The Post I Forgot To Post

2 02 2011

The entrance to the Greatest Place in the World.

Oh yeah, late blog post herrrree! I wrote a post last week complaining about the weather, which is fantastic given my propensity to bitch and moan about other people who do the same thing. Anyway, here it is, from last Wednesday…

I’ve tried to keep myself from writing about my travel experiences. Sometimes people get so wrapped up in thinking their life is  so wacky and unpredictable that they forget in many ways they’re just like everybody else. But I’ve noticed I can’t get enough of reading about others’ travels and adventures. Even my cynical ass has to admit each traveling experience is quite unique.

I had to travel to Mount Laurel, NJ earlier today to visit NFL Films. It’s for an upcoming story, and I was elated to be going there. What football fan wouldn’t want to see the facility that contains virtually every NFL game ever played? The problem with going to Mount Laurel is it’s in the middle of nowhere — in Jersey.

The route to get there from Manhattan was multi-layered (I like to use big words in my travel experiences): Take NJ Transit from New York Penn Station to Trenton, SEPTA from Trenton to Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station, then take NJ Transit again from Philly to Cherry Hill, NJ. Then I’d hop in a cab from Cherry Hill for the supposed short ride to Mount Laurel, and Films’ headquarters. The roundtrip cost of the trains — six rides in all — was $56. Not bad. Add maybe $10 per cab back and forth between Cherry Hill to Mount Laurel and it’s a reasonable yet slightly annoying cost.

So, I was taken aback to discover a cab ride — really a car service — was $40 (!!) between towns. It was ridiculous. Cherry Hill looked close to Mount Laurel on a map, and I was told it would be a 10-minute ride. Not so, as a few cab companies delivered the depressing news that I’d be paying the same fare for going from JFK or La Guardia airport into Manhattan. I paid the damn fee and got to Films, where I had a great experience. I had a half hour interview with Films president Steve Sabol, the son of Films founder Ed Sabol, in his office, and I left a happy writer — until I realized I’d be paying another $40 for the honor of getting back to Cherry Hill.

I get to the station, and by this time the wind is bustling and the wind chill is, well, chilly. Really chilly, and the train to Philly wasn’t anywhere in sight. (The Cherry Hill stop has only an outdoor platform with a few covered waiting areas.) Yet once the train arrived, I was so damn eager to board that I didn’t bother realizing the one I hopped on was going to Atlantic City. Only when it took off did it sink in. No worries, I thought; just get off at the next stop and reverse it.

Which I did, in a way. When I got off at the next stop, I asked a conductor if a Philly-bound train was arriving at that platform soon. She told me it wasn’t, but that I could catch the awaiting Philly-destined train on the top level of the station. Like an idiot, I ran up the stairs and got inside the train, without checking that it wasn’t an Amtrak, meaning it was traveling a different route to Philly. Rather than hit 30th Street Station, this train culminated at 16th St.

Already in Philly at least 30-40 minutes later than I should have been, I decided to walk to 30th St., just to take in that heralded Philly experience. Another problem. A second snowstorm was making its way, which meant it was just as windy as it is in New York City when walking near the Hudson or East River. Plus, the wind chill was definitely in the 10-15 degree range, and there was a headwind on the path to 30th St. — the entire f’ing way.

I had to walk four blocks north to reach Market St., which runs along Philly’s city center and feeds into the station. That resulted in a 20- to 25-minute walk in a cold, rainy headwind. My loafers — I wore LOAFERS — were soaked. My beanie was soaked. So was my jacket, my gloves and my pants from my shins down.

This is a really long-winded way of saying I paid $100, tips included, for two cab rides, took a train one stop the wrong way, hit Philadelphia on the wrong train line, then walked nearly a half-hour through Philly in cold, rainy, windy weather. Not the worst day, though. I’m gonna make sure I have a tequila on the rocks when I get home. T-SHIRT TIME!

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2 responses

12 02 2011
Jeff Y

HAAAAAAAAAA this sounds shitty. buy a car.

13 02 2011
Jeff Y

this all sounds fun.

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