Sunday, August 05, 2007

I need a Vacation from Vacation.

I am tired. My feet, my legs, and my back hurts. Two days of Universal Studios and I am wiped out. All I want to do is lay on my bed and relax but instead I am writing and drinking another Coke. I need to lay down because we are getting up early and starting all over again at Islands of Adventure. The girls want to get wet. We are trying to cram in as much park as possible before we have to take Savannah back to Ft Pierce tomorrow. She still is taking summer classes and was not able to finish ahead like we had hoped. She will stay with her mom until we get back Friday. I think she has enjoyed herself she seems happy. She loves all the rides and stands in line to get her picture taken with the characters. She is fun to be around and very active. She keeps me on my toes. I am glad we can give her these three days.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Greyhound adventures and beyond....

Friedrich Nietzsche said "That which does not kill us makes us stronger."

My mother left about a month ago to spend the summer with her family in Knoxville Tennessee. While she was there she started having hip problems and over medicated and ended up in the hospital. Apparently she was in a stupor for at least five days taking handfuls of pain pills until she finally called an ambulance because she could no longer tolerate the pain. My Uncle Jay called me this past weekend and I have been doing little but talking to my mother and trying to figure out what happened.

There are many factors that made me decide to take a bus but cheap and easy won out. Considering the fact that we were hit by lightening last week and had to replace our entire electrical panel along with planning a short vacation, choosing Greyhound was the most practical decision. I do not regret my choice in fact it was an adventure I shall not soon forget.

I am full of assumption, my first mistake was made at the bus station in Ft Pierce. There was a bus in the parking lot but there was no sign indicating it's destination and the number on my paperwork did not match the number on the bus so I made my way to a sitting area away to wait for my bus. Thankfully the bus driver crossed my path and set me straight. My first mistake was assuming my bus would be appropriately marked however it was the only one there. Can you say duh.....

The bus is about half capacity but no one appears to want to share a seat so I head all the way to the rear of the bus and find an empty seat. The bus is not unlike the many buses I have taken on various trips with my children on field trips although much quieter still the same. The bus is older, the walls once bright white now look a dingy gray, The seats are a two tone blue, light blue gray hounds race across a background of dark blue. the chair in front of me the material torn. The bus has obviously seen better days. The people around me all appear to be sleeping or resting. I hear little conversation even from the younger children on the bus. I spent most of my time staring out the window watching families drive past in the SUVs wishing I had just spent the money and driven my own gas hog. I eventually got tired of watching passing traffic and play Soduko until we get to Orlando.

I have an hour and 45 minute lay over in Orlando. The bus station is newer built or remodeled sometime in the last 10 or 15 years. I spent a good 45 minutes sitting in the small cafeteria/convenience store. I ordered a $3 dollar hot dog and smothered it in mustard and washed it down with a bottle of water. I sat there staring at the dingy grease and dust covered walls when not watching the people around me. So many families traveling by bus, I was amazed but then again who can afford airfare for 5 or 6 people. Then there are folks that have security issues, no one checks on coming luggage and I never showed I.D. If I wanted to remain anonymous I would travel by bus.

I had another little misunderstanding trying to re board. /apparently you need a re boarding pass to get back on the same bus you just got off. Luckily the driver let me back on, he rolled his eyes when I complained and let me pass but he was a little rude to me after at least for a little while after. By the end of the trip he smiled at me a couple of times when I re boarded after break stops and I thank him again after we unloaded in Atlanta. I road up by myself but had a seat companion until we reached Ocala. I cant remember her name but she was nice enough we chatted on and off until she fell asleep. She was traveling from Clearwater to see her family there. Sounded like a family reunion. I picked up another seat make in Gainesville but lost him in Lake City. He was traveling to Jacksonville. I sat by myself until we made it to Atlanta.

Pulling into downtown Atlanta at 11:30 at night was beautiful, the station was a nightmare. It was packed solid. I made my way to my gate and began my wait. The staff there were less than accommodating. They told people coming in that if they did not make their bus they would have to wait until the next one at 8 a.m. You can imagine the hostility this caused. There was almost a fight as the terminal became more crowded and people began cutting in line and jostling each other for position. I was very disappointed when a family who blatantly cut in line was escorted to the bus when it finally showed up before the elderly where assisted. What a crock that was but another bus driver was brought in and I was able to get on the next bus and I was happy. We refereed to the other bus as the bad karma bus.

Our driver was very nice but he was also very tired, we made just one stop and I hoped he would wake up because he scared us more than I tried to let on. We finally made it to Knoxville with no incidents at about 5:30 a.m. and I called my Uncle Joe to pick me up. We visited for a few minutes but I needed a shower and some sleep. I had hoped I would have slept on the bus but it was impossible. I survived but I was very tired.

After a 2 hour nap, I got up and dressed and went downstairs. Mom was almost ready to go and I would have left then but my aunt Billie Jean and Aunt Peggy showed up. We visited for a little while but I knew if we did not get on the road I never would have made it home. I climbed into that old Dodge van of my mothers and we headed out. We made it home safe and sound but the trip is definitely another story.