From the Train

The disappointing news at first was that the train we were waiting for was an hour and a half late. This meant getting on it at nearly 2 AM after an already long and strenuous day. However, being a “ glass-half-full” guy when it comes to riding the train, I knew we’d be okay. Trains can make up time, you know.

The good part of getting on the train in the wee hours of the morning is that it doesn’t take much to fall asleep. Which I did and and slept pretty much until Cleveland and the sounds of the neighbor’s cell phone whistle woke me. The good news here is that I thought it was my phone, but it wasn’t, sparing me the scorn of my fellow trainers.

No matter when one gets on the train, it’s important to get your bearings…. Where’s my seat, where’s the bathroom and where’s the cafe car?

Our seats were assigned when we got on the train. Fine seats. Good viewing. An acre and a half of space, compared to that last airplane ride.

The bathrooms are in the normal spots. The ‘occupied’ lights are working. From where I’m sitting, it seems that on this train one of the rooms is for more long term endeavors and the other is more ‘express lane-ish.’ And please… leave them cleaner than when you found them.

…and who is that guy? He’s the one sitting 1-2-3 seats ahead of us. He kinda tall, wearing ‘cool’ sunglasses. Several people have stopped by to chat with him… No autograph requests yet… People seem to be leaving him alone for now… NBA? Baseball player? Rock star? Star of stage anrd screen? 

The sister and the sistahs…. In the seat in front of us are two sisters, little girls, traveling with gramma. Cute! The little one began to wander a bit when gramma left for the rest room. Immediately, the train community informed her big sistah. The little one was corralled. All was well… It takes a village…

In the seats behind us a sister, a nun, is traveling with a developmentally disabled man. I’m not sure what the story is there. Apparently, she is part of the young man’s village.

And then there’s the Amtrak coffee challenge… Would I be able to coax a free cup of coffee out of the cafe car attendant with my umpteen year old Amtrak mug, purchased with a ‘bottomless’ coffee guarantee? Well, this morning I am here to tell you that I’m a ‘mug-mostly-full’ kinda guy. Good news. Good coffee. Excellent price. 

Oh, and the other good news is that our train did make up time and picked us up only 26 minutes late, pretty much on time by Amtrak standards. No complaints here.

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