I checked out of the hotel in Temple Terrace at 8:45am. It was thundering, but it wasn’t raining. The ground was still wet and sidewalks were caked with mud, but the sun was at least trying to peek out of the dull grey clouds. Also, I should point out that if I followed the directions from Google Trip Planner I would have ended up a full half mile out of my way and if I hadn’t seen that they reversed what side of the street Wendy’s and Dunkin Donuts were on than I never would have found that bus stop.
Yes, I said “bus stop,” and anyone who has read more than one post this blog knows what I witnessed when I finally found it. This at least gave me some time to buy a ticket ($4 for a “day pass” with no option for a “single trip”). I sit down and pull out my notebook to find that were only three pages left in it meaning this is going to be a shorter post than yesterday. Lucky you.
I also put away the poncho I was wearing and suddenly the sky opened up and it started pouring rain. It was an absolute downpour, a true summer storm – and summer doesn’t even begin until next week.
The second bus arrived at 9:35am and spent the next ten minutes sitting at the stop before pulling out exactly as scheduled. It was still raining when we got to USF, but it tapered off by the time we reached Nebraska Avenue at 10:13am (a full two minutes early, despite picking up\dropping off three wheelchair passengers).
It took another half hour for the bus to get even half full, and in another fifteen the skyscrapers of downtown were finally coming into view. This was a far faster trip than I was expecting. In fact, we pulled into Marion Transit Center at 10:53am – a lot sooner than the “2hrs 5min” Google estimated it would take.
MTC is a massive bus docking area. Seriously, it’s a lot bigger than I was expecting it to be, but I still managed to get to the hotel in fifteen minutes. I checked in, and went up the room. I looked out the open drapes and saw that it was raining again, so much for apartment hunting…