Greyhound Bound To Obama Town

I received a ticket to attend President Elect Obama’s Inauguration less than one week before the event. This meant I had to pull together financially feasible travel plans in a short amount of time. All the cheap airline fairs were scooped up November 5th. Organized bus trips were booked. I thought of driving my car to Baltimore and taking a shuttle into DC but I don’t really like winter driving. I have 26 years of driving in Buffalo winters; I’m still waiting to find the joy in it.

What to do? What to do? I know! Go Greyhound! I went online and found a one-way fare for $93! I had arrangements to ride back with friends. They are not leaving until late Monday night and have no room at an inn. I didn’t want to risk missing PEO getting sworn in because of traffic and I have a sofa near Capitol Hill waiting for me! So, I’m on a 10 + hour bus trip and should arrive in DC around 11:30.

I’ve only taken the Greyhound once and I was a very young girl, returning to Buffalo after visiting a cousin in Detroit. I was a seasoned solo flier at an early age but the bus was different. There wasn’t a nice stewardess to give me gingerale, snacks, a coloring book and plastic “wings”. My aunt packed a lunch for me and gave me a napkin. That was it! I haven’t taken the bus since then, until now.

Well, I have to say that the hype of creepiness and weird characters that surrounds bus travel is just hype, at least on the first leg of my trip. I boarded the bus from Buffalo at 11pm with the people of “Main Street” as our soon to be President refers to regular folks.

The “Streeters” include several Auntie & Grandma ladies smelling of cocoa butter and carrying large purses filled with snacks, peppermints and tissue. I found myself missing my mother terribly as each of these women shuffled into their seats. There are a couple of young guys with backpacks, skateboards and a laptop and some young women, a few travelling together and some alone. My “streeters” are Black, White, Hispanic, old, young, sleepy and quiet.

This bus is headed for NYC which is the final destination for most of the “streeters”. I think I heard only 1-2 other people state DC as their final destination as the driver was taking tickets.

The driver and I chatted for a bit about the Inauguration at a rest stop in PA. The brotha was sincerely gleeful and proud that I had volunteered for the campaign in Buffalo and in Erie PA and had a ticket for the Inauguration.

As I was paying for my coffee, the clerk smiled and said, “I’m glad you’re going too! You’re going for me too!” As I was boarding the bus one of the Auntie-Grandma ladies touched my hand and said, “Have this.” It was a piece of peppermint candy.

As I write this entry at O’dark-thirty, I am very happy that I chose the bus. There is a lot of spirit about and faith in our next President, across the nation and on this bus. I’m saving my peppermint for Tuesday. It will be better than a glass of the finest champagne.

I’m boarding a different bus to DC from NYC which is very soon. The creepy people factor remains a possibilty. I’ll let you know.


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