6/1/04 02:26 pm - Balticon! (eventually, one hopes)
Livejournal post by email isn't working for me.
Well, either that, or it's backlogged, and my weekend posts will all show up in a big slew at some point.
Either way, here's the Friday mostly pre-arrival post.
We decided to take a Dragon Bus (both an actual bus company and a more general name for chinatown bus companies) to Baltimre. This ran into a few snags.
First, there are far fewer such busses running to Baltimore than to Boston and DC. In fact, the entire Baltimore service consists of a couple of DC<=>NYC busses making a stopover. And only one of them (Dragon itself) claims to stop in Baltimore, rather than just dropping passengers at the aptly named (because after you get there, you have to) Travel Plaza.. So, after meeting at my workplace at 3:30, we went to get a leisurely dinner and wait for the next available Dragon Bus. Our first mistake was not reserving online -- they weren't sure there was space for us, since apparewntly, due to the paucity of lines, the busses frequiently fil up. But, as it turned out, there was enough room.
We were told we had a "special" treat -- a brand new bus! While the bus-lady (about as pushy as they usually seem to be) seemed to think this was a good thing, I, personally, thought it failed to bode well, and my scepticism was proved reasonable when the bus ended up missing a few anemnities...like reading light (or rather, it had them, but they dudn't work), lights in the bathrooms, toilet paper, or apparently, working emergency buttons (as I accidentally found out when I pushed one in the bathroom hoping it was a light switch).
Still, it did function, didn't crash, and eventually brought us to Travel Plaza.
Remember Travel Plaza? The place I didn't want to be? Well, despite the claims on the website, apparently, this bus didn't go anywhere in Baltimore except there either -- at least, not on Friday (how obvious!).
The next step, getting us from Travel Plaza to where we actually wanted to be, proved a bit more complicated -- sure, there was probably a city bus from Travel Plaza to the rest of Baltimore, but apparently, nobody -- not the concierge at the hotel (who hang up on me once, and put me on endless hold once), not the bus operators, and only barely the woman at the greyhound station (it took us about ten minutes to get through to to her that we wanted a city bus, not a greyhound bus...)!
But eventually, we did get to the bus station, and it's "only" taken us the entire time I've been writing this entry for the bus to make itself visible.
OTOH, somewhere in here, nightstalker arrived at the bus station, having taken the New Century bus to the same place, so at least we'll have company into the city.
Ok, that was the theory. What -actually- happened was that we then proceeded to wait for the bus for another 40 minutes, and eventually gave up, and took a taxi, which was fast and cheap. Oops.