The Perils of Travel

This past weekend, I took a trip up to New Jersey to see my good bloggy friends Val, and then Jules.  Opting not to drive, I booked a ticket on Amtrak, so that I wouldn’t have to deal with traffic and could just sit back, read a book, and arrive in about two and a half hours.  Easy peasy, lemon squeezey!

Yeah, or so I thought.  See, here’s the thing about me . . . I am a disaster when it comes to traveling by myself.  Traveling with my hubs and kids?  Cake.  Me on my own . . . tragic.  Lest you think I’m being melodramatic, let’s review . . .

Trip to Ocean City, MD, last year to meet my hubs and kids, who were already down there:

I left work a bit early to try to miss some traffic.  However, it is raining and a Friday evening . . . so, before I go 2 miles, I hit a ton of traffic.  Uh oh.  Then, once I start to move a bit, and obviously get overconfident that I might make up a bit of time . . . dead stopped cars.  I discover that there is a huge accident on the upcoming bridge, halting all movement for about 15 miles.  15 miles!  Of completely stopped traffic, just sitting in the rain.  So, yeah . . .all by myself, sitting in the car, inching along little by little, for hours.  Not a great trip. It took me almost 5 hours to make a 2 and a half hour trip.

Trip to NYC for Blogger, summer of 2012:

Flight to NYC, due to arrive at around 10:00 pm, stopover in Philly.  I blogged about this here, but short story is that there was a massive storm, halting all flights out of Philly, so I was stranded there for hours, until I wrangled my way onto a flight at around midnight.  Then, when I finally arrived in NYC around 1:30 in the morning, I find that the room I had booked many months ago, and confirmed the week prior, was not available.  And on the return trip . . . the flight out of NYC was delayed, causing me to miss my flight out of (you guessed it) Philly, and have an extra hour and a half to wait for the next available flight.

Which brings us to this past weekend . . . and a train ride:

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Here it comes . . .

I made sure I was plenty early for my 10:47 am train.  In fact, I arrived so early, I sat in my car for 20 minutes before I ventured down to the tracks.  As I stood on the platform, waiting for the train that was due to arrive in about 5 minutes, an announcement informed me that the train was running about 10 minutes late.  It was cold and windy on that platform.  But I stood there.  And waited.

The train finally arrived, and I moved to get on.  As the door opened, I realized that there was quite a gap between the platform and the train, probably a good foot and a half, and I was mentally trying to figure out how my rolling bag would make it over such a gap.  Then, I stepped onto the train, and my foot hit wet metal and started sliding.  You know how they say your life is supposed to flash before your eyes when something happens?  Well, what was flashing in front of my eyes was the huge crevice below me as my ass started falling towards the tracks.  I will attest to that whole slow motion thing, though.  As I reached out to attempt to grab onto something, anything, to stop my rapid decent, I found that there was nothing in arms reach to gain purchase upon, and I continued falling down, down, down.  Somehow, I landed in such a way that most of me stayed on the train landing.  When my fall finally came to a stop, I was lucky to only be looking down at the tracks, and not broken and bent, down below the train, as I had feared and imagined while falling.  But, I was fine.  A bit bruised from crashing to the metal landing, and having my shin hit the edge of the train, apparently, but fine.  Although, my heart was beating a bit more rapidly than a few minutes prior, that’s for sure.

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Sweet bruise.

As the journey began, I settled into my seat and tried to forget about the near death experience I had just encountered.  Everything was going smoothly . . . until we arrived in Philly.  As passengers got onto the train, a lady sat across the aisle from me and began unwrapping the most fragrant and delicious smelling cheese steak I’d ever encountered.  Having yet to eat that day, it was intoxicating.  Then, just as a little bit of drool started pooling atop the book I was reading . . . it all went dark.  Total power failure and we were underneath large concrete overpasses, so it was very dark.  So, we sat there.  In the dark.  With no idea what was happening.

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This is when the zombies would attack . . .

