Once upon a time, October 2012, I was invited by one of my closest friends to visit her in Nashville. We had a girls trip planned and I was really looking forward to it. This would be my first trip to the city and I quickly looked into travel arrangements. Well I searched online for airplane tickets and even tried to map out the drive from Indiana to Nashville but I decided that trying a new means of transportation would be an incredible journey! … boy was I wrong.
It all started one day at work when I was trying to book travel information for my sales guy to go up to Chicago for the weekend. He said “Oh just reserve the MegaBus” and I was all “Whaddaheck is the MegasBus?” He was throwing around words like fancy, double decker, luxury, bus and the fact that it has stations all over the USA including from Indianapolis to Chicago, Cincinnati, and a few other spots. He promised that he had never had a bad experience and since he didn’t have to worry about travel inconveniences while he rode, he could plug his laptop into the bus outlet, sign onto the free Wi-Fi and be in Chicago before he knew it.
I was intrigued.
So while I was trying to figure out the most cost effective way to get 5 hours southeast, I looked at their website. They had a line from Indy to Nashville! And only $28 each way! Booked!
I was very excited and had been reassured multiple times that everything would work out great. So I packed my suitcase and brought my laptop to watch a few movies and I figured I would be all set…
Well, come Friday, B thankfully offered to wait with me at the ‘bus stop’ (really just a random MegasBus sign in the middle of the street) so I wouldn’t have to leave my car downtown while I was away. The bus was supposed to come at 5:30ish. But there was no sign of anything for close to 3 hours. 3. Blake had to go to the meter at least five times to put more change in. We kill time as it drags on.
Finally, the luxurious bus rolls up close to 9pm and by this time I have already made friends with a woman who was waiting. She has a boyfriend in Nashville and takes the bus at least twice a month. She swore she only had one other bad experience. Unbeknownst to her, this adventure would top it.
This bus rolls up. Not even a double decker. Top of line bus system you say? More like busted up Greyhound. This bus was like if the worst of the Greyhound fleet mated with the metro that Jerry Seinfeld took to Coney Island in that one episode… completely wretched.
At this point I am already thinking I should turn back. Don’t get on the bus, my conscious says, you’ll be murdered at the gas station in Louisville. But I want to see my friends so badly that I walk past the obvious drug deal near the luggage rack and stagger all the way to the back of the bus. But, unless I want to sit next to the 300lb cousin of the main character from Slumdog Millionaire who is humming some incomprehensible tune, I turn around and head back up to the front begging my new friend to let me scrunch in next to her. Before the bus even makes it to the highway I am choking back tears, praying that I will have the courage to ask the bus driver to drop me off at the closest McD’s so B can pick me up.
Here are some of the luxuries I was ‘accommodated’ with on this bus trip:
- No working electrical outlets
- Broken Wi-Fi
- Heat stuck on 90 degrees
- 3 week old baby in the front seat
- Mother breast feeding said baby in the front seat (no problem with that) but the nipple makes an appearance
- A screensaver sexy selfie, radiating off of this person’s computer in the pitch dark
- Stopping at THEE sketchiest gas station for a half hour pit stop
- No music because my phone was almost dead and no way to charge it
- And the constant worry of where the heck this Hell Bus was going to drop my pitiful butt off in downtown Nashville.
I have an awesome time in Nashville, trip of a lifetime with my best friends, but I am absolutely dreading my return home. I almost consider just buying a plane ticket in order to avoid the inevitable. I even cancel my original departure date because I am too gun-shy to get back on that bus. But I suck it up and get to the bus stop and guess what is waiting there already? The conveniently advertised double decker luxury bus. It was like the bus right out of heaven’s gate. I couldn’t believe my eyes! And it was a Monday so it wasn’t very full. I went right up to the top deck and had a whole row to myself. I could look out the plexi-glass roof and plug my computer in. It was a miracle.
I’m not sure what advice to give you on this bipolar mode of transportation. Just be prepared for anything and come with a fully charged phone.