Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Racing for the Train

On Tuesday I was scheduled to ride the train to Peoria so that I could launch my Arbonne business there, and I had carefully packed and gotten everything ready the day before. My train was scheduled to arrive in KC Union Station at 7:45 am, so I told Ken to be home from work by 7am so we could leave and get to the station by 7:30am.

The day of, I am feeling so excited and ready to go, and then Ken calls and says he is stuck in traffic and will be a bit late, so be ready to walk out the door when he pulls the van it. No problem, we still have time for cushion.

He comes home, we load up quickly and head out, but immediately we see that the late start has put us in the middle of the morning rush hour traffic, and Ken is tense. I'm not tense, because I have planned in my 15 min. cushion of time.

I try to talk to Ken about stuff since I won't see him for a week, but he is all tense still and not in the mood to talk. He says to me 'we are already late, I'm not in the mood to talk'. I decide then to call Amtrak's automated service to check and see if the train is even running on time, which it frequently isn't. I figure if its a bit late, that might ease Ken's mind.

I call the number and go through all the steps, and it says, 'Train number 4 to Galesburg, IL is running on time and is scheduled to arrive at 7:26am.' I feel sick to my stomach and glance at the clock. It's already 7:28am, and we are still 5 min. from the station.

I tell Ken I feel ill and he says brightly, 'whats the status' I say, 'its running on time and is due to arrive at 7:26am, I must have gotten the time wrong on my schedule at home.'

Then the pressure is on, we speed on in hopes of catching it still at the station and zoom into the Union Station parking lot, me in the back seat with my ID ready and Kinsey unbuckled and in my lap, strapping her into the sling on the front of my body.

As soon as he pulls to a stop, I jump out and run through Union Station to the Amtrak section and I hear the Conductor call out 'last call for Southwest Chief, train number 4 to Chicago' I run up, 'I need to be on that train, but I don't have my ticket yet.'

The Conductor looks at the Amtrak counter and says, 'it's closed' and I ask when it opens, and he says he doesn't know. I say I need to be on the train, and I tell him I have my confirmation number I just need a printed ticket, what can I do. He asks if I have already paid, and I said yes, online.

He says, 'well go then, and get on the train.' I say, 'I have to wait for my husband to bring my bags from the car.' He says, 'You have 9 minutes to get on the train before it leaves.' I see Ken racing toward me, and I get my bags and turn to run down the long walkway, but the Conductor calls me back and says, 'have your husband carry the bags'. I say, 'he isn't riding the train' he says so what he can help you down there. (I have taken the train several times and they never let Ken help me.)

So together we race down the walkway and down the steps and down the length of the train, but don't see anyone around to help us load or find a seat, so I just climb in an open door, and Ken comes on too and brings my ginormous bag on and we kiss and he is gone.

Then a woman Amtrak employee comes down the stairs and says, 'did you just get on' I say 'yes, I didn't know where to get on, so I just picked this car' She then tells me this car is full and there isn't even any room for my bags. My face falls and she tells me she will leave my bag hear, by the door and take me to the next car to find a seat.

She then finds me two empty seats and I collapse into them with Kinsey still strapped on the front of me. Another Amtrak man comes by to find out where I'm going to write it on my seat and I tell him and then he leaves. (that is always the point that they ask to see your ticket, but this time they didn't, and I didn't have it) I sit back amazed and proceed to unwrap Kinsey. She looks out the window, I relax and then she spits up on me.

Too much running and bouncing I guess for her, but that was the end of the drama for that trip, so thank you Lord!

the end.

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