Monday, February 09, 2009

Never take the bus when you can take the train

This past weekend I covered New York Comic Con for Since I live in Connecticut, there are a variety of ways to get to New York City. I could drive or take the bus or train. There is also the limousine option, but at $175 each way that was not really an option. Driving is out also because I am not taking my convertible into the City.

I usually take the train even though it's a 20 to 30 minute drive to the station with the best service. On Friday though I decided to take the bus because it leaves from the next town. The bus takes a bit longer than the train ride itself. However, if you add in driving to the train station, the trip via train and bus take about the same amount of time.

First thing that was not right - the bus waiting area is permanently closed so I had to wait outside in 12F degree weather. This is because, for some reason known only to the powers that be at the bus company, the bus stops on the side of the building that is furthest away from the parking lot. So I could not wait in my car and dash out to the bus over the unplowed and icy parking lot. There's a Dunkin' Donuts on the parking lot side of the building as well so I would have happily waited there At least at Dunkin' Donuts I could have had a nice hot coffee while waiting. But again that would require running around the entire building on ice to get to the bus after it pulled in. I should not complain too much though. I had considered taking the 7:30 a.m. bus. It was still sitting there broken down when the 9:00 a.m. bus (that I took) left what passes for the terminal.

First thing that I learned - if your bus driver is wearing a short sleeve shirt when it's 12F out, the bus will be incredibly overheated. The bus was so hot, it was nauseating. I removed the clothing I could without being arrested for indecent exposure. In other words I took off my coat. No one was more thankful than I to pull into Port Authority in NYC! I walked in the freezing cold to the Con. I needed the fresh air.

I had an extremely productive day at New York Comic Con. And then the dreaded bus ride home...

Second thing that I learned - if people are told to use their cell phones only for emergency calls, they will use them at will. I was exhausted and all I wanted to do on the ride home was catch some zzzzzzs. So the person behind me gets a call. She tried to be quiet about it but failed. Granted she did not stay on long, but it woke me up. Soon after as I was dozing off again, the person in front of me made a call. He was loud. So loud that the bus driver got on the mic to tell him to get off the phone. Finally I hoped that I might be able to sleep. NO! The woman across from me decided to text up a storm, which would have been fine if her keys were set to make no noise. I know that you can turn that sound off. In her case I believe that she set her keys to make the maximum noise. Sigh. So no sleep.

Third thing that I learned - if your bus driver is wearing a warm coat, the bus will be too cold. I actually had chills on the way home. I needed a blanket. I had not brought one with me.

Fourth thing that I learned - people should not be allowed to eat on buses. The woman behind me brought some sort of salad with her. When she opened the container, the smell was horrid. I've no idea what the meat in that salad was. I do know I never want to encounter it again. Worse however was the lettuce. Iceberg lettuce. She chewed with her mouth open. It was very very noisy. Why not choose a salad with mixed leafy greens? At least those are quiet!

I was ecstatic when the bus trip ended. I couldn't care that I had to walk over ice and snow to get to my quiet car on the other side of the terminal. I will never take the bus again. It's too small a place with no escape, and people are simply too rude. I'm sticking with the train.

Qwill's Qwestion: What's your worst travel experience?


  1. Don't remember how many years ago it was, but more than 12 my husband, oldest son (and maybe our infant son...can't really remember) and I were on a plane leaving from Dallas to Des Moines Iowa. We were heading home to spend Christmas with Hubby's family.

    The weather was so bad in Iowa, that our flight was delayed, and delayed, and delayed yet again! It was so bad that they (the flight crew and ground crew) were making no efforts whatsoever (as in shutting the doors) to even make us believe that we were going to depart anytime soon.

    Finally after several hours they announced that they were going to fly us to Omaha then bus us into Des Moines. This idea didn't sit well with me at all because after arriving in Des Moines we were still facing another 2 hour trip by car to our final destination.

    Luckily for us it was announced that the Nebraska State Patrol,and Iowa State Patrol veteoed that.

    We deplaned, and heard lots of people trying to figure out how they were getting to Iowa. We just claimed our belongings, headed to the car and came home.

    The upside to the story...I did get someone with a heart at AA and they did refund my non refunable tickets, and we went to Iowa that summer.

  2. Hi, Sandi. I'm glad that they did not keep you out on the runway in that weather! And that you got to go home! I'm leery of winter travel by plane after being diverted too many times to other airports!

  3. Wow what an adventure.

    One of our fun events was when we lived in Norway and Mom decided that she would drive down to Portugal with 3 kids in the car. I was 10, my bro 6, and sis 3. Got on boat to take us from Norway to Denmark. When we got in the car couldn't get it to start since the alarm on the car had drained the battery.

    Finally go it up and running and need to drive like crazy to reach the train that would take us to somewhere in south of france. That was a nice and noisy night sigh.

    Drove thru the alps, my sis got sick who in term made my bro sick, oh yeah it was fun.

    We stayed in a hotel in northern Spain and mom was tired and wanted to lie down, we wanted to swim, which we ended up doing. Which was good since the room caught on fire (ac unit shorted out or something). So we walk thru the lobby and they are so happy to see we were alive. Needless to say that nights stay was on the house.

    Stopped in Madrid, Spain and stayed in a hotel on the 28th floor. Elevators broke down and someone was stuck in it for 6 hrs. When we were leaving needless to say we walked down 28 floors with suitcases.

    We finally made it to Lisbon Portugual to visit with our family. That really was the trip from hell LOL.

  4. UGH! So sorry it was a rough trip, just hope it was all worth it in the end! I don't travel much, so no horror stories aside from my 'neice' reminding her mom that we could have lied about our citizenship while BORDER PATROLMAN STILL HAD HIS HEAD IN THE CAR... but she's blonde and very, very white... would never pass as being from Mexico. LOL

  5. Poor Quill.....

    I have had pretty good travel experences. Well except any time I have to ride in a car with my brother. He stops only when HE wants something. Plays realllly bad 50's music. Why I have no idea.
    He has an automatic but pretends he is shifting.

    Easy fix, I no longer ride anywhere
    with him. :O)