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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Traveling Again: Boston to Barcelona via the MBTA

Traveling Again

May be an image of 3 people and train
We packed for our first airplane trip in four years with the essentials that would fit in an overhead carry-on, just as we always do.
We were headed to Barcelona for a few nights before embarking on our Viking Ocean cruise along the Trade Routes of the Middle Ages.
I picked up my prescription for seasick patches at CVS. After reading about the possible side effects, I decided to try avoiding them and use the electronic band I ordered if necessary.
We walked to the Green Street Orange line MBTA station and used our Charlie cards to enter. There was enough money on the card for both of us.
The next inbound train arrived in 2 minutes. It was a new Orange line train, clean and efficient, delivering us smoothly to State station by 7 PM, after the rush hour.
At State, we followed the always confusing signs upstairs to switch to the Blue line, reaching Airport station quickly as the next train arrived in just 1 minute. Despite the announcer’s request for no smoking, a young man across from me puffed on his vape.
At Airport station, we boarded a shuttle that stopped at the car rental, Terminal C, and then the renovated International Terminal E.
The lobby was crowded with many people who seemed to have nowhere else to go, according to Carol.
We proceeded directly to security, having checked in online, only to discover our boarding passes didn’t have TSA PreCheck because I’d forgotten to add it to our online reservation. We were turned away at the first/business class line because our record wasn't found in the system.
At the check-in counter, which was 63 stalls away, we learned we needed to check in physically as part of a random security measure requiring passport presentation. Surprisingly, we had to check our carry-ons too.
I took the opportunity to add TSA PreCheck to our boarding passes.
Back at security, an older couple was slowly placing their belongings on the conveyor belt. I seized the moment to step ahead, but a security officer quickly reprimanded me, "There is no cutting!" I was sent back to wait my turn.
“Were you cutting?” He asked. In my best Larry David impression I could muster at that point in time I said, “Yes I was.”
Unlike in “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, no further consequences applied to me. 
After finally getting through security, we enjoyed the baked haddock at Legal Sea Foods, asking for it to be fully cooked after the first attempt.
I bought a Smartwater in a metal bottle, preferring it over the paper cups used on the plane.
We boarded LEVEL airlines in Group 1, settling in to watch the Woody Allen film *Midnight in Paris”. I enjoyed it, ending my years-long Woody Allen boycot.
They provided water in bottles and distributed plastic bottles filled with amenities, including an eye mask which I used to take a short nap.
I’m eagerly anticipating the warm weather and sights of Barcelona.