Friday, September 09, 2011

Why Do the Wrong People Travel?

The day began quite pleasantly. I got up early; browsed through Mom's Christmas craft books and wrote in my journal until about 8:30. Mom was already awake. Dad had gone out to Wildwood for the motorcycle convention again. Keefe was still in bed. He finally rolled out around quarter of 10. I watched him play video games while Mom got ready for us to head to breakfast.

Keefe, Mom, and I enjoyed a very pleasant meal at one of my family's favorite diners. The Four Seasons was a small WaWa until around 2004, when they moved to a larger building across the street. The Four Seasons opened a mere months later. We all fell in love with their tasty food and good prices when we tried it on a family outing. When I lived in Wildwood, it was one of my favorite places to eat when I'd make errand runs in Rio Grande.

All three of us had omelets, home fries, and whole wheat toast. Keefe had tomatoes, bacon, and mozzarella. I had broccoli and Swiss. Mom had spinach, tomato, and feta. Mine was delicious, just large enough, with lots of cheese and big broccoli pieces. The home fries were pretty good, too. Mom and Keefe said they loved theirs.

We drove across the street and browsed in Bed, Bath, and Beyond while waiting for my bus. Keefe and I didn't get anything. I didn't have the room. (Mom's sending several videos I told her I'd dub and the book I bought yesterday in the mail.) Mom had a coupon, so she bought a garlic bag. We oohed and ahhed over fancy knives, elaborate kitchen gadgets, and every baking pan under the sun.

They dropped me off at Dunkin' Donuts about 20 minutes before the bus was scheduled to arrive...and that's when the trouble began. The first two buses to appear were going to Wildwood and the Crest Haven Complex in Cape May Courthouse. Neither were scheduled. I asked one driver where the bus to Atlantic City was, and she said I had to pick it up across the street.

Fine. I crossed Route 47, luckily making it without incident. It's one of the busiest highways in Cape May County! The bus still didn't appear. It didn't arrive until more than 40 minutes after I was left at Dunkin' Donuts.

I was good and steamed, and matters weren't helped when I realized that the bus was so crowded, people were standing in the aisle of a narrow vehicle that was made for long-distance, not local, travel. Not only that, but almost all of the occupants were college kids and young workers spending their weekend off in Atlantic City. One girl gave me a lot of attitude when I accidentally rubbed up against her. A couple of men thought they were being cute when they asked me to sit on their lap. They're lucky I didn't wallop them with my very full bag.

I did finally find a seat, and spent a cramped and frustrating hour heading to Atlantic City. And of course, by the time the bus did finally show up at the Atlantic City Train Terminal, the 2:46 I was hoping to catch had literally just pulled out of the platform. This did give me a chance to buy a pretzel and a fruit cup for a quick lunch, buy my train ticket, and make change for the bus to Oaklyn.

The train, thank heavens, arrived on time, and the trip to Lindenwald went without incident. The trouble started again when I got off and discovered I'd missed the 4:27. Naturally, the 5:07 showed up more than ten minutes after it was supposed to, and at least two buses that weren't scheduled that had the same number went by.

I didn't get in until 6:02. I was tired, frustrated, and angry. I normally would have just called it quits, but I was broke. I badly needed my paycheck. I called my parents to tell them I was home, then dumped my things, grabbed my wallet and backpack, and headed to the Acme.

Picked up my paycheck, then had a really quick Mushroom and Swiss Sandwich and a Diet Dr. Pepper at Arby's. I didn't need much at the grocery store, since I was away all week. Eggs was the big one - I was almost out. Bought a carrot Betty Crocker cake mix to replace the spice one I used last week. (I can't believe the Acme doesn't sell the Betty Crocker spice anymore!) Also grabbed a box of green tea, a jar of Smucker's Natural Peanut Butter, chocolate chips, light Vanilla ice cream for a treat to cheer me up, and more frozen fruit juice concentrate for baking experiments.

I got quite a nasty shock when I checked my schedule for next week. Not only am I working 8 1/2 hours the day I get back, but we're supposed to be learning a new computer system on the registers then, too! I'm so frustrated.

I was in tears when I came home. It had been such a long day, and my schedule just made things worse. I called Mom when I came in; I got Dad before. She said that the next time the bus doesn't show or is very late, I should just call her, and I'll either wait at her house or she and Keefe will drive me to Atlantic City.

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