Monday, February 10, 2014

The Magic Bus

So I'm 26 years old and have lived in Portland my whole life. I've traveled to major cities alone and to foreign countries alone. I've figured out taxi's, buses, trains, shuttles, streetcars and bike paths - but for some damn reason it was THE most perplexing thing for me to figure out how to get to Seattle without a car in a snow storm for a girl's weekend. 



For one thing, I think public transportation is amazing and I'm proud to live in a city that has so many options. But, also being the proud owner of a reliable (knock on wood) car, I don't depend on it often nor do I care to learn the system. Does that make me a snob? Moving on. 

The original plan was to be budget savvy and take this amazing Bolt Bus up and have dear mother drop me off at the bus-stop. Easy right? Well then she got snowed in, I had to move up my trip to an earlier time by three hours, I hadn't packed and I was working with glorious 3rd day hair. 

I was tragically close to canceling the weekend plans because I didn't have a means to get downtown without a car and wasn't going to take a taxi for 7 miles that would cost more than the entire 175 miles to Seattle. (sorry Amanda, I love you but like I said I'm on a budget). 

I'm not above taking the bus, obviously. But the transit system confuses the heck out of me. What if I have to change buses? What if my bus is late to the connecting stop? What if there's creeps on the bus or people who smell bad? I don't have any cash and they only take exact change!?

So many things that can cause panic in my mind and mom, bless her heart, stepped in and walked me through how I could still make the no-fuc*s-given weekend possible. 


First I'd need $2.50 exactly. I don't carry cash so I had to go to the ATM, treated myself to a latte and got the right amount of green & silver. 

Second, the bus was empty and I sat in pure anxiety mode as the driver took a wrong turn and got us stuck in a residential neighborhood, delaying us 15 minutes. I lost all faith and texted my mom the route he was taking me so that she could confirm it was right and/or so that she'd know where to find my body.

Third, I realized that for just $2.50 this bus thing is pretty awesome. To my Trader Joe's, to my favorite sushi restaurant, to downtown when parking isn't free? Um, duh!

Finally, Friday was the first day I've appropriately worn my Hunter's for the weather. It was so worth it. 

I made it to the Bolt on time and she was the most magic bus of all time.



12 comments

Kathy @ Vodka and Soda said...

in shit weather, i much prefer to take public transit then i can kick back and watch my shows or listen to music while someone else freaks the hell out over the terrible traffic instead of me!

i'm the opposite though - i can navigate the public transit system like a boss but stick me in a car downtown toronto? BRAIN DEAD MULE.

-kathy
Vodka and Soda

Ashley said...

The transit system confuses the hell out of me too! I wanted to go somewhere in Toronto the other day and I didn't end up going because I got too confused trying to figure out how/when/and where I had to change busses. I'm glad that you figured it out and didn't have to cancel your weekend plans!

Ashley, Married to the Game

Ashley said...

The transit system confuses the hell out of me too! I wanted to go somewhere in Toronto the other day and I didn't end up going because I got too confused trying to figure out how/when/and where I had to change busses. I'm glad that you figured it out and didn't have to cancel your weekend plans!

Ashley, Married to the Game

Melissa Suggitt said...

i used to love taking the bus to university. no parking fees, it picked me up one block from my house and dropped me off right in front of the university doors. and i got a LOT of reading on it. and sleeping. let's be serious i took so many bus naps...

Anna said...

Go You for making it! Coming from san Fran and Seattle, I can really say Portland public transportation is quite good!!!

Whitney Alison said...

OMG if our transit system was better I'd take it all the time. Unfortunately Columbus is all about sprawl :/

Helene in Between said...

haha wow! i feel like i can go around freely like you said- almost anywhere- but public transportation in the states is tough. and i NEVER carry cash either. at least you rocked the hunters!

brooke lyn said...

i can do max, but i have yet to actually attempt the bus line! i'm scared haha

Amanda Elizabeth - Meet @ the Barre said...

Oh my lord that would give me so much anxiety as well being the only one on the bus! However you at least looked fabulous with your Hunters on so it gave you some time for a photo opt ;-)

Lauren said...

I have no idea how to take the bus here but it's awesome you figured it out and would do it again. And you were super stylish on the bus in your Hunters, of course! Glad you got to go!

Erika Lee @ A Tiny Rocket said...

Hello fellow Portlander! the public transportation system is great here. :) I have been meaning to check out Bolt but haven't had a chance yet.

his little lady said...

Girl, I love that you are so independent. I can't imagine going to a different country all by myself. And sometimes transportation can be confusing, but I LOVE the bus! I take it every day to get into Seattle for work :)
xo TJ

http://www.hislittlelady.com