Saturday, September 26, 2015

Day One: Trains, Cowboy Poets. and More Trains

Our nine-thousand mile journey began with a 20-minute drive to catch the 4:40PM Plymouth and Brockton bus to South Station. We enjoyed the one hour and fifty minute ride aboard one of P&B's newer buses featuring spacious seats, a large restroom, and wi-fi. The time passed quickly.

We managed our luggage easily, rolling from the bus terminal to Amtrak's Club Acela in South Station in five minutes. This was our first time in Boston's Club Acela. I was surprised to look through the door and see a flight of stairs leading up to Reception.

As soon as we were buzzed in, the receptionist kindly offered to help us carry our bags up the stairs. I accepted, having lugged my first one up already. John managed his easily. I saw an elevator door to the left at the top of the stairs, but I have no idea where the entrance to it was downstairs. It was not visible from inside or outside the entrance. I guessed it must be in an area reserved for Red Caps.

The receptionist apologized for the loud sound of vacuum cleaners. "Sorry for the noise. They're cleaning." I said we didn't mind.

Photo: Large suitcase and duffle for me this trip. Three weeks on the road with nearly two of them on trains means a few extra comfort items.

Photo: Boston Amtrak's Club Acela Reception Area

Photo: Boston Club Acela's Snack Area featuring Sara Lee Danish (cheese or cinnamon), Sara Lee Pound Cake, and Pepperidge Farm Goldfish snacks

Photo: Behind Reception, the Beverage Area with coffee, tea, juices, and water available

Photo: A view along one side of Club Acela's lower level seating area

Photo: Restrooms at the back right on the lower level of the club

Photo: Convenient public-access computers

Photo: High-volume printers available

Photo: Upper-level seating area was being cleaned

Photo: Our choice of table and chairs on the lower level

I went to the Amtrak Ticket Office next door to Club Acela, then stopped at one of the vendors in the food court to buy salads for dinner. We would dine in quiet comfort inside the club. I thought.

But, the cleaning continued. From 6:30PM when we arrived through 9:00PM when I found a Red Cap to get us out of there, the cleaners vacuumed, sprayed, wiped, waxed, and polished every inch of the upper level seating area. I couldn't imagine how such a small area could take so long to clean. The Red Cap wondered aloud how we could stand the noise and smell of it all. "I guess we thought it would be over soon. But it wasn't."

The Red Cap said the cleaners had started the job last weekend and were supposed to finish it then, but didn't. They needed the second weekend to clean "the other side." Seriously? I thought. We must have happened into an annual event. The club is not that big. Anyway, John and I, and the Red Cap, were glad to leave. No-one else was crazy enough to come into the club tonight. Even the receptionist left as often as possible. [I can still smell floor wax two hours later.]

Photo: Stairs leading out of Club Acela into the station

Photo: The Northeast Regional #65 on Track #8. Last train out. Departs Boston's South Station at 9:30PM: arrives New York's Penn Station at 2:15AM.

Photo: Business Class had so few passengers tonight we got our pick of seats - two each. And we could have played Goldilocks.

Photo: Who is that cowboy?

1 comment:

  1. Well I can you are both in character -- can't wait to hear the rest of the story!