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the_traveler

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About the_traveler

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    Engineer

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Whatever siding I'm sitting on!
  • Interests
    Looking at GPS to find out where I am at!

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  1. the_traveler

    #1 LAX Arrival

    After the meltdown, at first they added 8 hours to the western portion of the schedule. Then they gradually reduced the extra time to -0- added.
  2. the_traveler

    #1 LAX Arrival

    That was just after the UP/SP merger meltdown when they were running hours and hours late, and added 8 hours to the schedule. (I think a few runs ran 30+ hours late! I think 1 was like 50+ hours late!!) You will notice that while SAS had “good times”, neither the westbound SL or the eastbound SL had a connection with the CS. So if going north of SAC, you had to take a bus to the SJ and board in SAC at midnight (if the CS was on time). If coming from north of SAC, you had to get off the CS at 6:15 am in SAC. And both ways, you would not see the Southern CA coastline on the CS.
  3. the_traveler

    Ventura to San Diego

    If the station is unstaffed and you will not be checking baggage, technically you could get there at 10:03 am. But to be safe (especially if you are not familiar with the station), I would recommend being there 10-15 minutes before departure.
  4. the_traveler

    #1 LAX Arrival

    They do not let you stay aboard, because as soon as it hits the bumpers the crew is off duty. And they take the train to the yard for servicing as soon as the passengers are off. The Metropolitan Lounge opens at 6 am. Sometimes it’s a welcome relief to get your land legs back. I take the short (under 2 block) walk to Phillips for breakfast.
  5. In the past 30+ years, I can only recall once when there was an actual sale on sleepers!
  6. the_traveler

    TPS Tour 2019

    I loved flying on 727s! I wish they were still in commercial service.
  7. the_traveler

    TPS Tour 2019

    How did that happen? I meant 757-200!
  8. the_traveler

    TPS Tour 2019

    Thursday 1/31 Upon leaving the Embassy Suites, I grabbed 3 bananas to eat. Then I got the shuttle to the airport. Being that the hotel is very close, it took no more than 5 minutes to get there. Upon getting there, I received (the requested) wheelchair assistance. The Delta employee took me thru Security. Even though I specifically said that my bone stimulator can not go through the machine due to the electo-magnetic interference, she put it on the belt. Her only reply was “Uh-huh!” Beyond that, TSA was not bad at all. It was one of my easiest experiences. I didn’t even have to remove my belt or shoes. (In Albany, I had to remove both!) TSA didn’t even question the bananas. The flight departed on time! Because I was in First Class, I didn’t care! Unfortunately it was an 8 am flight and no meal. The flight MIA-ATL was an A321. The flight ATL-DTW was a 727-200. Both were nice. (Being in F, what do you expect?) The DTW-ALB flight was a CRJ-900. In Hotlanta, it was 34°. The pilot said in Detroit it was -10°! At 34,000 feet over Ohio, it was -72°! That’s COLD!!!! By the time we got to Detroit, it warmed up - all the way to 0°! On the flight from DTW, I asked for a Bailey’s. The FA said they didn’t have any. So I asked for Chardonnay - they didn’t have any. The FA suggested Champagne, later to find out they had none. I finally settled for a Margarita. Arrival at ALB was actually EARLY! However, the temperature was 11°! I attempted to reissue my bus ticket (due to being stuck in Miami for 2 extra days), but they couldn’t do so because the Trailways computer was not cooperating. But I got on with the old ticket. I arrived “home” at 9:10, then used Uber to get home arriving about 9:30 pm. (The temperature was 6°.) Thus ends the TPS Tour for 2019. Join us in 2020! Good vision for the tour guaranteed!
  9. the_traveler

    TPS Tour 2019

    Actually I tried! But I couldn’t get a refund of points Monday until my flight was cancelled. And on Wednesday, by the time of the delay it was too late to take the SM, so I’d have to stay anyway. (I can’t connect from the Star.) And I leave at 8 am (hopefully) on Thursday morning.
  10. the_traveler

    TPS Tour 2019

    I only got 3 brands in 3 nights!
  11. the_traveler

    TPS Tour 2019

    I just hope to get unstuck before June!
  12. the_traveler

    TPS Tour 2019

    The adventure continues! Much like the rest of my trips! I was originally scheduled to fly back from Miami on Tuesday. However, due to the weather in the northeast it was rescheduled for Wednesday morning. So I checked out of the Homewood Suites (due to being sold out on Wednesday) and moved to the DoubleTree. On Wednesday morning, I checked out of the DoubleTree and went to the airport. (So far so good!) I boarded the plane and was seated in my (First Class) seat. Just prior to push back from the gate, a hydraulic problem was discovered. After 15 minutes, it was determined that repair to it would take at least 3 1/2 hours. This would get me to Atlanta too late for my connecting flight. So I got a reservation at the Embassy Suites for Wednesday night. So I’m going to (hopefully) return home on Thursday. Thus I am “stuck” in Florida for 1 more day. Hopefully, no more to come. But you never know with me!
  13. the_traveler

