Plan A included a comfortable bus ride from Bangor to Boston where we had a reservation at a hotel at Logan International Airport in preparation for our early flights south the next day. The idea was to avoid leaving our car at Logan for 18 days and pay the high parking rates. Plus weather in southern ME and into MA was not good and leaving the driving to someone else was very appealing. Boston was in the midst of another snow emergency we wanted to avoid.
All plans were a go until we arrived at the Bangor bus station and found that no buses were running. (Yes, we did call a couple of hours earlier but the weather had changed in that time.) Our flight was still showing that it was leaving the next time so we had to make it to Boston one way or another. What to do?
We raced home from the bus station, threw our bags into the trusty Subaru and headed to Portland. Roads not too bad but much worse south into Boston. We decided to park our car at the Portland bus station (much cheaper than Logan International Airport) and take the bus from Portland to Logan. Bus driver did a great job of driving us into Boston in the last part of 20 inches of snow; no problem because our flight was still posted as leaving the next morning.
My only concern was leaving our car for 18 days in an uncovered lot in Portland with more snow and bitterly cold temps on the way. But with no other choice, I rammed the Subaru into a snowbank and hoped for the best. (And I am still hoping for the best when we return next week. I won’t mind digging the car out, but I just hope that it starts after the coldest February on record!)
Meanwhile, back in Boston, anticipating the early morning wake-up we went to bed early and roll out of bed at 4 am to make our flight. Checked to make sure that our plane was still going, as is was posted the night before, and, of course, found it cancelled. Nothing going in or out of Logan until later that day and no other flights on our airline, so we extended our hotel reservation for another night. Ok, not really surprising since Boston had been whacked with yet another snowstorm.
What to do? We decided to take advantage of access to an Apple Store in Boston to visit the Genius Bar to have my wife’s iPhone repaired. But the blizzard clean-up was just beginning and the MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) was shut down; schools were closed, and; many businesses were closed as well. Cabs were the way to go and we took one into downtown Boston from Logan International. Resolved the iPhone issue by buying a new one!
Later we met our son and daughter-in-law at Logan as they arrived from their “baby-moon” get-away to Florida. Said quick hellos and good-byes, grabbed an early dinner, and headed to bed. By this time we felt like the Tom Hanks character in the movie The Terminal who is restricted to the international terminal at JFK when he is not allowed to enter the U.S. nor return home because his middle eastern country is going through a revolution. And we had only been there 36 hours!
Now to the attitude part. Travel too often brings out the beast in many people who are frustrated, nervous, anxious, unaware of others, or rude. In “Just Plane Ugly”, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni observed, ” Look up in the sky! It’s the very worst of us.” And it can be. Fighting over little storage space overhead and underneath seats, pushing to get on and off every plane before anyone else, reclining seats when there is no space to recline, or carrying on luggage that should clearly be checked. Whatever happened to civility?
Fortunately, I saw little of this type of behavior. Perhaps it was because we were on leisure travel flights with everyone heading to vacation destinations. Shouldn’t all of us be on our best behavior?
But I also saw some encouraging signs—individuals willing to help others when luggage needed to be stowed or removed or asking first before moving coats or smaller items in the storage bins. The best part was the amount of interaction by people I saw. Yes, many melt into their devices to read or listen or watch, nothing wrong with that. But one of the advantages of any type of travel is to talk to others, to learn their stories, and simply to learn from them.
The next time you travel, whether by air, train, bus, or auto, what will your travel attitude be?