Edited by steve4031, 19 January 2011 - 10:14 AM.
Monday's grand adventure
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Posted 19 January 2011 - 10:14 AM
After a morning or riding the LIRR and A train, Alan, Mike and I sat down to lunch at the Original Ray's Pizza on Prince Street. I was aware of the developing weather in the Chicago area, and as I had been doing all morning, Checked my flight's status as well as the earlier flights for returning to Chicago. The flight two hours before mine was canceled, and the following fight was noted as being very likely to be delayed. I had visions of spending the night in NYC at additional expense, and not getting home until late Tuesday. Of course I knew of 49's 3:45 p.m. departure from New York Penn. First I checked prices for a sleeper, too high, and then I thought about using points. After confirming with Alan that this was possible, I called AGR, got an agent, and canceled a 15,000 reward ticket for this summer, and then booked a 20,000 reward ticket to get back to Chicago. This transaction took about 15 minutes and was completed as we walked to the prince street subway stop on the 4,5,6 line. We caught the 6, transferred to a 4 or 5 and rode over to Brooklyn. We got of at the Borough Hall station and then walked to the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott. Mike Hammond and I collected our bags, I hit the ATM, and we said our thanks and good byes to the wonderful staff at the Marriott. We walked to the Metro-Tech Borough Hall station. While waiting for the next A or C, I played the theme song from Monday Night Football and joked that we could do an OJ Simpson type commercial for getting to the train. A C train pulled in, and Alan noticed their was a rail fan window int he first call. So we both looked out the window as the C made its way to 34th Street Penn Station. At Penn Station we checked the Board and determined that Mike should catch the 3:15 NJT to Newark Airport since the next one was not until 3:53. Mike and Alan rushed to the NJT ticket machine, and I went into the CA to have my ticket printed. By the time this was completed, and I had fixed myself a ginger Ale, Alan made came into the lounge. I made a few calls advising significant others of the change in plans. I took about 4 sips of Ginger Ale, and 49 was called. First we lined up at the west gate, then we were asked to go to the east gate. Amidst much grumbling, I made my way down the stairs and boarded the 4911 car and located room 3. Right side, not left, Darn. While boarding the train, I saw that there was no heritage diner. I went back and asked the conductor, and he explained the diner had frozen up and had been switched out. I was not happy about not having a diner, but complaining would not help. I planned to tip the attendant so I could eat in my room so I could avoid being sat a a misaligned seat with no window view 49 departed on time. The 142 miles to Albany passed quickly as I made numerous phone calls to significant others to elaborate on the days adventure. Additionally, I called a work colleague and we planned Tuesday's department meeting as well as discussed departmental issues and concerns. By the time this call was finished, we were pulling into Albany. The attendant came by to warns us that the toilets had frozen and suggested we used the ones in the coach in front of the diner lite car. As I passed through, the diner light car, I saw the crew hard at work preparing for dinner. The smells and atmosphere were inviting, and I changed my mind about eating in my room. I asked the LSA if I could change my mind. He said no problem, and surprising, I got the first seating out of Albany. Wow!! Dinner was delicious, I had the Braised beef. I have to admit that the diner lite car saved the day. No diner lite, no dinner. The crew was outstanding. I have never seen a better crew than this. They had every right to be grumpy and displeased. The diner was switched out at the last minute, and they had to work triple time to catch up. It was obvious that they took pride in their job. After dinner I returned to my room. After another long phone call with my GF, the attendant came by and informed me the toilets would be fixed in Buffalo. For most of the evening we were on the wrong main as we overtook several freights, About 9:30 I had the attendant put the bed down, and went to bed. Slept through Buffalo, and woke up to see that we were running about 40 minutes late near Erie. Received an Email from my colleague about the meeting agenda, and read that, and went back to Bed. Woke up in Cleveland, Elyria, and Sandusky, but slept between the stops. Outside of the Toledo, we stopped for about 90 minutes as a signal issue was resolved. Breakfast was good, and once again praised the crew. They were happy to get praise as many had complained the night before. Throughout the morning, CSX once again had us on the wrong main as we over took freights. CSX did their best not to worsen the delay. As I enjoyed the show, I called in to request a sub, resolved a discipline issue with the disciplinarian, and re-emailed information that was needed. Because of my Iphone, I stayed off the radar for being absent after a holiday. Ultimately, we arrived into CUS at 11:01, 1 hour and 46 minutes late. My dad met me, and drove me to work which is at 95th and the Dan Ryan at the end of the Red line. At 11:35 I was walking in the back door of the school. I got some work done, and since I was required to take a sick day since I arrived too late, I was able to leave early. I knew about this prior to going, and went in anyway to get stuff done. I walked over to the red line at 95th street. On the way, I met a former student and we chit chatted at the bus stop. At 95th street, I walked down the stairs and boarded a train seconds before it departed. I made a great connection at Jackson, and arrived Ohare about 4:00 p.m. I once again was lucky and got on a shuttle to the parking garage without a long wait. I picked up the car and had dinner with my Dad, and returned home This completes the grand Adventure of the 2011 edition of the NYC request Fest.
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