    TPS Tour 2019

    The trip down to Florida makes Amtrak look good! The first part of the trip was by bus from home to the airport. The Trailways website says they offer half priced tickets is you are handicapped (which I am). But it says you can not book them online - only with a ticket agent. So I did not book it online in advance. When I went to the agent at boarding time, she said “Our computer is not programmed to offer that. You can only get those at the main Albany terminal.” Huh? So why does the website say that? Then TSA at the Albany Airport did it’s worse - of course! The 3 worst airports for TSA I’ve encountered were Albany, Chattanooga and Grand Junction. I have had no problems at LA, Tampa or Portland. Even with an airline employee pushing my wheelchair (assistance), 1 TSA agent insisted I walk through the screening even though the employee and other agents said to stay in the chair and I’d be wheeled around and hand checked. The one good thing about the flight was that my seat was the 1st row behind Comfort+ (extra room) and the row in front was empty. So I moved up there to give myself and those in my row more room. Because Comfort+ on Delta includes free beer and wine, I had a glass of wine at no charge! I know the airlines do not offer complimentary meals any longer, but they do offer food for sale. The flight from Albany to Detroit was a CRJ plus I just ate, so I didn’t try. The flight from Detroit to Atlanta was a midday flight, and I was hungry. But I did not eat in the airport, instead planning on eating on the plane. Even though the jet had pamphlets in the seat pockets advertising Flight Fuel (food for sale), so after we had departed I asked the FA for a sandwich. She informed me that due to the short (2 hour) flight, none were loaded! So why advertise it? So at Atlanta, I grabbed a meal. I brought it on the plane, where I ate it before we departed the gate. On the flight from Atlanta to Miami, this jet did have IFE. However if you did not have your own headphones, they SOLD them - for $2! They used to offer them for free. Arriving in Miami, after retrieving my checked bag, I was taken to get my hotel shuttle. However it did not come for about 30 minutes. Despite landing at 9:10 pm, I did not get to the hotel until after 10 pm! Checking in was no problem. But the room next to me was. It sounded like they were having a party, with LOUD music, LOUD talking and LOUD laughing occasionally. About 12 midnight, with the continued noise and needing sleep, I contacted the front desk to inform them. The desk clerk said he would contact them. The noises continued until after 1:30 am, when I finally fell asleep. If I’m lucky, I got 2 hours of sleep all night! Sunday began VERY early (4 am!) in order to make Tri-Rail in order to connect to the SM. I attempted to get the 6:17 am train, however by the time I got the shuttle to the airport and the people mover to the station, it was 6:40 am. I caught the 7:17 am train to Deerfield Beach, arriving at 8:25 am. However, the station does not open until 8:45 am - despite having a departure at 9:08 am! The SM arrived at 9:12 am - 4 minutes late! (Can’t Amtrak ever be on time?) I met Jim (JRR) and his wife Susan at the station. Shortly after boarding, we went to breakfast in Harrisburg (the Viewliner diner). The Meteor has a diner, unlike the Star(vation). It was the 1st time I entered from the kitchen end. The Homewood Suites had breakfast included, but it did not begin until 7 am. Much later then I left. After breakfast, I fell asleep for a time. (Many say that South Central Florida is boring anyway.) We arrived into Winter Haven at 12:10 - 11 minutes late. It was 55° and rain, but luckily the station is open and staffed. The Star was late - and getting later and later. It finally arrived at 2:13 pm. In fact, the Meteor was only 4 minutes behind it! In fact, many in the group boarding were supposed to be on the Meteor and not the Star. They were told the Meteor was right behind. We met Patty (Mystic River Dragon) on the Star. The Star was booked full. Upon our return to Deerfield Beach, all 4 of us went to Two Georges at the Cove (a seafood restaurant in Deerfield Beach on the Intercoastal Waterway) for dinner. We then went to the Embassy Suites in Boca Raton. Luckily my next door neighbors were quiet. (One of which was Patty!) On Monday, the TPS Tour took Tri-Rail to the Miami Airport, connecting to Metrorail to downtown Miami for a ride on Brightline! At Miami Central, we met Gilbert (GBNorman) who was “stuck” in Miami from IL due to snow. He rode Brightline on Sunday, but came to Miami Central to say hi to us. We rode Brightline to West Palm Beach in Select (First Class)! Very nice! It includes unlimited snacks and unlimited booze! The 4 of us were assigned a table with seats facing each other. The train and cars are very nice, and the ride is very smooth. I was very impressed! At West Palm Beach, the Brightline and Tri-Rail stations are about 3 blocks apart. However, they did offer shuttle service in an electric car/cart. We then took Tri-Rail back to Boca Raton. We then went to dinner at Artichoke & Vine, a vegan restaurant in Boca Raton. It’s very hard to find, but I recommend it! I then boarded Tri-Rail to return to Miami, since I had an 8 am flight the next morning. However due to the weather, Delta Airlines was offering to waive the change fees back to Albany. So I “forced” myself to be “stuck” in Miami an additional day! However, the hotel I was at was sold out the next night, so I switched to another hotel in Miami. I transferred to the new hotel. However, from hotel to airport to waiting for shuttle to hotel, it took until noon. So I just decided to stay at the hotel and do nothing instead of sightseeing or train riding. It was cold in Miami on Tuesday - it was only 70° and sunny! But it is warmer than Sunday and Monday - it was 55° and rain!
  14. the_traveler

    Getting from Chicago Union to Chicago O'Hare?

    Correction - I meant Jackson near Dearborn or State.
  15. the_traveler

    Getting from Chicago Union to Chicago O'Hare?

    If you have numerous or heavy bags, I would use the Blue Line stop at Washington/Wells. Although it is a little farther walk than Clinton, it does have an elevator while Clinton does not. I use a walker, and that is what I do.
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