Two weeks ago, I was traveling by train to Washington, DC. Windsor Locks, a.k.a. my home base, is only the second stop on the train that originates in Springfield, MA and the café car isn’t always in operation when I board. I’m not sure why, maybe the coffee hasn’t finished brewing or the cream cheese is still hard as a rock. In any case, a few minutes after we started rolling toward Hartford, I heard the announcement expressed in the title. If you follow this blog, you know how much l prefer trains over air travel and next to “All aboard” this is the thing I like hearing the most.
Travel is full of statements and snippets of information that greatly reduce whatever stress level I may have raised too. In addition to the two listed above, I also love hearing the following:
“You’re all set” – That seems to be a kinda-sorta standard answer with the TSA folks at BDL where I begin most air travel. I love hearing that, even though I am still waiting in line with arguably the worst part of the process standing in front of me. The shoe-belt-laptop-phone-change-watch-and-liquid removing step that comes next doesn’t bother me as much as waiting in line for the guy or gal to check my boarding pass and ID. Even the scan, with its privacy-invading capabilities doesn’t bother me – move along, nothing to see here – just let me get to my gate.
“We are next in line for take-off” – Sweet! Air travel is series of teasing moments. First, you are called to board, only to find yourself standing in line in the Jetway. I have been stuck in Jetways long enough to create the place on Foursqure (back before they ruined that social media service). I was even the mayor of a Jetway at BDL. Of course, exiting the Jetway puts you in a more cramped slower moving line inside the plane because we board by status not by row. And, once seated, stowed, buckled with seat and tray-table up, cell phone off, instructions listened to and puke-bag located, you wait. Sometimes you wait at the gate. Sometimes you roll for a while and wait or roll for a while and wait some more. “Next in line for take-off” means that it’s almost time to use the hashtag #upInTheAir.
“…and I have a room ready for you” – I don’t care if it’s on the umpteenth floor with a view of the building next door, my room is ready! That means I don’t have to do the hang in the lobby thing or sit at the bar with my luggage. Of course, that’s when I’m traveling alone, which I usually do. If I’m traveling with someone, waiting for a room / better room is ok…unless the person is my friend (let’s call him John).
Once, while traveling with John, we were told at the desk that they were upgrading us to rooms on the concierge level with a river view and several nice amenities but that they wouldn’t be ready for 45 min. I started to say “we’ll wait in the bar” cuz when you have two people; waiting in the bar is easy duty. My buddy interrupted with “we’ll take whatever you have available now” – rooms without a view of the river, and a room (mine) without a fully functional toilet. It worked, but I had to hold the lever down – the – entire – time. I thought of John each time I peed.
“We have a nice room with an ocean view” – This doesn’t usually happen to me, but it happened the year I took my daughter with me to our Annual Meeting. The downside of the ocean view rooms is that the cellular signal is weak. But, watching the sunrise over the ocean is a pretty cool thing.
“I have a Dodge Nitro…” – Actually, I don’t care so much about the brand / model, but the time that I got a Dodge Nitro, the two people in line behind me ended up not getting a car. In a Seinfeld-inspired moment, they had all of our reservations, but they only had one car.
“Yes, you can eat at the bar” – Because I really like to do that when I’m traveling solo. I’ve already explained the whole eating-at-a-bar thing, so I won’t repeat it here. If you’re interested you can read about that here.
“This train/flight has WiFi” – Of course, this is even better on the train where it’s free as opposed to the we-make-so-much-money-from-fees model that the airlines use. Thanks AMTRAK!
“Use of cellular phones is prohibited” – This may not last but I love hearing it. I am not looking forward to being stuck in front of / next to / behind some loud-mouthed town crier who feels the need to call everybody he/she knows and tell them the – exact – same – story.
“An upgrade is available” – This doesn’t happen to me often but when it does, I feel like one of the pretty people. This did happen on our honeymoon. That’s a different story but it had a very happy ending.
“Go Buccos / Go Steelers” – I am often wearing team gear when I travel and these two teams are as likely to draw a comment as the home team in almost any city.