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Mystic River Dragon

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  1. Mystic River Dragon

    Joyride to Philly

    Also, Steve, remember that many of us who have the Senior Key Card also have more time and flexibility. So, for example, now that it's $9.00 instead of $18.00 to go round-trip from NJ, I am much more likely to go down just for a day trip, buy food at Wawas or from a street vendor or at RTM, perhaps pick up a card at CVS--in other words, spend money in the city I would have spent elsewhere without the card. Or now I could go to Media or Paoli or Chestnut Hill or all sorts of other places I wouldn't have before--now that I can go there free, I may go and spend money in their local restaurants, etc. So, even if the system itself lost money, the city benefits from having more tourist money enter it.
  2. Mystic River Dragon

    Joyride to Philly

    Welcome to the SEPTA Senior Key Card club! I used to chuckle when little old ladies--total strangers--would sit down across from me on a SEPTA bus and look right at me and, just as excited as a child with a new toy, say "I get to ride this for free!" I swore I would never do that. So of course everywhere I go now I pull out my card and say "Look, I get to ride SEPTA for free!" I was amazed at how smooth the process was to get the temporary card, how polite everyone was, and how quickly the permanent card arrived in the mail. I have used the card on the Regional Rail and on the buses, but I have not been brave enough to try the trolleys yet.
  3. Mystic River Dragon

    London to Baja California ~ across America

    Well, I was thinking just the opposite--they look like two elegant, charming passengers who do this sea crossing routinely and fit right in! A beautiful chocolate buffet and an even more beautiful library--I think I just added this ship to my bucket list of things to save my travel pennies for!
  4. Mystic River Dragon

    Dinner on the Capitol Limited?

    And, if they are like Potbellys I have been to, wonderful milkshakes.
  5. Mystic River Dragon

    NYP-DLB and back on the Silver Meteor - live report

    I've enjoyed reading this so much all the way through your trip--thank you! I'm so glad you got a photo of that whale mural in Delaware that I'm always telling people to look for. That pumpkin spice cake is the best dessert I've ever had on Amtrak, and that includes chocolate desserts. Thank you for the report--it has given us up here in the north a nice dose of sunshine!
  6. Mystic River Dragon

    Silver Meteor Car 9811 Room 3

    I love the horn. It puts me to sleep. So does thunder. But someone talking loud on their phone or with the TV on loud drives me nuts. I finally figured out it's the inconsiderate people-driven noises that annoy me, not noise itself.
  7. Was the in-state requirement removed just for engineers? Or have they extended it for all NJT employees?
  8. Mystic River Dragon

    London to Baja California ~ across America

    Beautiful photos, especially the water one--thanks for sharing them with us. Just looked up Lowry, and pretty sure I would agree with Rosie. Hearst Castle sounds wonderful but huge--I second wearing good shoes!
  9. Mystic River Dragon

    NYP-DLB and back on the Silver Meteor - live report

    Thanks for the wonderful pictures of your brunch, especially the potatoes and that dessert table! Of course it is always harder going northbound from Florida, because it signals the end of the adventure is near. But there will be another adventure somewhere just around the corner.
  10. Mystic River Dragon

    Need advice on NJ to Rhinecliff/Rhinebeck

    She said the cafe part was there but not open, so I think you are right--she must certainly have been in the 2x1 and just not realized. (She does not travel by train often, so was probably concentrating on her ticket, luggage, etc., and not looking around at every detail like all of us would!) (Sorry, I messed up quoting more than one quote--Dave, I replied to you at the end.) Thank you both, neroden and cpotisch. She said there was a huge gap, so she must have meant between the platform and the lowest step. (I have had that happen to me in a couple of other places--on my one and only PV trip (the day trip on the Dover Harbor), where two young guys in the crew simply picked me up like a sack of potatoes and delivered me into the train, and on CTrail at Springfield, where a tough old lady, at least 20 years older than me, just got hold of me and lifted me down.) Seriously, it is very frightening to see that gap, even if you take trains a lot. That's because she detrained at snarky corporate Hamilton, where there is no attendant and you have to figure out the machine by yourself. Oopsie, I said I was going to try to be nicer about NJT and already blew it. New Year's tomorrow--maybe that will be a resolution starting then!
  11. Mystic River Dragon

    NYP-DLB and back on the Silver Meteor - live report

    Looks absolutely wonderful! Thank you for sharing the trip with us! For people without smartphone/apps, etc., did you notice a ticket booth? Or would you reserve online ahead of time and print out a ticket like you can on Amtrak?
  12. Mystic River Dragon

    Need advice on NJ to Rhinecliff/Rhinebeck

    I will have to try to be nicer. I'm sure she was in the 2x1 and just didn't look that closely and assumed it had been two seats there when I asked her about it.
  13. Mystic River Dragon

    Need advice on NJ to Rhinecliff/Rhinebeck

    Just wanted to report back to all of you, with many thanks again for all the advice, and tell you what a wonderful trip my friend had coming home. I had gotten her Amtrak and NJT tickets, and she loved having tickets in advance and not worrying about them on the day she traveled. Her son drove her to Rhinecliff, and they checked with the person in the station to see if the train was on time, and they said it was running early. She went down in the elevator. The only difficult part of the whole trip was next--when the train came in, she couldn't get on easily (I couldn't quite understand what she meant--if the gap was too wide or the steps too high up, having never boarded from there). So she went up on that platform thing that lifts you up and/or over--she said it was already there for another passenger, but she will know in the future to call ahead and tell them she will need it. The conductor took her bag through and put it in the baggage area, and she had a seat to herself. She said the business class was lovely, with leather seats you could sink into, and the seat next to her was empty the whole time, because the coach was half empty the whole trip. She said the seats were burgundy and 2x2, but that can't be right? There's only the 2x1 that are burgundy/brown and then the regular stuff like on the Regionals, right? Is there a third type with seats like in 2x1 but that are 2x2? She said the conductor was wonderful, and he helped her with her luggage at Penn Station and told her how to get up to the main station. She had enough time between trains to make a comfortable transition without having to rush, and she went to the NJT agent and asked what platform the train was leaving from, and she said the agent was polite and very nice and helpful. Then she went down to the platform and boarded the train, which was a double-decker. She said it was spotlessly clean. She decided to go downstairs, at which point a young man said "Let me carry your suitcase" and took it down the stairs for her. Uneventful trip to Hamilton, where the train came in on time, and another, older man said "Let me carry your suitcase up the stairs for you." She had figured out the parking herself, and that worked quite well, she said, so she paid the garage fee and got home while it was still light. She said everyone was so nice and helpful, the trains were spotless, and she would do this again. An early Amtrak train, nice conductors, friendly and helpful passengers on NJT, and a spotless NJT train? I told her she either had beginner's luck or she has led a blameless life and had a trip like that as a reward. But, seriously, I am glad it did go so well because now she will feel comfortable doing it again, perhaps even in both directions--we will see.
  14. Mystic River Dragon

    CTrail ride

    Well, then, they must have redone the inside and made it the new seats? What I liked was the old setup like the old Keystones, where half the seats faced one way, half the other, and if you were lucky you got to sit in the middle row where they met and had lots of legroom. It is also possible that they are on there and I have just been unlucky and ended up in the other (newer) one each time? Still going to take CTrail in the future anyway, because they are so nice.
  15. A great idea for all trains that have to go through TRE! The sooner you get through there, the better! By the way, I am getting a huge chuckle out of how my one innocent and fairly basic question has led to all sorts of tangents (and it wasn't me going off on one this time!)