All Aboard! (Part One)

July 30, 2013 § 2 Comments

Recently I was traveling back home on a jammed-packed Amtrak Acela train from NYC to Washington, D.C..  I had been in New York for a Syracuse University meeting and was really looking forward to kicking back in my seat and relaxing, enjoying a cocktail while reading a book on my IPad.  Little did I know that I would spend the next two and a half hours deeply entrenched in conversation and laughter!

As I boarded the train, it was every man and/or woman for him or herself.  Open seats were at a premium on this weekday, rush hour train.  Quickly I scoured the car and saw a man sitting by himself at a four top table.  “Is anyone else sitting here?” I asked.  With a roll of his eyes and a big sigh, he got up out of his seat and moved his bag from one of the empty seats to the overhead compartment.  Oh great, I thought, THIS is going to be a fun trip!  Less than a minute later another woman asked the man the same question.  Again, I got to witness the roll of the eyes with a big sigh.  The man didn’t seem to notice the glare she gave him as she dropped her bag on an empty seat and then left to walk up and down the car trying to find somewhere else to sit.  While she was desperately looking for that elusive open seat, another man approached us and asked if the final open seat was taken.  Well, with a big smile and the sweetest voice I could muster I replied “Why no, please join us!”  Take that Mr. Cranky Pants with the rolling eyes and heavy sighs!  And thus began our train ride of four strangers…

Well, even before we left Penn Station, the three of us (minus Mr. Cranky Pants) started talking.  Kate, a lawyer from NYC, was traveling to D.C. for business.  She received her undergrad degree from Dartmouth and her law degree from Duke.  Noah, from D.C., was heading back home from business.  He received his undergrad degree from Villanova and his MBA from Maryland.  It was Kate who was able to finally engage the fourth person in our group…Michael, also a lawyer, from D.C..  He received his undergrad degree from Rochester and his law degree from Emory.  Finally, the ice had been broken…

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