While I was waiting for them I'd looked into United options - they had a flight to Newark tonight but it was $425 one way. On the way back to Ohio, first I half-joked about my folks driving me home (theoretically possible but waaay out of their way, would've thrown them significantly off of their schedule and would've required some cooperation from TQ for the dog, since my building doesn't allow dogs, I'm sure he would've been willing to help but it would've been something of an all-around hassle) - and then I thought of the train!
We checked Amtrack, there was ONE seat left in coach on the Sunday Lake Shore Limited , the one-way trip was slightly less than the refund I got from Spirit, and I actually really enjoyed it - the train left Toledo at 3:20 am and I think I slept through most of Ohio and the little corner of Pennslyvania (train seats win hands down over plane seats when it comes to getting some shuteye) but I enjoyed the trip through upstate NY and then of course I always like riding the train along the Hudson. Great way to get home this time!
Here are some pix of course. I don't know exactly where everything is, but the boat is on one of the stretches of the Erie Canal that the train briefly follows (I also saw a nice canal boat out cruising, and a workboat in the unmistakeable blue and gold livery of the Erie Canal service, I was especially sorry that that flashed by too quickly for me to grab a photo as Tugster probably would've been able to ID, but at least that confirmed that it was the Erie Canal); I think the pretty town center is Schenectady, and the city on the river is definitely Albany, and then of course the rest of the trip is on the Hudson. That's it for words, as usual, click for a slideshow view.