Greyhound Bus Lines... a different "class" of travel...
OK... So we had to get back to Portland from Lummi Island after the car accident. It's about a 5 hour drive, so we started examining options...
Option #1 - rental car in Bellingham. That would cost us around $250 - $300 for the week, we'd have to return it to Bellingham, and we really don't know if one week will be enough to fix the car. Any other choices?
Option #2 - puddle-hopper plane from Bellingham to Portland. Horizon Air runs shuttle flights on that route, but it's like $210 a person. I don't think we're *that* flush.
Option #3 - Amtrak train. That sounds like fun. I've never taken a train before. Problem: no seats from Seattle to Portland either Saturday or Sunday. OK... The final option...
Option #4 - Greyhound Bus. The price is right: $106 for all three of us to get back. 6.5 hours. And I've never taken a Greyhound bus anywhere.
And I'll try never to do it again.
The terminal in Bellingham is small but nice. The bus was coming down from Vancouver BC and was about 15 minutes late. We all ended up sitting next to people that were already on the bus. I ended up sitting next to a 300 pound mountain man that smelled like a brewery and mumbled like he had already polished off at least one six-pack. And it's not even 9 am yet! I sat halfway out in the aisle until we got to Everett (another nice terminal) where the lady next to my wife got off and I moved over. There was also a stop in Tacoma (nasty little dive of a terminal) before we got to Seattle. I would have expected Seattle to be relatively upscale, but no. It was everything you come to expect from a stereotypical bus terminal. Surly help, run-down building, diesel fumes in the air, and vending machines and video games which had seen better days.
And then the people... I'll tread lightly here, as it would be far too easy to stereotype passengers. It's cheaper transportation for the masses, and we met quite a few of the masses today. I really didn't want to know anything about the 22 year old guy who is dating a 30 year old woman because he doesn't go out with "children", won't ever get married, will retire at 40, and whose prior girlfriend claimed she was pregnant to get him back (and that's happened to him eight times before). I didn't want to sit next to the guy who must have been testing a new hi-carb beer diet. I really didn't want to listen to a bus driver who acted like we were all three year olds who couldn't follow instructions.
I now know why I fly whenever possible. I'd still like to try Amtrak sometime, and I may get to when I head back up to get the car in a week or so. But I will NOT do Greyhound again unless there is absolutely no other alternative.