NOTE: This post was originally written on Thursday night:
I had a so-so travel day today. I finally remembered the absentee voter forms and dropped them by my boss’ office at work before going to the train station. Catching the train out of Burke Centre instead of Union Station was a first for me and something of an adventure. My fellow passengers were a young girl (maybe somewhere between senior in high school and sophomore in college), who bought her ticket by phone last night and didn’t have a paper copy and a family of three who were Asian and spoke very little English, who hadn’t bought their tickets yet. I’d bought mine a month ago and it was mailed to me. As we stood there waiting, a family came up to the platform with a dog on leash and two children carrying walking sticks twice their heights. They were there to “watch” the train, not ride it, but were nowhere to be found when the train actually arrived.
It was neat leaving from there, once the ticket situation got sorted for my companions, because it passed right by my house. I didn’t realize we were so close and actually past my house (hard to see through the trees) until I saw the Interstate building which is right down the street from my development.
I spent about half of the train ride writing my speech for the convention (it’s a little over 3 pages long and runs about 7-10 minutes, depending on how fast I talk) and texting some of my fellow committee members to ask them details so I wouldn’t get those wrong in the presentation (thanks, girls!). I even ended up needing my mother to raid my bookcase to look up the title and author of a book I mention in the presentation.
I kept falling asleep while rehearsing/timing the speech so I went to sleep for about 40 minutes. Then I practiced a few more times before opening up a Xanthe story. That’s right. Apparently it wouldn’t be a train ride without me slipping back into desperate NCIS fanfic-reading mode. I swear, I’ve been away from the DVDs for less than a day and already had a craving. It’s especially bad because I’ve read just about all of Xanthe’s stories. I think I’m halfway through the only one I have yet to read now. I’m in trouble for the train ride home!
I love taking the train. I love seeing the sights without having to worry about stopping for gas or navigating or getting sleepy or getting lost. The only drawback is passing by handfuls of historical markers and not being able to take photos of them. But I took a lot of mental snapshots. Some day I want to go sit in a train station and just people watch. There was an old, white-haired couple reuniting on the platform, a dude with a huge cloth bag and carrying four skateboards, a pair of girls of different heights/ages wearing matching sundresses, etc. My favorite sight was definitely in Connecticut. I was looking out at the water and the sea of yachts tied up there. We passed a stretch of vegetation and then a little inlet where a father and his two sons were in the middle of the body of water in a rowboat. All three of them were turned to the train with their arms raised high in the air, waving enthusiastically at us. I waved back but possibly too late for them to see. That image totally made my day, though.
What didn’t make my day was food. My seatmate fell asleep and I didn’t have the Gryffindor guts or Slytherin selfishness to wake him. I had eaten a Luna bar earlier but around 3 I got incredibly hungry. Unfortunately, they closed the café car a little before 3 because we were heading into New York. So I didn’t get food until around 4pm. I wanted a cheese pizza, because I’d had one before and for some reason I’ve been craving pizza for the past week. But they were out of pizza. And out of Gatorade. And out of the vegan burgers. And out of the hummus and crackers. And out of chips. Are you getting the pattern here? What they DID have was a garden salad. For $7. I was so hungry I had that. And what dressing did they have? Cesar (which is not vegetarian). So I had a dry garden salad. It came with olives, so a whole portion of the salad was inedible for me (I accidentally had a string bean that came into contact with an olive and EW! How do people EAT those things?). Also, I dropped a coveted cherry tomato when putting my tray table down. And the broccoli was like rubber. So it was an incredibly sucky $7 salad. I ended up eating some emergency candy I thought to bring at the last minute to get the taste out of my mouth, and I was hungry again when I got to Boston.
I wandered over to Au Bon Pan in the train station but apart from a bagel, they were out of anything I could eat, including the fruit cup. So I decided just to get to the hostel and check in and hope there was somewhere nearby I could eat.
I asked the front desk guy for food suggestions and he showed me on a map where this really great vegan restaurant was. It sounded soooooo good to me after the lack of proper food I’d had all day. I dropped off my luggage in the room (which I’ll describe in a moment) and went back down in search of noms. I double-checked the map he’d shown me and then set out. It seemed a little complicated and something like 6 blocks of walking, but I was STARVING and it was really just down the street, right on another, and then a funny little turn right again. Boston streets are confusing, but it seemed do-able according to the map.
Heh. I should have brought Gillian. I walked down the street for about 5 or 6 blocks, passing lots of restaurants, until I ended up in something like a residential neighborhood of rowhouses. That didn’t feel right at all and up ahead the streetlights seemed sparse, so I turned back. I tried turning right earlier than the street he had shown me on the map, but that didn’t work either. I just looked like an idiot walking 3 or 4 blocks, giving up, and walking back again. I evaluated the possibilities, which were mostly bars, a 7-Eleven, a McDonalds, and a handful of classy sit-down restaurants. I tried making a left (since I was on the opposite side of the street) and ended up at Fenway Park. Without my camera. Facing a whole street of snarfs *cries* I also found myself on a completely deserted street that seemed entirely devoted to darkened sports stores/Red Sox fan stores. There were banners everywhere and newspaper dispensers in the shapes of baseballs. Cute, but not a vegan restaurant to be found. Then I ended up walking around streets where there were nothing but sports bars and bar bars—neither of which I feel at all comfortable at alone and I’m guessing they don’t have vegetarian friendly ribs or buffalo wings. I made a few turns, thinking I was heading back toward my hostel but ended up at a dead end and then another residential neighborhood. It was then that I started panicking.
I was lost. I phoned my mother, just to calm myself down a little and so she’d know what happened if my body turned up in the river or something. I think I probably freaked her out too much; I knew if I could get back to Fenway again, I could find my way back no problem, I was just under the sets of streets I think I wanted to be on and walking in the wrong direction because I didn’t like walking past the bars and the guys out on the sidewalk in front of them smoking. Panic definitely set in and I ended up circling around to the back of Fenway and the House of Blues (that I’d seen on the map that was, conveniently, packed back at my room in my luggage still). I ended up taking the long way back, but at least it got me back. I still hadn’t found anything I could eat so I went to Pizzaria Unos and, thank Gods, they had carry out (I was hot and sweaty from so much walking and freaking out and ready to start crying because that’s what happens if I go too long without eating and my blood sugar drops). I went to McDonalds for a drink as they were making my order (they had me at caramelized onions) and discovered the McD’s has free Wi-Fi (the place is within sight of my hostel). So I took the food back to my room and comforted myself with another Xanthe NCIS story while I devoured the meal.
Oh! I have roommates! They just came in! They’re from Germany. It’s 12:09am by the way. Good thing I was still up.
The room is cute! The building is an old Howard Johnsons, so it looks like a hotel from the outside. But inside it’s been turned into something that looks like a dorm. There are three loft beds in my room with angled ladders leading up to them that I’m finding difficult to climb up and down because the steps are angled as well. Underneath are these huge dressers and these desks I would have killed for when I was in college-built in lights and drawers and everything. The rooms are huge but this really takes me back to my college days. I’m kind of in love with them. Makes me want to get my loft bed out of storage. Think of all the LEGO bricks I could store in the space beneath! I just need a taller ceiling. LOL
Okay. Going to go brush teeth and think about heading to bed. Will not finish reading NCIS story. Even though Gibbs & Tony’s son have been kidnapped and I am desperately worried for their safety.