I was in Vancouver, BC for a work seminar. I traveled with a co-worker and we left on Wednesday by coach bus. It's a shuttle service that takes us from downtown Seattle all the way up to Vancouver and drops us literally at our hotels. (He stayed at the seminar hotel, while I stayed at another 2-1/2 blocks away.) I was able to leave a little earlier than he was, so I booked my return for Saturday afternoon. I was to leave Vancouver at 4:15 and arrive back in Seattle by 9 to sleep in my own bed. Ahhhhh.
Saturday turned out to be a miserably rainy afternoon, which
As I sat there glazed over in my own little world, I kept glancing at my reservation sheet. Because I'm OCD like that. I kept double checking that I was in fact being picked up at the hotel, checking the time, checking the date... WAIT! I looked back at the time. The bus would pick me up at 04:15. Holy shit. 04:15 was AM!! As in, morning. Very, very early in the morning. THAT morning, twelve hours previous. In otherwords, 4:15PM would have been listed as 16:15, had I booked it correctly. *insert many swear words here*
I will not bore you with my soap box about how I think it is absolutely ridiculous that we are the only country in the world who seems to not be able use metrics, or freaking 24 hour time clocks.
I had a cloud of dollar signs running around in my brain - $ an unreserved night in a hotel I would have to pay for (I knew they would stick it to me for that one), $ another one-way trip on the bus IF I could get on the next morning, $ the 49 cents a minute in roaming phone calls I was going to have to make, and $$$ all the drinks it would take that night to make me feel better. Drinks are expensive, dammit.
I texted my husband to have him double check. Yep, I had blown it. I choked down panic and tears, my hopes of sleeping in my own bed swirling down the drain, and asked him to call the bus company and see if there was another bus they could put me on. He was looking at the website, telling me there wasn't another one on the schedule.
Well, turns out, he can't read 24 hour times either. There was another bus, and they were happy to change my reservation without charging me another dime. I'd have to haul my giant suitcase (okay, I had my pillow in there - don't make fun!), heavy back pack (including three magazines I hauled all the way up there and didn't have time to read) and my sorry ass four blocks down the street in the rain to another hotel, but it was leaving an hour and a half later and I was determined to be on it.
Things are rarely as bad as they seem. The four blocks were short, it mostly stopped raining for my walk down there, the bus driver was the sweetest old man in the world and hauled my big ass, heavy suitcase from inside that hotel lobby, out to the street and around the corner to the bus.
Of course once I reached Seattle, it was another story. My husband hadn't arrived at the hotel where they dropped us off yet, and I definitely wasn't in Kansas anymore, Toto. I tried not to look at the hooker that walked through the doors. I also tried to ignore the couples taking their smoke breaks outside - they were there for a blind group convention and both women were blind - one with a cane, the other with an overfed Doberman seeing eye dog. And I definitely tried not to eavesdrop on the woman who was telling one of the women that she was on her first trip EVER out of Oregon, how much they had enjoyed their sight-seeing that day, and then ask the blind woman if she could see at all, and if her dog was very helpful. Oh, and you think I'm kidding about the blind convention, don't you? I'm not. She asked the blind woman about that, too. I could not make this stuff up.
I'm seriously beginning to wonder if I should just stay home.
On a brighter note, guess who was staying at the seminar hotel?
Yep, Hurley from Lost. Okay, his name isn't Hurley, it's Jorge Garcia, but will you ever think of him as anything but Hurley? Well, maybe, because they are in Vancouver shooting a new show called Alcatraz. Yeah, I know Alcatraz is in California, but whatever.
There's a rumor that they are also shooting Mission Impossible 3 not far down the street, too, but I did not see Tom. And the hotel lady wouldn't budge and tell us if he or any of the others from MI were staying at the hotel. Don't you think she answered the question by NOT answering the question? Yeah, me too.