It's been a while since we've been to a big city. The kids have never visited somewhere larger than DC. So I had concerns about our urban viability. As it turns out, some are unfounded while others had merit.
First was the train station in Lynchburg. It's been decades since I rode Amtrak and weren't really sure what to expect. The terminal was perfect for us. One platform and the only train coming was our own.
We met up with some friends who were also going to the city and our ride was long, but uneventful.
Our end point was Penn Station which, theoretically, had a subway line that would lead to Brooklyn. And the buffoonery began.
There we were, Tim, Maggie and myself all dragging suitcases in addition to our backpacks. We cleared the train and found ourselves in a terminal with many more platforms than Lynchburg and we had no idea where to go. After looking a bit shell shocked and lost, we exited to the street and started lugging our bags around Manhattan.
We found an entrance to the subway and attempted to buy tickets only to find out that the machines will only give you two passes per transaction so we got to get a subway employee involved. He was the first of the 100 people needed to get us safely to our destination.
From there, we pushed our bags through the turnstiles, humped them down the stairs and discovered we had gone to the wrong train. There must be a way to get to the other direction but we couldn't find it so we exited, planning on re-entering at the proper gate. This is when we learned that unlimited passes can only be swiped once every 20 minutes. A NYC cop, no doubt sensing that we were not pulling some elaborate subway scam, took pity on us and opened the gate.
By then, we had some cranky kids.
It was a lot like this only less smiling and much more bitching.
To top it off, we took the A line which appears to go to the same stops as the C line but actually will blow right by your stop and leave you several stops beyond where you want to be.
So we, being unable to determine how to get to the platform across from us, again exited the subway, crossed the street and re-entered. Luckily by now 20 minutes had gone by and we could swipe our cards with no problem.
Soon thereafter we did make it to our flat in Brooklyn, braved the rain and got some dinner. And since then, things have been going much more smoothly!