moynihan Train Hall has quickly become one of our favorite sites in New York.
The hall is an expansion of Pennsylvania Station into the city’s former main post office building, the James A. Farley Building. As I say, the hall is named after Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the U.S. Senator who had originally championed the plan, and the building’s exterior resembles that of the original Penn Station; both buildings were designed by the same architects, the famous McKim, Mead & White firm, in the Beaux-Arts style. As far as we can tell, most New Yorkers – at least those we know – are happy with the new hall.
Later in the day, we’ll have a long stop at Niagara Falls while the train’s crews change from Amtrak to VIA Rail, and all passengers disembark (with their luggage) to go through Customs. We’ll get into Toronto about 8.30pm, so even if it is a long day (and with plenty of time for sleeping!), we’re enjoying the northern New York State views outside the train.
So no worries! Toronto’s Union Station connects via an underground passage across Front Street, taking us into the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, where we’ve stayed before. We are looking forward to another visit to Toronto, even though it will be a short one.
Don’t know what we’re going to do tomorrow, our one full day in Toronto, but we’ll figure it out. For the evening we are dining with a Toronto colleague at Reign, the Royal York’s fancy restaurant.
And then it’s up very early the next morning for our departure on The Canadian for those four days and four nights taking us to Vancouver.