Departure.I was watching a movie the other day, National Lampoon Vacation, and it made me reflect back to my family trip from about ten years ago. It was a family reunion bus trip for my husband’s family to Orlando, Florida from Upstate New York. We had rented a bus to accommodate as many family members as possible to enjoy each other’s company. It was in July and the temperature was hot and humid at 85 degrees. We had babies, children, elderly aunts and uncles and some with health problems and everyone was in good spirits. The matriarch of the family was determined to sit up front with the bus driver to make sure that he drove correctly and did not fall asleep, although he, himself, had narcolepsy and would fall asleep at the drop of a hat. One of the aunts made sure that she had a seat near the bathroom because she had a weak bladder and could get to the bathroom quickly. Those who had health problems such as diabetes put their styrofoam ice chests overhead with their insulin and other medications. The teenagers had their headphones and music ready and we were finally ready to get moving with 40 people on board.
The trip started out smooth and the air conditioning on the bus made us comfortable from the heat outside. The driver seemed alert and focused while our matriarch carried on a conversation with him, in between his naps, to help keep him awake. We sang road trip songs and all was well. About two hours into the trip everyone became annoyed with our aunt in the back because she was always in the bathroom and others could not get in there. Then about five hours into the trip the bus broke down and the air conditioning stopped working and everything went downhill from there. The bus driver said he would have to call in for another bus. We had to wait two hours on the highway shoulder until another bus arrived. Everyone was sweating profusely and the bathroom was smelling up the bus and the babies were crying. Little arguments started popping up and the ice chests were dripping from overhead because of the heat.
Arrival.When we arrived in Orlando, Florida, everyone was cranky and vowed never to ride the bus again. The moral of this story is to fly or take the train. Make sure you use a reputable bus company such as www.greyhound.com or try the new bus company www.megabus.com.