Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Midnight Train to Georgia

I hope you all had an excellent holiday weekend.  Mine was jam packed with multiple personalities, train stations, emergency rooms, four hour delays, and a wedding.  Sounds like a movie (Four Weddings and a Funeral) but sadly this is just my life.

6:55am -  my family and I board a train to Georgia for my cousin's wedding.  So far, so good.  No hiccups.  We have a two hour layover in Penn Station where we have Tim Horton's for breakfast and the kids get to experience the hustle and bustle of New York City.  Our train is on-time and we all find seats around each other and settle in for the long ride.  Somewhere around Virginia we pick up Creepy McCreepo who is high as a kite and carries a duffle full of vending machine items.  He tries multiple times to pass off candy and other goods from his bag to my nine year old sister, each time with us politely declining.  Sometime after dinner the train stops briefly to allow another train to pass.  McCreepo gets into a heated argument with one of the train attendants about needing a smoke.  Because we were not at a platform he was not permitted to leave the train and was told if he couldn't behave himself he would be ejected at the next stop (one could only hope...)  He proceeds to kick the door and mumbles obscenities and such directed at the attendant who has since left the car.  And it only gets worse.  Come 9pm it's as if a switch has flipped and he now has a direct channel to Satan.  He is having obscenity laced arguments with himself, turrets-like outbursts, grunting, and seemingly uncontrollable jitters in his arms and legs.  He proceeds to tell me my sister is his "buddy" and "she's in trouble".  Needless to say, I don't get to sleep the entire ride for fear he'll try something on one of us.  Instead I proceed to read "The Help" with one hand in my purse on a bottle of mase.

6:55am - we detrain in Jacksonville, FL.  My Uncle is already waiting for us and takes us to the hotel  in Kingsland GA which has agreed to check us in early free of charge.  We all cycle through showers, iron the wrinkles out of our packed dress attire, and then head to Cracker Barrel for brunch.  The wedding is at two o'clock and goes off with out a hitch.  Shannon and Joel are husband and wife in less than an hour's time and every one heads to the reception hall which is beautifully decorated.  After all is said and done, the family decides to meet at a local bar/restaurant afterward to continue the party.  Unfortunately my Grandmother takes a spill off the median in the parking lot and spends the next four hours in the ER (side note: she is fine aside from some bumps and bruises and a split lip).  The Bride and Groom, of all people, end up driving her there because she refused an ambulance.  I must say, Joel (the groom) is a really good kid.  In the moments following Grandma's slip up he managed to grab napkins for the blood and draped sweaters over each of our shoulders to keep the chill off.  He's really too nice for our family. 

After sleeping off the excitement from the day before, we check out of the hotel and chillax at my Uncle's house until it's time to head to the train station for the return trip.  Our train is scheduled to leave at 5:00pm and arrive in Albany no later than 3:30pm Monday which happens to be my two year wedding anniversary.  Well, we end up delayed 4.5 hours in the Jacksonville train station due to a fatality on the tracks.  The girls keep occupied playing skip-bo and other assorted card games that they packed.  The train does not pull out of Jacksonville until 9:30pm.  Fortunately there were no creepy passengers keeping us awake for this leg of the trip.  Upon arriving in Penn Station I quickly exchange out our tickets since we've long since missed the connection we were scheduled for.  The only train they can get us on for the return trip to Albany is the 3:15pm, so we hustle to find our gate and are excited to be only 2.5 hours away from home.  However, between Hudson and the Albany station we are stopped again for 1.5 hours due to an "obstruction" on the tracks (lord help me if another body is found on the tracks...)  We don't arrive in Albany until 7:30pm and meet my husband for a less than romantic (although delicious) pizza dinner by 8:30pm. Justin surprised me with flowers which provided a nice ending to an otherwise miserable day of traveling.  I must say, it was nice to finally be home with my boys.

How was your Holiday weekend?  Do you have any horrible travel stories to share?  Misery loves company...

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