travel, ups and downs

And home again

We get in to JFK late in the evening. Observations:

There are no restrooms until after you clear customs and baggage claim. If you leave the area, you can’t get back in. So you must wait for customs and baggage (Have you ever waited for your bags? Yeah, not always a fast process) before you can pee post-flight. This is asinine. I hope they make the person who made that decision mop up pee on a regular basis. But I bet some other person pays the price – along with all of the passengers of course.

Also – when you do find a restroom after you get out, at the end of the hall, it’s tiny. Tiny room, tiny stalls. Like it’s not at an airport where everyone has luggage.

Bad planning irks me.

But of course, post restroom I’m slightly less grumpy. Lol. Still a bit cranky, but that’s just because I’ve been up for 20 hours and to me it’s after 3am. I didn’t sleep on the flight.

We decide to go straight to S’ place rather than the car. We could get to her place on the cheap, but it will take time and hassle. Lyft is much quicker and since we are off-time and tired, we make that the priority.

A little more than an hour later we are pulling into her place. Showers to wash off airport. PJs, beds. Sleep.

###

In the morning I get my train ticket changed so I don’t have to arrive into Baltimore at night. And so no one has to come get me in Baltimore at night. And so I don’t lose a whole day sitting around when there’s so much I could be doing at home.

Bonus win for being able to use the credit voucher I probably would have otherwise eaten, for the train ticket I didn’t use when my outbound flights all changed.*

We Lyft back to S’ car (getting it last night would have added 45 minutes of driving plus parking time neither of us could remotely envision at the time).

En route we watch the sun rise over New York City and the Statue of Liberty.

Beautiful. Stunningly beautiful.

She drops me at Newark airport (hugs goodbye – we’ll travel again soon!) so I can catch the AirTrain to the RailLink to Amtrak.

In all the years this used to be my “home” airport, I never had to do the AirTrain here. It’s an odd little adventure.

But with plenty of time to spare I’m at my track. Enough time to sort out issues with Hilton about my missed stay in Lisbon. (And as usual, they are delightfully helpful.)**

#GreatCustomerService @HiltonHHonors

Time to catch up on News a bit, and to listen to birdsong (as a bird has made its way into the tiny glass box that is the waiting area).

###

2.5 hours on the train, uneventful.

And then there’s the local station.

There’s Dad waiting for me.

There’s a brief drive.

And there’s home.

###

*Amtrak didn’t actually apply the voucher (although I entered it) and I didn’t realize it until I checked my cc app post travel. So that presented a new hassle to try to sort out. So far, not resolved. Just a lot of arguments, and an attitude that clearly says not-their-problem.

** Hilton and I had a small disagreement later about resolution, but they worked with me to sort it. Much appreciated to find one company in this return journey of travel fiascos actually treating customers as if they are valued. Thank you again, Hilton.

And as this posts it’s Feb 2: Happy birthday Vin!

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