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December 1997 - Page 31

head lined, and the title said it a l l . Readers would in stantly sense the rol e of the train in reuniting friends and family as the country again set aside business as usual to celebrate its biggest holiday. And the thing i s , that l i n k rem ai n s reasona b l y strong years after cars a n d planes took over most o f the U . S . travel market. Christmas is sti l l a good time to take a train somewhere special: to a nearby big city for a round of old-fashioned holiday shopping down town , perhaps, or to a reunion with far-away rela tives.

Our family recommends either, having done both. Last year, my wife, five-year-old daughter, and I t ook a Capitol Corridor train 7 0 m iles to San Francisco for a day of shopping. Two years before that, we rode the California Zephyr a nd Capitol Limited from Califor nia to Ohio to a celebration o f my grandmother's l Oath birthday on Christmas Eve. We enjoyed both journeys so mLlch that a train trip, when we can swing it, has become part of oLlr Christmas tradition. We don't ride j ust for the sake of sentiment. The trip to San Francisco's Union Square was an experi-

LEFT: Busy Union Square is a center for shopping in San Francisco.

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