|An old picture of an Acela|
|The center of the universe|
"Come and meet those dancing feet,
On the avenue I'm taking you to,
A little further on, I saw the scooter pictured to the right. I've ridden my scooter in some bad conditions but nothing like this. Look at those tires. I don't think they are going to give him much traction when he starts out again. I should have taken a closer look but I think that is the model of Yamaha scooter I considered when I was shopping for a scooter. I think this one is a Zuma. I ended up buying Honda scooter and I think mine looks better than this one. But then, I've never gotten mine all snowy like this one. Being small is definitely a nice feature of a scooter. You can park it almost anywhere.
I finally got to the train station and our 2PM train was still on time. Good news. No more delays. I'd seen enough of the city. At least in these conditions. The station was packed. I guess because there were so many canceled trains, all those people (like me) were hanging around to see if there were going to be any more changes to their trip. I sat in the lounge area for a while but worried about finding the right track in such a big area. So, I got up and got oriented. It turned out not to be that bad. The tracks were all clearly marked. Now, if they'd just say which track the train would be on. My fellow traveler showed up and we both wondered if we could get on an earlier train or on a later Acela. As we waited in line we heard a booming voice ask, "Is this your bag?" We had our bags with us but wondered if they looked suspicious. The policeman was more insistent the next time and then, apparently, the owner of the bag must have acknowledged that is was his bag and then we heard the policeman shout, "Get over here. And don't roll your eyes at me!" This was getting serious. They brought in the sniffer dog. I'm not sure if he was a bomb sniffer or a drug sniffer. Do they have dogs that do both? You could see that the guy who had left his bag unattended was not going to make his train. But we were. Even though we couldn't get on an earlier train nor a later but more comfortable train, our train was On Time - or was it? Just a little while before the train was scheduled to depart, they flashed the sign that it was delayed. They didn't know this before? Oh well, it was only going to be 15 minutes late. But 15 minutes later, it was going to be 30 minutes late. And 15 minutes later, you guessed it - it was going to be 45 minutes late. We were afraid to sit down in the lounge area because we might miss something - like our train being 60 minutes late or being canceled.
So, we'd been on our feet since 1 PM (it was 2:45 PM now) when they announced the train was coming into the station. Good! Now they'd announce which track it would be on. No such luck. They had announced that it was unloading but we couldn't see where people were arriving to see the track ourselves. In the meantime, they brought in more sniffer dogs and they were barking to each other. I guess they were passing along vital information about which smells were especially good in the waiting area. People were getting restless and whenever a track was announced, it was like the starting gun at a track meet. We were bumped, jostled and yelled out as people tore along the dotted line to get to their track. Finally, they mentioned our train number but instead of announcing that it was boarding on Track Number X, they announced it was getting a new locomotive. That wouldn't take long, though, because they do that all the time. Don't they?
I guess they don't change locomotives that often. It took them another 45 minutes. We finally found out our track number and calmly headed there. I didn't bump, jostle or yell at a single person on the way. As we walked along the train, we saw lots of empty seats and rejoiced in the fact that we could spread out over two seats each. But they wouldn't let us on the cars with lots of seats. We were herded onto the cars that only had a few sets left. We were able to sit near each other and were thankfully able to finally sit down but we didn't get to spread out over two seats - but - it was warm and relatively quiet and no one was bumping into us. After we got to New Haven, the car really cleared out and we did have room to spread out over two seats. After leaving New Haven, two things happened together. The heat came on full blast and the lights and fans went out. Then the train slowed to a stop. The speakers in our car weren't working but it sounded like they knew what the problem was. The snow and ice had caused an electrical problem and they would have to restart the engine. We joked that this was just like a computer running the Windows operating system.
We had an uneventful journey the rest of the way. We picked up my friend's car at the station and he drove me home. I got in the door around 9 PM that night. We had originally thought that getting on the 10 AM train, we'd get back early enough to go to work for a while around 2 PM. It didn't work out that way. But if I got a chance to ride the train (especially an Acela), I'd do it all over again.