Planes, trains and busses! This is a tue story

Written By: Jacqueline  Madden

Go big or go home I always say. Recently one of my nephews and his girlfriend came to visit for the weekend. Their inbound flight from Nashville to Long Island was delayed a few hours but it didn’t affect our plans to attend Sayville’s annual Summerfest on Friday and Saturday. Fair food, games, rides, vendors, entertainment, downpour…repeat. My visitors wanted to go shopping in the area Saturday, unaware their intended destination the Attias Flea Market was no more; the poor kids drove all the way to Massapequa before they realized it, I just love GPS; not. Sunday we planned a day trip to Montauk, by train. My nephew’s girlfriend had never ridden on a train before and we decided it would be a fun day trip adventure. Last year we took her on her first boat trip on the ferry to Cherry Grove; that’s another story entirely. We boarded the local train with requisite train food consisting of buttered bagels and coffee. The train ride was uneventful the exception being the passengers headed to Hampton Bays for Sunday at the Boardy Barn. Once the train arrived in Montauk we head to South Edison Beach. It was a lovely picture perfect day, bright sunshine, low humidity, inviting Atlantic Ocean. I don’t often swim in the ocean any more but this day I did along with my daughter and guests. We had a terrific time playing, shopping and eating our way through town. Montauk is truly an international food destination. Latino for lunch, bakery goodies in the afternoon and pub fare for dinner. After avoiding a brief downpour it was time to go home; this is when the true adventure began. Grabbed a cab to the station and boarded a train, expecting to arrive home in a few hours. The conductor informed us the train did not go to our destination or anywhere remotely nearby. She suggested we ride to Jamaica and double back or wait in Westhampton for the next train at 1:00 AM. Another conductor suggested we get off in Westhampton and take a cab. We opted for the latter. We disembarked the train but were unable to get a cab; our 9 year old needs to use the restroom, which much to my surprise was open. While in there an announcement came on that the station doors would lock in a few minutes and police would be notified if anyone was still inside; considered letting that happen for a fleeting moment. It was now time for another executive decision. Just then we were approached by a young man wearing a Hampton Jitney shirt, he asked to use my phone as his was dead. I shared with him that mine was on its last legs and we were trying to get back up the island. He mentioned there was a scheduled Hampton Jitney pickup at Gabreski airport in a little while and we might consider taking it. He told us how to get there and we decided to roll the dice again. We began walking along the tracks to the county road 31 then headed north towards the airport. Mind you it’s after ten at night; not well lit and nearly a new moon. One of our group just happened to have a flash light, good Girl Scout training. During our hike I called ahead to Hampton Jitney explaining our situation and to verify that there would be a bus with seating available. Hey it’s a Sunday night in August. After what seemed to be a very long walk, we boarded a bus, changed busses at Manorville and finally arrived at LIE exit 60 Ronkonkoma. We were rescued by a friend that we’d managed to get a text to before all the phones died; the next day I got a phone charging case. My visitors although weary from yet another fun family adventure do plan to return to Montauk, maybe next summer.