There's always a bit of intrigue and surprise generated by the reality of travel plans.
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
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.
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
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.
I specialize in both solo and ensemble work on the accordion and have been fortunate enough to perform with the Minnesota Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Ancia Quartet, Minnesota Sinfonia, Minneapolis Philharmonic and Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra. I am a past president of Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International and now enjoy being the President of the Mill City Accordion Association as well as event coordinator for the NE Accordion Festival. I live in NE Minneapolis and am a faculty member of Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) teaching accordion. A very wonderful thing happened recently, I won the 2011-2012 McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians and if that wasn’t enough the 2012 Minnesota Emerging Composer’s Award from the American Composer’s Forum (Orkestar Bez Ime, World Music). A dream comes true for this accordion kid!