Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Travel Time --- again

Notes on the Greyhound bus trip from Florida to New York State – late June

On the bus – just left Orlando – a deluge – guess it rains “a lot” (bus driver’s words) in Orlando. Orlando is rather attractive, with nice, older homes.

The day started out not too great. Bob and the little girls took me to the Tampa bus station, where I was told the bus was overbooked – “first come, first served” (the agent was a not particularly friendly woman).

I was getting prepared to be really angry. “You’re kidding!” I had purchased my ticket a couple of weeks earlier and never assumed there would be a problem.

Then the ticket agent said, “Oh, wait a minute. They’re putting on a second bus.”

It has been confusion so far. We were supposed to reboard that bus in Orlando after a break, but just as we got off, they said they were taking it out of service. Finding out what bus to get on, and when, was rather a production.

Well, we are finally on, and luckily we have a great driver – tells us jokes, etc. His poor wife, if he has one, is the butt of a lot of them.

---Oh, yeah, Mount Dora, I remember that place from when we used to do shows and markets down here. We’re on I4.

Anyway, the driver told us we are going to hotshot to Fayetteville – no stop in Jacksonville and Savannah. That should cut off some time, but I’ll probably have to kill more time in NYC. Glad I grabbed a hot dog.

I hate taking the bus. I have already handled ALL of my luggage more than I care to. I don’t have to do that on the train. When traveling by bus, you are totally responsible for all of your luggage, so if you transfer or have to change buses for any reason, you have to manhandle (or womanhandle) everything while in the stations. At my age, with my health problems, it is a real pain. I love the train.

---Daytona Beach – Hi, cousin Barbara. She lives in Port Orange. I usually see her in NYS at family reunions, although I have seen her in Florida a lot, in 1990. When I was spending the winter selling at antique shows, I had my mail forwarded to her home, and then picked it up every few days.

This hasn’t been much of a hotshot ride. An accident in which an 18 wheeler dumped its load of boxes caused traffic to be backed up for what seemed like hours. We spent a long time just sitting or crawling along in pouring rain - a good reason to take a nap.

We have been moving along now, though, even in the rain. At times it has been so dark it seemed to be twilight. We are finally in Georgia – even the kids on the bus have felt as though we’d never get out of Florida. Not much traffic out there now, at least not Northbound.

There is a month old Armenian baby across from me, and two little girls, her sisters. In another seat across from me – a young girl and her older brother – NY bound. A couple of seats in front of me there is a 7 year old girl – a rather precocious child; she sounds like Lissa. Her daddy is a driver for Greyhound, and she has a Greyhound cap. She and her Mom are headed to Connecticut, as are the ladies right in front of me.

The natives are getting restless – the kids that is. The boy across from me, early teens, apparently is annoying his dippy mother, who is sitting behind him. He’s not particularly doing anything serious, but she keeps saying in a loud voice, “Knock it off, Joseph!”

His reply this time was “You need to lower your voice; you are disturbing all the customers who are sleeping.”

He’s right. She is louder than he is, and reminds me of Adam Sandler’s neurotic, dippy wife in “Spanglish”.


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