Friday, October 15, 2010

USA Trip 2010 - Trip to Boston [Part 3]

On the morning of the 22nd May we checked out of The Residence Inn in Manhattan and made our way to Penn Station. We didn't bother with a taxi as it was only four blocks or so on the map and we felt it would be straight forward enough. Unfortunately, Penn Station is entirely underground and so you wouldn't really notice if you passed the entrance. It took us a little while to find it but once we did it was easy enough to collect our tickets. We had the best part of two hours to wait on the train but at least they had free wi-fi to keep us entertained. 

Now taking the train to Boston was my idea and it was a trip I was looking forward too. I was expecting that we would be getting the same type of train that runs on the Coast Starlight route, a big double decker train. The likes of which you don't see in this country. When the train pulled into the station there was a bit of a rush to get to the escalator with the other passengers. We expected that after we had our tickets checked it would calm down as we would all have assigned seating. Turns out I was very wrong on that point. 

We were directed to make our way to the top of the train to find a seat. So we went down that direction and got on the last carriage but that turned out to be full and so was the next carriage down. We started to get a bit worried at this point. We made our way down to another carriage and had no choice but to board as the train was about to leave. The carriage looked full so we had to leave our luggage and go search for a seat. We actually managed to find two seats together at a table with a mother and child (more on her later). I then made two trips back to find the luggage and bring it to our carriage so it would at least be close. With that done we could finally begin to relax and enjoy the journey. It was a shame it was not the type of train I was expecting but at least we had seats, they were comfortable, the scenery was good and as a bonus there was free wi-fi. We were travelling through lunchtime so I made a trip to the catering car to get us some lunch. I decided to go a little early as I felt there might be a queue. Lucky I did because even though the queue was small I was still waiting about 30 minutes. At least I got to admire the passing country side.

Real life Phantom Hourglass
While on the train I decided to get creative with the camera and introduced Link into the mix. I think this is where our new tradition of getting a photo of Link in new places was born. The journey was only 3 and half hours which went very quickly. Travelling by train really is the best way when you have a long distance to travel. It is always more comfortable than flying, you don't have to go to an airport and it just feels relaxing. 

As we approached Boston the woman opposite us was on her mobile and her daughter was trying and failing to get her attention. She did quickly enough when she promptly vomited over the table we were all sharing. It was not a good situation at all. With every bump or rock the carriage took the vomit would make it's way closer to us. I went quickly down to the catering car again to get a handful of napkins, anything to stop the approaching tide. Everything was tidied up and back to normal quickly and everyone was all smiles. This mightn't have been the case had it happened earlier a not as we were about to get off the train.

When the train came to a stop in Boston's Back Bay Station I carried my wife's bag off the train but had to run down to the end of the carriage to get my own. With the people getting on and off it wasn't leaving much time and I literally had to jump off before the doors closed. I hope our next train trip in the US is less hectic than this one was but it hasn't put me off my goal to cross the US on rail. When we got out of the station we had a quick check of the map to get our bearings and decided we could walk to the hotel no problem. I even managed to point an older lady in the right direction for her own hotel. Still not sure how I knew that and my wife certainly looked confused when I knew. 

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