Thursday, June 14, 2012
Reporting To You Live From Hobo News
We have arrived. And what an adventure it has already been... :)
It started at 8 AM this morning. Paul dropped us off at the Westlake Center and a nice Seattle hobo immediately took us under his wing and showed us the elevator to the light rail, the ticket machine where to pay for the fare, the Orca card reader and the staircase to the platform. It couldn't have gone any smoother.
It wasn't quite 8:05 AM yet when we took a seat and enthusiastically awaited the light rail's arrival. It's supposed to come every 7 minutes this time of day and it would be any minute now.
By 8:15 AM a rather sizable crowd had gathered at the stop and we were patiently waiting for the train that was sure to arrive really soon. At 8:20 AM I finally started chatting up fellow passengers to inquire if it was unusual that there hadn't been a train in over 15 minutes. As it turned out, it was.
There was a stalled bus on the tracks preventing the light rail from getting out of the tunnel. And none of the officials on site could predict how much longer it would be. By this time it was 8:25 AM and we knew that the ride took 35 minutes and that it would be a 15 minute walk to the terminal. (All information courtesy of our hobo.) Our plane was scheduled to leave at 10:30 AM. What to do? Taxi cab?
But before I could finish the thought, the bus started moving - being pushed by a truck. At 8:30 AM we were on our way. Phew!
When we arrived at the airport, we were left out on a platform with one escalator and two elevators. Given that the monorail is supposed to have 4 cars by 2020 (yes, the friendly hobo again), it's hard to imagine how people are supposed to squeeze down one narrow staircase as we did this morning being released from an overcrowded train. It sure made me wonder whether this is the final design.
We then trotted along the side of a big open parking garage filled with stinky cars, in the cold morning air. Luckily, it didn't rain. If you were to fly Air Canada, you are in luck. It's the first place you arrive at when leaving the garage. If you fly jetBlue, not so much. And if you are an older person, you may want to make the cab fare part of your travel expenses. Makes for a more relaxed arrival.
The check-in was a breeze and they gladly changed our seats to have us sit together. jetBlue rocks! The captain announced at 10:50 that we were in #1 position for takeoff; except that we didn't take off. The next announcement was that there was an earlier mechanical issue that they thought they had fixed but the light had come on again. So, he would be back shortly to give us an update.
We left 30 minutes later. Not too bad. I had called the Family Inn and knew that they would be there until 10 PM. So, all was well.
Once in Boston, our new friends Stan and Alida awaited us at the airport. What a wonderful couple. They went out of their way to make sure everything was lined up with housing, food and entertainment. But more on that later.
Time to grab our bags. Sophia spotted hers right away and I was waiting for mine to arrive when I suddenly saw a lady lift a bag, that looked just like mine, off the conveyer belt on the other side of the carousel.
I am not sure about you but I know every stain on my suitcase and this one looked awfully familiar. So, I tried catching the lady who was walking off with what seemed to be my suitcase. Finally some fellow passengers realized who I was chasing and tapped her gently on the shoulder. She stopped and I had a chance to catch up with her. I politely explained that I had the exact same suitcase and that I wanted to make sure that we both ended up with the right one. She assured me that it was hers. I asked whether she had checked the name tag and she said yes. But I wasn't convinced and asked her again. She finally checked and SURPRISE! - the suitcase did not belong to her.
Now in the possession of our very own underwear, we walked out to the car and Stan and Alida brought us to the Yawkee Family Inn. This house (built in 1889) used to be a private residence before it was bought by Northeastern University and turned into a frat house. It took Children's Hospital Boston 11 Million Dollars to restore it and to make it into the house it is today. It has room for 22 families and will celebrate its 3rd anniversary tomorrow.
After checking in, Stan and Alida, our lovely hosts, brought us out to dinner. And if that weren't enough, they offered to be our tour guides on Saturday. We are so fortunate.
In 6 hours, we have to get up to go the hospital. We can't wait to meet Dr. del Nido. People come from all over the world (as far as China from what we have been told) to have their children seen by him. We feel extremely blessed that he agreed to be her surgeon.
With that happy thought - have a good night. Until tomorrow.
A. and my sleeping beauty S.