30 January 2014

Performance Pictures

I just added a couple favorite pictures to my Kickstarter project NE 2 NE Accordion Expedition and thought to share them here. Pledge if you can, you get cool rewards!
Performance with The EDT Folk Orchestra

During the FUBAR Omniverse on KFAI radio, photo by Colleen Bertsch

28 January 2014

Arranging for Amtrak Compartments, Solutions

An update #1 for the NE 2 NE Accordion Expedition (funding on Kickstarter)

There's always a bit of intrigue and surprise generated by the reality of travel plans.

I was checking the Amtrak website for the availability of compartments on my round trip from Minneapolis to Philadelphia (changing trains in Chicago) and discovered that one of the trains needed was no longer listed as a connection. The Cardinal line (Chicago-Philadelphia) had disappeared.
This prompted a phone call directly to Amtrak where I poured out my concerns to the agent. She was a gem and dug around in the files until she saw what the issue was. The Cardinal was active but the Empire Builder (Minneapolis-Chicago, originating in Seattle) was so consistently late arriving in Chicago that Amtrak no longer considered it a viable transfer. This must have happened very recently because I had checked the website two weeks ago and the connection was listed.

Solution: Leave a day early, stay over night in Chicago to catch the Cardinal the next day as originally planned.
All was good, for the moment, because the trains connected well on the way home to Minneapolis. One is always ready for an easy trip back to their home.

Then I got the other bad news, there were no more compartments left on that train the day I wanted leave for home. To make matters a little more complicated, the Cardinal line is the only train leaving from Philadelphia with checked baggage, it only runs three days a week. You do need checked luggage when you travel with a larger instrument as a carry on.

Solution: Coming home two days early.

Glad everything worked out well!