Sunday, August 19, 2007

Unsolicited advice

If, at some point, you decide to go on a trip to a Very Exciting Destination, where you plan to meet a friend whom you have not seen in two years, and this is to be a day completely without children that has been on your calendar for oh, say, two years, and you bought your Amtrak tickets online and have your bag packed with a whole day's worth of glorious knitting, and you are over the moon because you are about to have more knitting time in one day than you usually get in six months, and you have nursed the baby and made your lunch and are happily bopping your way out the door at 6:20 am in the pouring rain for the hour-and-a-half bus trip to the train station, because you do not drive, well, please take a moment to double-check your bag for your passport. Why? Because it might not occur to you that you would need a passport to take a train two and a half hours to the next state, but if you do not drive and do not carry a driver's license, you are going to need your passport, because otherwise Amtrak will not let you on the train. So bring your passport, because otherwise you will find yourself standing at the train station in tears as the train goes away without you, even though you have already paid for your ticket, because there was not anything like enough time to go home and get your passport and come back in the 45 minutes left before departure, and all the rest of the trains that day will be sold out, but it won't matter because if you even if you did wait four hours for the next train it'd be pointless because you would miss the excitement at your destination and you'd only have a couple of hours before you'd have to turn around and go back. And you will find yourself trying to figure out how to get back home on the bus, because you didn't figure out the schedule that way before you left, and if you are super unlucky you might get onto the totally empty bus and pick the one seat on the bus directly under a leak in the roof (pouring rain, remember) and sit right in a puddle so deep it will actually splash as you sit down in it. And then, instead of spending your day wallowing in wool with friends with similar wool-wallowing inclinations, you will spend it wallowing in self-pity as you fold laundry and clean your house and change dirty diapers. Which, under ordinary circumstances, you would be perfectly happy to do, but having been done out of the trip you were planning, you will be something less than excited about.

So, yeah. Save yourself the grief. Pack the passport.


miriamp said...

Ouch. That's gotta hurt.

I don't even have a passport, but at least I carry my driver's license with me. Not that I spend a lot of time on Amtrak. But shouldn't they have warned you to bring picture ID?

uberimma said...

Yes, by way of signs up at the train station. By the time I saw them it was too late. I did have ID, but nothing they found acceptable.

shanna said...

And again - have a hug.

(If it makes you feel any better, I went to Trader Joe's today, and now that box is packed for you. Just gotta get J to take it to FedEx tomorrow...)

SuperM said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. I check that I have ID obsessively every time I fly, especially after the time I lost my ID while on a trip. I had no idea about Amtrak though.

miriamp said...

Oh, I should tell you about the time my in-laws made plane reservations for a whole bunch of us (I think about 8 or 9 people) (before 9/11) to go to a family funeral. For my two brothers-in-law who have different English and Hebrew names they made the reservations in their legal names, but they didn't bother for me. I got all the way to the airport for a paperless ticket and had to show id to get on the plane. ID I had, but not with "Miriam" on it! I explained why I had a completely different first name, and they let me on, but I'd never get away with that today. They'd have had to leave me (and my nursing baby) behind... and you think I'd let my husband get away with that!

Deborah said...

Oh you poor Dear. What a horrible, terrible no good day.
Even if the children were glad to have you home. And you with them.

Start planning right away for next year, please.

The girl and I hope to go to Rhinebeck in October with ladies you know.

jasmin said...

Oh, sweetie, how awful! I just want to hug you and pat your back and promise you more trips, really and truly.

It would never have occurred to me. But then, before I had a driver's license (which I got at the age of 26!) I had a state-issued ID card from the DMV, because so many places would not accept my student ID with my check or whatnot.

Alisha said...

Oh, you poor thing. That's awful! Is this something that can be rescheduled at all??

But really, follow Jasmin's lead and get a state-issued ID to carry in your wallet everywhere, the way people carry a driver's license. Then you won't have an issue of needing to know in advance that you're going to need it, and remembering it, and besides, if for some reason it got lost or stolen it's a LOT easier to replace.