It was the longest time until I finally figured out what was happening.  Luckily, cheese steak lady was an Amtrak employee, so a guy came onto the train and started chatting with her about what was going on.  Otherwise, I would have been cluelessly left sitting in the dark.  Apparently, they had to change engines.  Oh that.  Sure, of course.  Uh huh.  Wait . . . what???  Yes, they were changing the engine.  I guess it was lucky that our engine died while we were stopped at a station, at least.  Crazy.  Oh, did I mention this was in my old friend, Philly?  Yeah, I’ve never actually been to Philly, but strangely, I’ve spent quite a bit of time in transportation stops in that place.  That’s how Philly and I roll.

So, eventually they got the new engine and the lights and power were once again functioning.  And we were off . . . merely an hour late.

Let there be light!

Let there be light!

Eventually, I made it to my destination.  And was met with Val and beer!  You know, because she knows me.  She was my chauffeur for the day, so she drove us to the hotel I was staying in that evening.  When I arrived, everything in the lobby was roped off with yellow tape and there were signs asking us to “Excuse our dust” as they were renovating.  Ok, no problem.  I wasn’t planning to camp out in the lobby anyway.  After I was given my room key, we went over to the elevators and were greeting by a gaping maw, all covered up with cardboard and hanging movers’ rugs.  Hmmm, that’s strange.

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Then, we arrive at my room.  And just before I open the door, I hear this very loud humming sound.  Once I opened the door, I was greeted by one of those huge rug drying machines on full blast, sitting in the middle of the floor, along with the window AC blasting air on high.  Nope, no thank you.  New room, please.  So, we trudge all the way back downstairs, assuming that the elevator and room were both part of some murder spree and clean up effort that recently occurred. The front desk guy tried to cover up by saying it was a “broken pipe on the 5th floor,” but Val and I knew better.  The next room was right across the hall, and while there was no blood stains or drying machine, it did have a funky smell.  Then, as we were in there a few minutes, we started to hear these banging sounds that sounded like they were coming from the bathroom.  There was nobody in the bathroom, so we figured that it was probably ghosts.  Upon further inspection, though, I did find this in the bathroom on the soap ledge in the shower:

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Such a classy joint.  Luckily, we had beer and a fun night out planned to distract us from the murder/pube hotel.  Which I will tell you all about in an upcoming post.  So, stay tuned for tales of the Jersey shenanigans that ensued later that day.  Cheers!

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32 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Hippie Cahier
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 08:51:48

    Whenever one of those bridges to OC backs up, a commuting non-hippie gently weeps.

    I know you eventually had fun because I saw photographic evidence on Facebook.

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Jan 30, 2014 @ 13:05:06

      Ugh. Do you have to deal with that daily? That bridge is no bueno.

      I did have fun! So much. Eventually. Once Philly released me from its steely grasp.

      Reply

      • Hippie Cahier
        Jan 30, 2014 @ 13:07:36

        I have friends who live in an adorable storybook cottage on the east side of the Severn River bridge who are trying to sell it because that short bridge can add an hour or more to the commute. It’s hard to sell on that side of the bridge because anyone commuting to DC knows it. #annapolitanproblems

        Reply

  2. Valerie
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 08:52:33

    Ahhhhhh… The illusive NJ pube in its natural environment.

    Hugs!!

    Valerie

    Reply

  3. Go Jules Go
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 09:04:11

    Oy, that bruise! On the upside, I see no winter boot damage on those gorgeous freshly painted toes.

    You better have gotten a refund from the hotel, or? Fugheddaboutit!! Who do I got to pay a visit to?

    So glad you stuck it out; can’t wait to read Part 2! ;)

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Jan 30, 2014 @ 13:07:20

      Trick photography. Those toes are all messed up, believe me.

      I have made attempts to get a refund. Still waiting to see if they will. It’s not looking good. :(

      Reply

  4. Cheryl S.
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 09:49:23

    Send that picture in an e-mail to the hotel management. I guarantee they comp the room! Although, I’ll take a random pube I can wash down the drain over the mildew room, anyday!

