So, leaving Boston clearly didn't agree with Boston as it started to rain as we left the hostel bright and early in the morning. This did not deter us though- there's still so much we have to see! So, like I say, we checked out early and took the subway (wierd subway) to the train station. We managed to check our bags in for the trip all the way to Chicago even though the trip itself would be split in half for us- a bus to Albany and then a train to Chicago. We also grabbed lunch at the station, having brought enough food for the train (dinner and breakfast) and I finally got some salad!! Delicious, and not too expensive. Yummy, and finally the healthy healthy food I had been craving!
There was some confusion about the rail replacement bus in terms of where it was leaving from. There was an arrow directing us to the bus pointing at the bus station next door to the train station (given they only tell you where to go with about 15 minutes 'til the train leaves) The train station is a little walk from the bus station so we headed off as soon as the sign came up. Getting there no one would help us find the bus, they all treated us like they were crazy- so rude, even the people working there! Luckily Dan ran ahead of me back to the station to find that, actually, the bust was leaving from there! I tried running but have short legs so fell behind Dan pretty quickly. I was stressed and annoyed by this point- tired and a little tearful too, I won't lie. But luckily we weren't the only ones to have gone to the wrong place (they need to learn to signpost better!) We got to the bus pretty late so all the double seats we taken, but then a really nice old man gave up his seat so me and Dan could sit together- restoring my faith in the Boston people.
Managed to sleep for the first hour and a half on the bus, while we drove out of rainy Boston. We had to make one stop at Worcester before Albany which was fine by me because I was busting for the loo! This stop, however, turned out to be for longer than we anticipated (over and hour in the end) and a rude mother and her 3 kids got on who ended up making 2 other girls that got on (who we would have needed to stop again before Albany to drop off) feel so bad - she was really mean- that they actually got off the bus and didn't come back! Long story, but she was a mean woman, too mean considering she hadn't been on that bus for an hour and a half already like the rest of us.
There was also a strange old german couple on the bus who found any kind of delay a huge problem and would not stop complaining to people. In fact, everyone except for the nice old man from early seemed to have an opinion on the delay and how they found it unnaceptable (even though, when on time we would have had a 2 hour stop-over in Albany and the conductor told us that if we got to Albany after the train was supposed to leave the train would just wait for us, we were the priority.) So, from this and some other run-ins with locals, something I will take away with me is that people in this part of America aren't that polite, compared to New Yorkers. Which isn't what one might expect. New Yorkers move at a faster pace and are perhaps more aggressive, but they are so much more polite and helpful! Also, the Americans we've come across complain a lot more about public transport and thing like it. When you think about the rail replacement buses and delays and underground delays etc. and how the brits may complain but generally get on with it and then you see the America's getting really aggressive about a rail-replacement bus alone! It's ridiculous.
Anyway, that rant out of the way I shall go on. We actually got to Albany before the train was supposed to (haha) so we had over 2 hours to wait. The mean woman and her family were on our train and, eventually, on our coach too (fun times) but when the train arrived it was such a nice suprise! Huge seats, loads of leg room, reclining seats with leg and foot rests; much nicer than the skanky, old bus we were on! The only down side was the toilets, which were fine to begin with but got progressively more disgusting as the trip went on.
There was an Amish Family in front of us who got on mid-trip. So much about them fascinated me. One thing frustrated me and that was the way that the woman was left to do everything while the husband just sat back. She even cut up his fruit for him for breakfast! Also, he didn't even try and help her get all the bags and stuff out of the over-head compartment... Or take their son to the toilet. It angered me a bit, but then it's their choice so there's nothing I can say.
So that was today... And we'll still be on the train tomorrow...