Lauren, her parents, and I headed out to Albany around quarter of 10. Dark clouds gathered even as we left. We actually had several snow squalls as we passed through lovely small towns in Massachusetts and upstate New York. After Mr. and Mrs. Miller stopped at a Rite Aid just outside of Albany to buy something, we headed on to the Albany train station.
The train station at Albany is small but beautiful, all blond wood and dramatic high ceilings. It's also the most recent of the train stations I visit on these trips, apparently having been built in 2002. We all sat in the waiting area, watching Face the Nation and a travel show on CBS, until my train arrived.
This time, there was no trouble on the Albany-New York train. It was flurrying again when I got on the train, but that ended even before we rolled out of the station. Despite the conductor continually claiming the train was full, the car I was in wasn't that busy, and I had no problems getting a seat to myself. I took many photos of the gorgeous view of a partly cloudy sky over green and rust mountains and steel-gray water going back.
New York was, once again, more of a problem. It was the train to Philadelphia that was late, with long lines. We rolled out of the station fifteen minutes after we were supposed to. (Not bad, considering some south-bound trains had delays of anywhere from five minutes to an hour or more.) It didn't help that a hockey game must have just ended at Madison Square Garden over the station shortly after I arrived. We were overwhelmed with a wave of hockey fans in Rangers jerseys.
This train was so busy, I just barely grabbed the last seat in the car. That had it's own kind of romance. I was in the very front of the car with the baggage that either didn't fit in the overhead compartments, or people didn't have time to shove them in. I felt like I was riding a baggage car in the 30's.
When the train finally did roll into the 30th Street Station around ten of 6, I went right to a busy Cosi's for dinner. They're a fancy coffee shop/cafe ala Au Bon Pain and Starbucks. I had water, so I didn't bother with warm drinks. I bought half of a mozzarella, tomato, and basil pizza and a cup of tomato-basil soup. Yum. The pizza was nice and thick and saucy. The soup was delicious, creamy and chunky and a little spicy but not bad.
On my way out of Cosi's, I mis-stepped and turned my ankle. While it hurt, I didn't hear anything crack. I think it's just a little twisted. I spent the next half-hour sitting at a wooden bench, waiting for the departure gate to show up on the old-fashioned flapping board.
Though the NJ Transit train was relatively full for 7 at night, once again, I had no problems getting a seat. Dad picked me up in Cherry Hill. (I doubt anyone would drive into Philly at 7 at night and get me.) I finally got home around quarter of 8.
As soon as I got in, I put everything away. I put any toiletries or items I used purely for traveling in my small overnight case and pushed that under my bed. All of the laundry - including new clothes - went in the laundry basket. I'll do that tomorrow.
Oh, and I called the Acme when I got in to ask when I'm scheduled. I work tomorrow from 3 to 8. I'm actually glad I work later. It'll give me the chance to get the laundry done and call Charlie or his parents. The heater is broken again. It's freezing in here! It was barely in the 50's when I came into the apartment. I'm shivering in my robe and nightgown here.