For the third time in three months, my day of rest involved curling up with a good book or three while whizzing by in a train or bus. On this occasion, it was my vacation within a vacation: returning to Philly from Ocean City for two work days and one night, my wife and kids in the good hands of my in-laws, and me therefore able to tend to my things with no other family responsibilities.

In order to pull this off, I did have to wake up at 4 each morning, but that's hardly unusual anymore. The first day's early rising allowed me to hoof the 2 1/2 miles from our beach house to the bus depot in Ocean City, where a bus took me within blocks of the train station in Atlantic City, from which a train got me all the way to 30th Street Station and just blocks to where I work, well before 9 am. Wednesday afternoon, after starting my work day at 7 that morning, I reversed course and got myself back home in time to eat dinner and put the kids to bed.

The six or so hours of travel time were just enough for me to get through Joseph Ellis' "Founding Brothers," a delightful read for escaping the burdens of the modern day and transporting myself back to our nation's earliest and formative years. Equally restful were other books I toted on my bus ride to New York City last month to and from Yankee Stadium, and on my Amtrak ride to Washington DC two months ago to and from Nationals Stadium. More books wait for me on my nightstand; now I just have to negotiate with my wife for a day off next month, and figure out what vehicle will whisk me away while I sit still reading.
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