Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Crazy Train

It's been a restful few days at my parents house after a very crazy, long train ride from Jacksonville to D.C. Some of you may have seen my Facebook status with a brief re-cap ... here are some more details.

Bryan brought Dylan and I to the Amtrak station on Thursday afternoon for a 14 hour train ride.  The one-way ticket only cost about $80 and we could bring several big bags of luggage at no additional cost, so it seemed like a good deal.  Sitting in the train station, though, all I could think about was the bus station scene in Adventures in Babysitting where Chris's friend Brenda gets stranded and encounters her share of crazy people.  It felt eerily similar to that.
This is how I sometimes felt on the train.

Once aboard the train, the seat assignment guy put Dylan and I in a dark corner with no windows but with extra leg room.  I was thankful that he gave us two seats when we had only purchased one.  Across the isle from us sat a man who had some kind of brace on his legs so that his knees didn't bend at all so when he sat down they just stuck straight out.  Dylan took a liking to Straight-Legs right away.  Behind Straight-Legs sat a giant 500+ lb. man who must have eaten two or three huge bags of sunflower seeds throughout the duration of the trip (I can't imagine what his sodium levels must be like!).  It was really annoying to listen to him cracking and spitting sunflower seeds onto his tray table for pretty much the whole 14 hours.  I guess it was probably annoying for him to listen to Dylan jabber on to Straight-Legs for a good deal of time too, so perhaps we're even.

Straight-Legs and Sunflower almost duked it out in the beginning because Straight-Legs made the mistake of looking at Sunflower.  That prompted a "Whatchyou lookin' at, boy?  You aint got nothin' to look at back here." They exchanged some heated words then quieted down.  By the end of the trip the two were good friends after bonding over their shared desire to get off the train and have a smoke.

His career must not be going so well since he now rides the Amtrak.
Around 6:30 Dylan and I went to the dining car and shared a hot dog and some yogurt for dinner.  It was there where I'm pretty sure we ran into Lil' Jon and his posse.  Lil' Jon and about 3 other questionable-looking men stopped at our table and tried to say something to us through their gold-capped teeth.  I don't speak "crunk" so I have no idea what they said and I just smiled and nodded and thankfully they moved on.

After dinner, we went to use the restroom.  Here, we ran into a lady who was coming out of the bathroom as we were going in.  She told me as she was exiting that she had hung up her pants to dry on the purse hook and did I think anyone would steal them?  I shrugged my shoulders and said I didn't know, so she said "No one's going to want those pissy pants anyway!" and walked away.  She was wearing a skirt, so perhaps she keeps extra clothes in her bag in case of an accident, just like how I do with Dylan.

Dylan playing in his seat on the train.
We settled into our seats for the night and I tried to get Dylan to calm down.  He was pretty jazzed up from all the new sights, sounds and people so he and Straight-Legs carried on a spirited conversation for quite a while.  A lot of the passengers by this time were starting to get pretty drunk.  Amtrak must have  good deals on beer and booze because pretty much everyone made a beeline for the bar-car as soon as the train was out of the station.  There was a big commotion several rows back when one lady started to get sick.  She made it to the restroom in time, but someone tattled on her to the train conductor.  The conductor apparently doesn't have any tolerance for sloppy drunks and booted her off the train at the next stop!

9:00 - 10:00 was Dylan's worst hour.  He was overly tired but just couldn't get comfortable.  He cried a lot this hour, and I felt like crying too.  He finally did fall asleep and we cuddled up together, but he wouldn't share his blanket with me at all so one of the train attendants brought me a paper table-cloth from the dining car to use as a blanket.

We must have been a cute sight to see because an old man who had told me earlier in the night that he has five sons and lots of grandkids wound up his disposable camera and snapped a picture of us as he was walking back to his seat.  I didn't know whether to be touched or creeped out.  A little bit of both, I guess.

Dylan pretty much slept through the night, although he woke a few times to change positions.  The seats were fairly comfortable (much more comfy than an airplane) and Dylan is small enough so he could lay down completely.  7:45 a.m. couldn't come fast enough and I was so happy to see my Dad waiting for us in the station.  Amtrak itself was great - the ticket process, the conductor, the attendants, the accommodations were all very good, but I don't think I would ride it again until Dylan is a little older.

Here are some picks of what we've been up to so far this week:
Here we are in front of the White House.
And the "Forrest Gump" shot with the Washington Monument in the background

1 comment:

Bryan Foltice said...

I am the worst husband/father ever for putting you on this train. I am glad you made it there safely.