As I write this, I’m sitting in a very expensive first class seat on an Acela express Train to New York. Aside from the horribly obnoxious work-couple next to me, it’s glorious. Before we even left Washington, I had a glass of wine and a ramekin of peanuts on my tray. I also ordered the vegetarian entrée off the menu, a surprisingly delicious “summer vegetable cannoli.” There is even wi-fi on the train so I can get some blogging, er, work done while I travel. And all this for free! Well, not so much free, as it is not costing monies in addition to the fare. A fare which my dad so graciously paid for as a special treat for me (thanks, Dad!). Anytime he comes to DC he travels First Class Acela and always raves about the great service (and free food and wine). So when I had to travel home this weekend for the funeral of my Uncle Teddy and Great Aunt Jean, he sprung for a first class ticket for me.
And I must admit, I’m getting really, really spoiled. To digress back to my original sentiment, my brother, Rob, has been the driving factor behind my travel snobiness. And perhaps it’s actually more Dave (my brother's best friend) than Rob, but they’re sort of a package deal, so when Dave is to blame, by default, so is Rob. They live in Europe and I’ve travelled extensively with them (Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Budaspest, etc). When Rob and Dave travel, they spare no expense. (A fact to keep in mind next time you pay your exorbitant federal taxes…they're gov't employees and former military) If we’re driving, it’s in either Rob’s custom designed Porsche or Dave’s Range Rover. If we fly or take the train, it’s not without plenty of wine and snacks. When we stay at hotels- no Best Westerns here. Only the finest hotels Europe has to offer. Have I mentioned that for my birthday, my Dad and brother surprised me with a trip to Prague so we could go to my “favorite restaurant in the world,” Kampa Park. It was at that moment that my travel snobbery became clear. The fact that I even have a “favorite restaurant in the world” is pretty cool, but the fact that we could just “hop over to Prague to eat there” is even cooler. So hop we did, from one gorgeous European city to another… just for a special birthday meal. (The meal, by the way, was just as fabulous as I remembered it being the first time!)
Another story that comes to mind is when I was in Venice, Italy with Rob, Dave and my boyfriend at the time, Joe. We had been exploring the city all day and decided to call it a night and head back to the hotel. Those who have been to Venice know that to get anywhere that is not in the immediate city center, you need to take a water taxi of some sort. Well, there are water taxis and then there are water buses. Guess which one is cheaper? Well, in a moment of un-snobbery, Rob decided we would take the water bus. This my friends, did not fly with Dave. He went off into a rant about not wanting to travel with the hordes of “pigs” on the water bus. So of course Joe was at his wits end from travelling with Dave up to this point and they got into a nice little argument in the middle of Venice about whether or not Dave thought he was superior to the other tourists in Venice (which naturally, he did). On a positive note, we did have a very enjoyable train ride to Venice (from Frankfurt) where we befriended some other travelers on the train. Our beer and wine induced travel stupor almost caused to miss our stop. However Rob noticed at the last possible minute that we were about to miss our station and somehow we managed to pull ourselves and our belongings together and throw ourselves off the train in the nick of time.
Moral of the story, I’m a travel snob. I don’t tolerate screaming children, ignorant tourists or dolts with an inflated self worth. I need to wrap this up now, I have a glass of chardonnay and some pasta that is calling my name.