I took the Amtrak home to my folks for Christmas, for several reasons--caution and curiosity (an increasingly unreliable car and a simple desire to 'see what it's like').
The total amount of traveling that I did was almost double the amount it would have taken to just drive the eight hours home: 2 hours driving from Stanford, KY to Union Terminal in Cincinnati, OH; 10 hours on the Amtrak; 2 hours on the Union Pacific Northwest commuter train to Harvard, IL; almost 1 hour driving along Rte 173 to Rockford, IL. This does not include the number of hours spent waiting here and there. Suffice to say I left Stanford around 5 PM Friday night and got to Rockford around 3:30 PM on Saturday.
Would I have rather spent 8 hours driving in a car with nothing but my thoughts and vast cornfields to keep me company, or reading?
What I brought for reading material: Barack Obama's The Audacity of Hope, Charles De Lint's The Ivory and the Horn; Laura Miller's The Magician's Nephew: a skeptic's adventurs in Narnia.