Car show = extra exercise

Posted: January 22, 2013 in Exercise, Physical activity, Walking

So, I took the day off of work today. I still hit the gym… it was either Day 21 or Day 2. See, I didn’t go to the gym on Sunday, instead I opted to walk around the neighborhood (it was 50 degrees, which is like 45 degrees warmer than it was this morning, but I digress). I guess it counts, since it was exercise. OK… Day 21 it is. Woohoo! Three weeks straight.

So, anyway… after I hit the gym, I headed to my local Amtrak station to head into Philadelphia for the auto show. I love auto shows… great cars, great people watching, and it’s something I would do with my dad when he was still alive. I guess that’s where I get my interest in cars from. I go with Supportive Partner Woman from time to time, but this as a solo endeavor. When traveling to Philly, I prefer the train whenever possible. It’s affordable, easy and I can avoid the Schuylkill Expressway, or as we call it, the “Sure-Kill Distressway.” It’s amazing to me how the master planners think that the major artery coming into a city from the northwest should be a four-lane highway sandwiched between hills and a river. That’s a topic for a rant post, though.

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Interior of 30th Street Station

Anyway, I boarded the Amfleet I car, grabbed a seat, plugged in my dangerously low on battery iPhone (see, the Amtrak cars are equipped with standard power outlets at each seat) and we swiftly moved out of the station. The ride to Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station was uneventful. The trainset is capable of speeds up to 110 mph, but I’ve never brought a GPS to assess how fast it really does go. Upon arrival at 30th Street (still a pretty building) you go into the Art Deco main hall, and go in search of the SEPTA Regional Rail platforms. There, you board a Silverliner IV, then it’s off to the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

The convention center is a typical convention center, with one notable feature that appeals to railroad junkies. The Grand Hall is actually the Reading Terminal train shed. I like that the architects were able to incorporate the historic train shed and restore it to its former grandeur. It reminds me of how the architects saved the B&O Warehouse in Baltimore and incorporated into the design of Camden Yards.

Anyway, enough pontificating about architecture. We’re all about the cars, man!

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Aston-Martin DB9 in midnight blue

There were plenty of new models to view and sit myself in… my tradition is to pick an overall favorite car, and also pick one that I wouldn’t mind living with. The overall favorite for me this year was the Aston-Martin DB9. Granted, unless this blogging thing really takes off, I’ll never afford the $200,000 price tag. As the picture shows, though… it’s a sweet ride. Other top contenders included the McLaren MP4-12C Spider. While it’s seriously badass, it lacks the refined elegance of the Aston-Martin.

Camp Jeep

Camp Jeep

One of the cool additions this year was Camp Jeep, in which you could take a short ride in a trail rated Jeep (Wrangler or Grand Cherokee) over some challenging terrain, including a 35-degree climb and descent. I got to ride with Patrick in a red Grand Cherokee. It was pretty impressive.

The winner for car I’d probably actually want to drive was the Acura TSX. I know… it’s basically a Honda. But the car just felt comfortable. I also liked the new Accord, and the 2014 Subaru Forester is a nice little SUV. I was disappointed that the Chevy folks did not have the Stingray there, but seeing as it was just unveiled a week or so ago, well, it’s understandable.

I did manage to get a lot of exercise walking around the show and climbing stairs through the various train stations. In addition to the gym session, I’m pretty sure I burned some calories today. I also grabbed a Subway 6″ turkey sub on wheat. I was naughty, though… I did have some cheese on it. But other than the turkey and cheese, it was just lettuce, tomato, cucumber and peppers. Upon arrival at the Nerd Lair, I busted out the batch of chili I made on Sunday. Loaded with beans and really lean beef, well, it’s about 400 calories a serving and goes well on these cold nights.

Hope to report some more tomorrow. Until then!

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