Where were we? Ah yes, a packed train filled with hungry, thirsty beasts. I was breathing easy because we’d been going for a while without incident. Oh, the cruel winds of fate. (Was that too dramatic?) We were in the Baltimore station when Amtrak announced that for one reason or another they couldn’t go all the way to Union Station but assured us they had buses waiting outside that were going to drive us the rest of the way. Still hanging with my airplane friends, we now looked at each other in complete and total disbelief. So close and yet still so far.
We briefly discussed renting a car, but decided we should just get on the bus and go with the flow. Fine, we were all resigned to it, except that by the time we stopped to buy water (and M&Ms) and got outside the buses were gone. Vamoose. Nowheresville. The buses had filled halfway up and taken off. I know it’s not the same as the Titanic, but I couldn’t help but think about all those passengers who watched half-full life boats paddling away. (Yes I know that was way too dramatic.)
So, my new buddies and I shifted gears again and agreed to share a cab to National Airport, our original destination when we set out that morning. There were about 5 cabs and about 50 people, so once again ugly behavior as people ran out to cabs and bribed them to get out of the line. We weren’t going to stoop to that level, so we did the next best thing, heckled and screamed at the people breaking the rules. I know they will always be haunted by the sound of my voice screaming that it wasn’t fair, because these are the kind of people who care deeply about what’s fair.
One of the cab drivers called all his buddies and told them to head over to Amtrak because business was brisk, and eventually they had enough cabs for all the nice people who waited in line and didn’t act like animals. I don’t judge, I’m just saying I’m vastly superior.
We held our breath knowing that anything could still happen between Baltimore and National, but we made it back with no further mishap. Sure, we exchanged email addresses and promised we would get together every year back at LaGuardia. We laughed, we cried, we hugged and finally went our separate ways.
As Dan and I headed home from the airport I started relaying the whole adventure, babbling away until I heard a thumpety whack thumpety kind of thing. Flat tire. This why my life most often resembles a bad sitcom; angst. Dan changed the tire while I stood there and asked him every couple of minutes why he wasn’t done yet.
We made it the remaining 3 miles with no incident whatsoever. Oh, by the way, what was I rushing home to do? Get on a plane and go on vacation.