I shared in our Manhattan Tales blog post last week a series of true events that happened enroute to NYC a few weeks ago. After being on the ground a mere 10 hours, it was time to head back home to South Carolina. As expected, the bus was completely full of passengers making the trip down South. Unlike the trip to NYC, we were assigned specific seats. Rhonda and I like to sit behind the driver. However, with the assigned seating, we were more than half-way towards the back of the bus. I thought it would make for an uncomfortable trip, but with it being late at night, everyone pretty much went to sleep. We left on time at 10PM, and our first stop wasn't until about 2AM. The trip was pretty uneventful as we drove into the night, through the DMV area, and into North Carolina, and then South Carolina. After dropping off a great number of passengers, we were then allowed to spread out and change seats at will. It wasn't until we left Florence, SC that another tale begins.
We just turned off of I-95 South onto I-20 West heading to Columbia when a policeman pulled the bus over. I was surprised by the stop in that I didn't think we had been speeding. Up to this point, we were a mere hour from Columbia, and was on track for an on-time arrival of 11:30AM. The police addressed the bus driver and then asked him to open the luggage storage area below the bus. The police and a dog completed a thorough search of all the stored luggage, and even came on board to check our personal possessions and ID. One young man was search outside of the bus for illegal drugs, but was released to return onto the bus. This took all of 30 minutes, yet we were still on track of making it back to Columbia by noon.
We had just reached the Columbia city limits when traffic was stopped at a standstill. There was an accident further up the interstate, and the driver was detoured to an unfamiliar road. Some of the passengers tried to steer the driver to a more direct route to our final drop-off location, but with his limited English, he couldn't understand the directions instructed to him. He pulled the bus over in an empty parking lot, and using his own phone GPS, he found the best possible route to the drop-off spot. We arrived at 12:30PM.
So the lesson learned during our bus trip to NYC and back: pack a lot of patience and best believe, you will not depart or arrive on time. This is no different than what we have experienced with air travel. We have had airport delays, missed connections, and late arrivals more times than we can count.
Have you ever experience significant delays in your travels, whether via plane, bus, train, or automobile?
Rhonda & Sharee Washington