Planes, trains and automobiles

I was on just about every mode of transportation today, at least it felt like it. And it was a LONG day!

I got up at 4:30 a.m., left the house at 5:20 a.m. and loaded a plane at 6:30 a.m. After a short layover in Detroit I boarded my second plane in Detroit, Mich., and then landed at Newark airport at 11:45 a.m. It was a pretty painless morning of travel.

I knew it was going to be a little difficult to get to my final destination but never expected the afternoon I had in store.

As I explained the day before I received a fellowship for this journalism conference at Hofstra in Long Island, NY. The costs are being covered by a foundation (including travel) but they asked that we get the cheapest tickets possible. Well those tickets had me flying into the airport the farthest away from my final destination.

My instructions from conference staff had me taking a shuttle (bus and then van) from Newark to JFK airport. There was an hour and a half wait for the shuttle and the drive itself was close to two hours. It didn’t take so long because my driver was pokey, actually it was the opposite.

He was driving CRAZY fast and there were no seatbelts. It was kind of terrifying. Ask my hubby, I’m a terribly anxious passenger. The guy next to me said, “You’re not from the city are you?” Was it that obvious?

Once at JFK I called a Long Island cab (as instructed) and was told they accepted credit cards and the expected fair would be $50 (which is what the conference staff told me it should be) and that they take credit cards. The cab company said it would be 15 minutes.

Forty-five minutes later the run down cab shows up. He doesn’t take credit cards. I ask an airport staff member if I can just take a NYC cab and they say, “Oh yeah, it should be about the same.”

I get in the cab and after we take off ask the driver what the far will be — $118.

“Pull over,” I say, “Sorry!”

So he takes me to a nearby train station. I’m exhausted and just want to get home but know the conference won’t reimburse when ti is more than twice what they’d told me it would be.

I find a kind woman who helps me get the needed train tickets. I take one train, switch at Jamaica station, get on another train and then catch a cab, finally getting to the hotel just after 5 p.m.

Deep breath!

I was EXHAUSTED and a little frustrated. But you know what, I saw a lot of the city and was able to learn a few things along the way. And I met some very nice and helpful people.

But I’m not ready to do it all over again in two days after spending the day at the conference. Here’s to hoping that I learned a few lessons on my way here and the return trip goes a little more smoothly.

I’m excited to see what the day holds for me!

And P.S. I miss my munchkin big time. I talked to him last night just before he went to bed.

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