My wife and I did an over-nighter to Boston to have dinner at Legal Sea Foods on January 9 and 10. Yes, I know Legal has locations we can drive to in King of Prussia and Short Hills, but what fun is that? Go to Boston and a simple dinner becomes an adventure. I mentioned the idea Wednesday night, and 10 minutes later, it was reserved and ready to go.
Friday morning we headed to NJ Transit Hamilton for the trek up to Newark to catch Acela 2158 to Boston. NJT delivered us to Newark on time at 10:40, and we sat patiently waiting for our Acela to make its way onto the Solari departures board. If finally did, and guess what: it showed 40 minutes late. About 10 minutes later the PA announcer confirmed the late arrival, with an added twist: Acela 2158 would be terminating at New York. Oh, how nice. However, the PA announcer went on to “suggest” that 2158’s passengers board NE Regional #86 for points east of New York. And, by the way, NE Regional #86 was due in the station in 3 minutes. That’s 3 minutes as in 180 seconds.
We made the dash for the platform and hopped on a nearly empty Amfleet coach. The rest of the ride to BOS was uneventful, although a bit slow compared to Acela. Our arrival in Boston was about 90 minutes later than 2158’s schedule, but that worked fine for us. We might have been able to exchange to Acela 2160 (which beat #86 to BOS by 10 minutes), but taking 86 was so stress-free that it was no big deal. #86 simply accepted our 2158 tickets with no aggravation. The Amfleet I had power outlets, so I entertained myself with the GPS.
Coming home on Saturday, we took Acela 2253 and I treated my wife (and me) to First Class. She had never ridden Acela First, and they did a fine job on a train that was sold out due to the forecast snow in the New York area. We pre-boarded from the Club Acela using a Red Cap. We did not need a Red Cap for our little, lightweight roll-aboard, but the tip is a small price to get an early shot at seats. On-board service was first-rate, and my wife commented on how well the two attendants handled the full-house. My wife loved the sage chicken lunch offering (best meal ever on Amtrak, she said), and my seared turbot was excellent as well. Accompanied by a couple of glasses of nice wine and it was a very pleasant ride indeed.
Arrival at NYP was 4 minutes early. We caught an NJT Trenton Express just 15 minutes later for the ride back to Hamilton, and made the short drive home from there (thankfully on clear, dry roads). We had a nice dinner at Legal, and an adventure too.