Evacuated from the Metro!
Taken with my cruddy cell phone.
Well, you’re not going to get a fancy travel tale from me tonight. I’m exhausted. Ever since NWA and Delta merged, the flight departure times out of my regional airport have edged towards the insane. Today, I had to drag my sorry self out of bed at 3:30 a.m. so I could make my 6 a.m. flight. The good news is that my flight to Atlanta arrived 30 minutes early. Even better is the fact that my flight to D.C. was only half full so I ended up with a row of seats all to myself.
When I arrived at Reagan National Airport (what a view!), I meandered over to the Metro station. As I was walking, I thought to myself: “Wow, it’s so nice to have a real mass transit system!” Of course, I did have a couple minor difficulties: my old Metro card had been demagnetized so it didn’t work and the trains running towards Alexandria were delayed. No big deal – I had plenty of time to get to my hotel before the conference started.
What follows, however, is pretty funny. The train came, I hopped on, and off we went towards the Embassy Suites. The trip was only two stops, so it should have been pretty uneventful, right? Wrong! As the train entered the first station, the vent above me started making the most obnoxious noise. By the time we stopped, it sounded like a jackhammer was drilling into the roof of the car. The passengers – all three of us – were exchanging “what the hell” looks when a plume of smoke puffed out of the vent and filled the car!
Before I could even think about what to do, the Metro cops were telling everyone to evacuate the train. We stood on the platform for a while as the car was inspected, then the Metro folks loaded back onto the train – just not in the smoky car. I arrived at King Street, stared at the big Masonic temple on a hill, and headed to the hotel to take a nap and attend meetings. Now, I’m going to finish my room-service crab cakes and curl up to watch the Olympics. Tomorrow night, I’ll wander down King Street to eat real ethnic food and stare at a torpedo factory.