Amtrak Failed Us: An Overnight Trip Gone Bad
I got a tale to tell about my how Amtrak failed us!
I had to travel to DC this past weekend to speak at the Blogging While Brown Conference. What had happened was: Me and my homette Patrice (aka Afrobella) decided to travel to Washington DC from Chicago on Amtrak. Our logic was that we’ve never traveled such a long distance on the train, and it’d afford us the chance to see the country. So we searched on the website and VOILA! Got our tickets.
Below is a conversation that occurred on GChat last week, after Afrobella’s Hubby Steve started asking questions. Like 2 days before our trip.
Afrobella: So Steve made a valid point by asking me: “Do you know what station your train leaves from?” ** crickets ** Do you guys have like, a bed?” ** more crickets **
Luvvie: LMAOOO umm… O___O
Luvvie: our train leaves from union station. I know THAT.
Afrobella: yes I just saw that LOL
Afrobella: A roomette. We should ask about one of those ASAP. *goes to Amtrak site* “We suggest that you plan ahead and reserve your preferred sleeping accommodations early.”. SHOOT
Luvvie: F our lives LMAO
Afrobella: We gon be on a bench with a blanket LOLLL
Afrobella: SUPER trifling. I can’t believe we didn’t even think about it
Luvvie: RIGHT!! We are dumb. Something tells me this is gon be a comical weekend. Tell Steve “HE AINT SMART CUZ HE KNOWS STUFF AND ASKS GOOD QUESTIONS!” shoo… lololol
Afrobella: I’m gonna see if there’s a 24 hr phone line
Luvvie: ok cool
Afrobella: on the phone holding 4 amtrak now
Afrobella: Amtrak says all the rooms are sold out. “bring your own pillows and blankets”. WALLSLIDE
Luvvie: *cackles.* I’m CRACKING up
Afrobella: I’m tweeting our epic fail. May as well teach others from our foolish ways. Steve is clowning me SO HARD.
Afrobella: “so Luvvie just said let’s buy train tickets! and you were like yay! what train are you on? * clicky *” ROFL
Luvvie: That ain’t even how it went! lol
Afrobella: tears are rolling down my face. OMG I so can’t tell my mom about this
Seems we were already destined for a FAIL.
When me and Patrice set out to take this train trip at 4pm on Thursday, we were super excited for what was to come. Oh the adventure. Oh the beautiful scenery. Oh fun!!! Armed with our suitcases, 2 duffel bags worth of food and snacks, our laptops and mad enthusiasm, we boarded our Amtrak train in Chicago’s Union Station. We did a jig when we sat down and saw that we had electrical outlets. Awwww snap! We can charge our gadgets! We were very much geeked by this. We settled in and I busted out the bowl of rice I had brought. Within 10 minutes, I was done and itis kicked in. Before I knew it, I was passed out! For the 1st 2 hrs of our trip, I was in a fantastic doze.
I woke up. We ate more snacks. We talked. We tweeted (well I tweeted since Afrobella’s HTC touch phone was being a hater and didn’t let her. #VivaLaBlackberry). We went through dead zones for an hour or two at a time while we rode through the boonies but we didn’t care. All was still well.
We even decided to do our nails, although it was nighttime then. The train was pretty dim too. We somehow did it, although mine came out looking SUPER sloppy. I twitpiced it and my girl @Lurrelle replied with “O_O Stevie coulda painted your nails better while joggin on a treadmill… #judgingyou #sorry lol.” She’s so RUDE. LOL
Anyway, we got our blankets and went to sleep in our seats, propping up the foot rests. We woke up in the morning as we were in the West Virginia mountains. We even talked to some of our neighbors. Turns out one of them is an artist and he put on an impromptu art show, bringing out some of his pieces. Folks crowded around him as he showed some of this sketches. I was so impressed. I even bought one of the prints of his pencil sketches. It was THAT dope.
Then came the incident with the woman who cussed out the conductors for giving away her seat while she got off the train to smoke at a stop. When she said “Don’t make me turn this mother out” and took off her earrings, iCackled on the inside (It surely wasn’t gonna be on the outside. I can’t get beat up on nobody’s train). Afrobella and I watched in complete amusement.
This is the vidjo I recorded while on there, 24 hours into the trip. I look real rough. Y’all must not judge me. Kthx.
But THIS is where our love affair with Amtrak ended. We were supposed to get to DC at 4:30pm. At 4:30, we were still not even close. What made matters worse was that we had an event on the rooftop of the W to attend from 6:30 – 8:30.
*sigh* Long story short, we didn’t ARRIVE in DC until 8pm. MotherWHAT, Amtrak?!? 3.5 hours late? GAHTDAMB! We were hungry, tah’d and mad as hell that we had missed the event. All because of this. Our love story with Amtrak was over then.
Then came the part that killed the experience for me. Heading back, Afrobella and I were separated because she was assigned Lower Level seats and I was in regular coach. Little did we know that this didn’t mean the same thing. We get to the train and were separated. You mean to tell me that I have to travel ALL THESE HOURS without my friend next to me? You mean I have to sit (and sleep) by someone totally random??? But… but… *WALL SLIDE*. I wanted to cry! We were so pitiful. I felt like Celie when Mista stoned Nettie until she ran away.
Anywho, to make matters worse, I get to my seat and see that I will be sharing my trip with an older Ghanaian lady who’s already proving to be difficult because she’s insisting on the aisle seat. I don’t argue with her because I actually prefer the window. Then I looked down and notice there’s no eletrical outlet. F MY LIFE! You mean to tell me that I can’t even keep myself entertained with my gadgets because there’s no where to charge them? I just wanted to do a *chair slide* unto that floor. But it was Amtrak. The only slides I could do were internal.
This was going to be a miserable trip back to Chicago. Anywho, I put my bags down and go downstairs to visit Afrobella in her seat and she’s in a little compartment with like 14 seats. And no one’s sitting next to her. So I’m like “well maybe I can move.” We ask the conductors and they shot down our hopes and dreams. I wanted to cry. My thug was halfway on the floor.
Well, I go back up all dejected and pout in my seat silently. BLAH! Me and Afrobella go browsing the rest of the train later on. We end up finding a lounge car, sit and talk for a couple of hours. When I returned to my seat, the lady sitting next to me was using my blanket. She saw me coming and went “Thank you.” HEFFA, that IMPLIED I gave you permission to begin with! iCAN’T!!! UGH!!! I wanted to cuss.
Then to add insult to injury, it was colder than a witch’s heart in that jurnt. It was just a mess. I couldn’t wait to get back home. I’m DONE with Amtrak. I’ma stick to what I know and FLY next time. I think they killed my spirit of adventure. Just FAIL, Amtrak. FAIL!
I hate your stinking guts. You make me vomit. You’re scum between my toes!
P.S. My recap of the Blogging While Brown Conference is coming sometime this week too. It was SUPER DOPE though.
Edit: Afrobella just put up her recap. Getchu a piece HERE.