Bah, Humbus: The Ride From Hell
So we all know that flying is a trial. But there are worse ways to travel.
My daughter flew in from college in St. Louis and the flight went like a charm. In less than four hours door-to-door she had traveled about 900 miles. She should have stopped while she was ahead. Yesterday, Merry decided that she'd take a Greyhound bus to Richmond (about 95 miles) to see her friends and boyfriend for a few days. We went online, found a bus leaving Springfield, Va., at 3:15 p.m., scheduled to arrive in Richmond (after stops in Woodbridge and Triangle) at 5:20 p.m.
At 5:15 p.m., she called. "Guess where I am?" she said. "In Richmond?" I guessed. Nah. She was still in Springfield. Her bus had broken down on the way to pick up passengers. And that's where the fun began.
Greyhound decided to divert a Washington-Richmond bus to pick them up in Springfield. But the Washington driver had no idea how to get to Springfield, and spent a while getting lost (I guess they don't have GPS systems onboard). When the bus finally arrived at about 5:30 p.m., the driver and riders (who thought they were on a nonstop bus to Richmond) were none too happy.
And the Springfield riders were also cranky and very cold. The driver was especially miffed that one of the riders wanted to go Woodbridge, a scheduled stop, and pointed him out to everyone on the bus as the guy who was going to stop them from going directly to Richmond. Other riders started berating the fellow, and wouldn't let up.
"He didn't speak English, and I felt badly for him," Merry said. (Maybe he was better off not understanding his seatmates, I thought). After another detour through a residential Woodbridge neighborhood, the bus found the station there, dropped off the happy-to-be-leaving passenger, and made its way through rush-hour traffic to Richmond, arriving at 8:30 p.m.
St. Louis to Fairfax Station - 900 miles - under four hours. Fairfax Station to Richmond - 95 miles- more than five hours.
Maybe it's not quite fair to compare planes to buses. And we've all been caught in I-95 traffic jams that have turned a 1/2-hour ride into a three-hour nightmare. But anyone who tries to tell my daughter that flying is the worst way to travel these days is going to get an earful!
Feel free to share your own bus-train-automobile travel horror stories.
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