Welcome to the most hilariously long bus journey of my life.
I have to start out by saying that even thought this bus trip was nearly twice as long as the one to New York (somehow our MegaBus from Boston to NYC left half an hour late, and arrived half an hour early, making the trip only 3 ½ hours instead of 4 ½, which, any other time, would be great, but when you’re counting on those 4 ½ hours for sleep, is not so great!) it was way more enjoyable… even with the slight detour we took.
In the afternoon we had to get to a street corner near Madison Square Garden to catch the Worldwide Bus back to Alewife. We purposely picked this bus because it stops at the T station at Alewife, which is closer to home than the bus station in downtown Boston. So we caught the subway from our hotel to MSG, and then walked a few blocks to the “bus stop” arriving about 20 minutes before our bus, to a line about 100 people long. We decided that this COULDN’T be the line for our bus, so we went to the bus, gave our luggage to the guy who put it under the bus, and got on the bus… to find that it was full, and it wasn’t our bus – apparently the 2pm bus was running late. Haha, oops.
So we go to the back of the line, and stand around… and stand around… and stand around… and then FINALLY the line starts moving, and we find out that yes, all these people are for the 3pm bus, but there are actually TWO 3pm buses. Phew. So we get near the front of the line and realize that the bus is nearly full, and that we are either going to be the last people to get on this bus, or the first to get on the 2nd bus. And in the end, they asked us to get one the bus, and using our charm, we convinced the guy to put people behind us in the line on the bus, and let us get on the next bus – which could have been the best (or worst) decision of the day!
So we finally get on the bus, and sit in the front row (prime seats – nice view out the front window, plus the bonus of nobody reclining their seat onto you!) and finally get away from NYC about 3:30pm. Getting out of NYC on a bus takes a long time, you have to travel up 10th Ave (or somewhere like that) up and up and up. You go into the 100’s in Streets, and then end up though Harlem and keep going north – it seems like it never ends! And then, as we are driving randomly thought the outskirts of NYC, the bus drivers phone rings, and it’s his boss telling him that he should go a different way, since the roads between NYC and Boston are busy (not surprising, since it’s the last day of a 4-day weekend). Anyways, he tells him to take a specific bunch of roads, including 287. Except he tells him to take 287 but 287 actually runs west to east, and he doesn’t tell him which way to take it. This will become a problem. But we don’t realize that. So the driver asks me to write down the list of roads to take, which I do.
So we’re driving along, and like the nosey thing I am, I’ve looked up the route that we’re taking back to Boston on Maps on my iPhone, so I know where we are going. And then, as we pass the exit to 287E, and continue on to what becomes 287W, and I realize that we have gone the wrong way. But I don’t say anything, because I’ve been well known in the past as a know-it-all, and this is the bus drivers job, right? And he knows what he’s doing, right?
We get like 20 minutes up the road and then we CROSS THE TAPPAN ZEE BRIDGE. Now the Tappan Zee Bridge heads to Upstate New York, among other places. You don’t take the Tappan Zee Bridge if you want to get to Boston, unless you want to go about 5 hours out of the way through Albany. So I’m nudging Christina, who is sitting on the aisle seat, and tell her that we are going the wrong way, and to get the bus drivers attention (because he is wearing headphones at this point, and I don’t want to yell out and freak out the whole bus). So after like 10 minutes of me telling her that we are going the wrong way, and her telling me that he know what he is doing, she FINALLY gives in and taps him on the shoulder, and I tell him that we are going the wrong way. And then another guy sitting a few rows back pipes up “Yeah, we ARE going the wrong way”… thank god, I am not the idiotic Australian telling an American bus driver that we are going the wrong way to Boston.
So we’re finally going the right way, but now we are late. And of course, because we have spent the morning in NYC, we don’t have a bag full of snacks and food supplies like I’d normally have on a bus trip this long, so we go our bags and fish out the remnants of our weekend – a crushed granola bar, assorted candy… and then dig into the dozen bagels we picked up for my host mom at Grand Central station that morning (which we also texted her and told her we were holding hostage unless she picked us up at 9:30pm, haha!). And of course, we joke about taking the bus through a McDonald’s Drive Thru (even though I am abstaining from McDonalds on this trip, I was hungry enough to consider eating it!) but don’t ask, because we are already nearly 2hours behind schedule.
So it was a long trip to Boston. The bad news was that with the little detour, we’d added an hour on to our trip time, and that combined with the late start and the small amount of traffic, we got home 2 hours later than planned – and on a trip that was supposed to be just 4 hours and supposed to get home at 7:30, we didn’t get home to Woburn until nearly 10pm… and I was STARVING.
But we made it home. And now we have one more thing to look back on and laugh about – how when we were trying to get to Boston, we nearly ended up in upstate New York!