Saturday started well enough. Bus ride into Manhattan, breathtaking Opera at the Met, craft beer at The Pony Bar, and it was all capped off with Phantom of the Opera on Broadway.
All that remained was the bus ride back to the hotel. If you have read the previous post, you can probable guess what’s coming…
Knowing the issues I had with the NY subway system, I made sure to plan ahead and get my ducks in a row. I knew I needed the 166 bus going into the city, and was told I would take the same bus back. Same stop and everything. Yeah, right.
Lets start with the Port Authority. Their signs are fun. My bus back to NJ loads at gate 212. Except a hefty walk to gate 212 revealed those gates were all locked for the night. What gives? Well, after wandering around looking for alternate routes to the mythical 200 gates, I noticed the asterisk: after 10pm my bus loads at gate 325. Awesome. More walking.
Relieved to finally locate my gate, I soon boarded my bus and was riding back to the hotel. Thanks to the map feature on my phone, I became aware of the fact that I was NOT on the “same road” as my morning trip, as I was told I would be. I was close, but “close” is not what I was told. I got up and went to the front of the bus to talk to the driver.
Me: “Are we going to be looping back down Dean St?”
Me: “I was told this bus would take me to stop 11526.”
Driver: “Stop 11526? Where is that?”
Me: “The corner of Dean and Forrest.”
Driver: “We passed Forrest a long time ago.”
[driver pulls bus over and opens the door]
Driver: “You gotta get the 166 going back the other way.”
12:10AM, and here we go again. I got off the bus, and crossed the street to the bus stop to wait. One thing I DO like about the NJ Transit system is the ability to type in the stop number on your smart phone, and get the time of the next pick up.
There is NO WAY I’m standing here for almost 2 hours waiting in a suit looking like mugging bait. So I use my map to plot my route so I can start walking.
Ha! Just kidding. That’s just me being overly dramatic. It wasn’t 4 miles back to the hotel.
It was only 3.8 miles.
After ALL the walking of the previous day, after all the wrong turns, and misdirections, here I was walking yet again. I can certainly walk that distance, but I don’t recommend doing so in dress shoes. About halfway into the hike, my right knee started throbbing. Thankfully, most of the walk was well lit, and didn’t look like a shady part of whatever town I found myself.
I walked into the hotel about 1:45AM, and collapsed in my room. I talked to my friend, Jack, via phone and shared this tale. He gave me the quote of the weekend: “Enrique, PLEASE make sure you get on the right plane Monday so you don’t have to walk to Orlando.”
I love my friends.
Hopefully I’ll get things right on Sunday. There will be a lot of walking, but it was planned that way. And now that I know the TRUTH about the ride home, I am confident I’ll get back ok.