Train travel – such a classic and timeless way to travel across long distances. Connex are exempt from this for obvious reasons. When I arrived at the Amtrak station at Miami it was still dark – 6.30am and in the middle of nowhere. I checked my bags with some mystery guys that looked like they had been regular stars on America’s Most Wanted and just hung out. When we were able to board I was so impressed with the leg room and seat room and room in general. You realise how inhumane long distance air travel is. My carriage was basically empty – there was a girl in front of me though. We were not able to change seats as the train was going to be full within a couple of stops.
The train hadn’t even started choo-chooing along the tracks when BANG. Back goes the seat in front. As in full on laying down mode. Her blanket comes out and so does… her phone. Well it started.. “Hey sister… uh-huh… yup… well I told him… he is no good… I got my ass outta there girl…” This talk went on. And on. And on. Thirty minutes later she was still going… fully reclined and setting up her temporary bedroom on the Silver Meteor Amtrak. I could even hear her over my Bose (I still love them so much!) headphones.. it was cruel!!! Well then out it comes – “Well girl.. I just told him I hope he gets AIDS and got out of there!!”
WHAT??! I just cracked it – pushed out of my chair, kicking her chair at the same time and stormed through three carriages to get to the Dining Car. It was 7.30 in the morning. I had had no breakfast and dealing with her rubbish and constant talking was just too much! I sat there slipping and sliding on the vinyl dining chairs with my sausage and cheese bagel. This bagel had been nuked beyond recognition. It was so hot that so much condensation had formed in the plastic packaging when it was microwaved that the bagel was soggy. And it takes A LOT to get a soggy bagel. The sausage pattie resembled something that was brown. And the cheese was orange and lit up the packaging. So I smothered it in 4 sachets of ketchup and sulked. I wanted to be back with my mega legroom chair, listening to my Nano and enjoying the Florida scenery – but instead I was being help hostage by a girl who was majorly angry and her phone.
After about an hour I wandered back and she was asleep – but the carriage was now full. So much for classic and timeless train travel. Next time I’m booking a sleeper just for the solitude. That is the great thing about planes – NO PHONES. The sooner Amtrak implements this a no cell policy the better. That trip ended up being one where I was subjected to listening non-stop to mindless chatter for five and a half hours. Hell. On. Earth.
Orlando station was wierd. I jumped off train onto gravel! My cases came out covered in Florida dirt. There was a cab and I hauled my bags into the boot to learn he was a learner driver. And sooo slow. Then in the distance I saw it – La Quinta. People – if you ever go to Orlando I have to recommend La Quinta at the Convention Center. It was fantastic and so clean, smelt gorgeous and everyone was so darn nice! By the time I got to my room it was 2 o’clock. The girl at the front desk pointed me to the desolate, nearly fully closed down shopping centre across the road for a quick bite as she said there was a pub there. I wandered over to find it was called the Cricketers Arms! It was full of English people watching the Man City/Portsmouth game on the big screen. I ordered a hot roast beef roll and they had malt vinegar to put on my chips. Yay!
Orlando is just full of English tourists – they have English shops for Cadbury chocolates and McVitties and lots of English pubs. I knew there would be a fair few but didn’t realise how many English make Orlando their family holiday destination! Much like how we end up in LA.. Orlando is their LA.
I wandered back to my room and ended up falling asleep at 4pm – to wake up not knowing where I was at 7pm. I settled in to celebrate Geraldo being back on Fox News 😉 😉 with his Anna Nicole special, ordered a pizza and was back asleep by midnight to prepare for my day at Universal Studios…