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Jan 30, 2014 @ 13:08:42

      I told them all about it. The hotel company that is. It’s the ACTUAL hotel, and not the hotel company, that has to issue the refund, though. So far, I have not heard back from them.

      Reply

  5. JudahFirst
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 10:29:59

    Remind me NEVER to travel anywhere near Philly with you! ;) One day I’ll have to blog my 1st 24-hrs. in Hawaii…

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Jan 30, 2014 @ 13:10:19

      Actually, when I have a traveling companion, Philly doesn’t mess with me at all! Traveled by train up to NYC over the holidays with the hubs and kids and it was seamless both ways.

      First 24 hours in Hawaii sounds promising . . . and warm!

      Reply

      • JudahFirst
        Jan 30, 2014 @ 13:13:08

        That’s the hubs and kids … this is ME we’re talking about! I have my own travel foibles, you know. The two of us together might prove more deadly than an eruption of Mt. St. Helens!

        Reply

  6. Fresh Ginger
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 11:26:16

    Ouch. That’s a decent looking bruise. I hope the rest of your adventures don’t include injury.

    OH–and what is it with you east coast bloggy peeps? Or, let me rephrase, where are my WEST COAST BLOGGY PEEPS? I want a blog-meet up. :( I’m so completely jealous of how easy it is for you gals to just hang out on a weekend. Geesh.

    I noticed that Blogher is in San Jose this year. Anyone going?

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Jan 30, 2014 @ 13:12:42

      No more injuries, but once that sucker started to really purple it was quite a thing of beauty.

      Yeah, there are quite a few of us packed in this area, no? I think there are plenty on the West coast, you’ve just gotta find them! And no, no San Jose for me this year. I’m probably done with the whole BlogHer experience, honestly. Unless it’s someplace super mega awesome next year and all of my bloggy peeps are going, then I might reconsider. Sorry. :(

      Reply

  7. bluzdude
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 12:41:01

    Normally, you have to pay extra for “house pubes.”

    Reply

  8. icescreammama
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 12:59:08

    Wow. It seems crazy road trips and Jules were a big thing this past weekend.

    Reply

  9. PinotNinja
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 15:03:26

    Who knew Philly was such a tempestuous bitch? I’ll definitely have to steer clear of her.

    And, at least you got to observe the local NJ wildlife in its natural habitat? If you played your cards right, maybe you also got to spot a slick of aerosol hair spray and a herd of tanning beds.

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Jan 30, 2014 @ 13:15:49

      My theory is that she is actually trying to trap me in her city because she wants me to visit. I’ve never actually been. I plan to rectify that soon. Hopefully she’ll let me leave.

      No tanning beds or big hair!! I feel so deprived.

      Reply

  10. JM Randolph
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 18:15:09

    The gap. That shit is terrifying.

    Reply

  11. Andrea @ Maybe It's Just Me
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 20:35:38

    You are an overachiever in the mishap department! Ouch, ugh and ew!

    Reply

  12. Trackback: Shenanigans with Val: A Fist Pumping Time on the Jersey Shore | Misty's Laws
  13. Nicole
    Jan 23, 2014 @ 11:02:50

    Yuck. Dirty hotel rooms are possibly one of THE worst things. I once found toenail clippings behind the bathroom door in one hotel.

    Reply

  14. Valentine Logar
    Jan 24, 2014 @ 09:35:51

    Ouch, that bruise. Was there no one there to help? No gentleman to assist? What is up with train travel these days?

    Love the beer! Not a beer drinker myself given more to Gin, but even I might have tried that.

    As to the pube….oh hell no.

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Jan 30, 2014 @ 13:18:41

      The weird thing is that there was NOBODY there. So, while I didn’t have anyone to grab me as I plummeted to certain death, I also didn’t have anyone that got to see my gracefulness. It’s a toss up, I guess.

      Yeah, you can’t NOT try Sweet Baby Jesus beer! ;)

      Reply

  15. Trackback: What a Big Pickle You Have | Misty's Laws

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