My train was scheduled to leave for Maryland from Penn Station at 11:30 Tuvia and I left just before 10 from Paramus allowing lots of time for traffic slowdowns and potential problems and we did slow down on Route 4 and again on the West Side Highway but never for long. At 10:30 I was off, out of the car after a kiss and hug and wave, rolling my tomato-colored suitcase in my left hand, camera case slung over my left shoulder and computer bag over my right with my ticket print outs in hand.
I was prepared to look and feel confident and collected as I entered the dark bowels of Penn Station. I joined the NYC race to a familiar destination. Freed from the long manual ticket line, I headed for one of many self ticketing machines, slid my credit card through and my tickets were printing instantly. I was feeling cool, comfortable. I had my lunch with me, all I needed was a coffee and water for the ride and after a quick stop at Nader’s Coffee, I was ready to join the Amtrak crowd focused on the big board in the center of their space.
I scanned the board for #148 listed at the bottom of the first column. Still 45 minutes to wait. No way I could stand comfortably for at least half an hour. I scanned the area and found my spot where I could camp out leaning against a clean pole. All good. Now what? I couldn’t focus yet on reading or snacking so I grabbed for my camera and caught a shot of shoes and bags and bags… lots of shoes and bags. Of course.
We were all waiting to hear our call, to gather at our gate and push gently to secure a spot on our trains. I had my hopes set on a seat in the Quiet Car next to a window with a plug for my computer and another for my iPad.
I couldn’t wait to get ready for my Maryland visit.