Pulling out the stops

One of the things I miss most about Baltimore is that I could walk from my apartment in Bolton Hill to the Light Rail, Metro Subway or Circulator. In Orlando, I have the choice of Lynx buses, Mears taxis and the I-RIDE Trolley unless I want to try to walk there…which isn’t necessarily a good idea given the area’s surprising lack of sidewalks.

Granted, you can get an awful lot of things done on I-Drive: groceries, shopping, dinner, movies and even a few rounds of miniature golf if you so choose. Unfortunately, there are some places in this city that aren’t on International Drive: Walmart is one of them, but that was where I ended up having to go anyway…and I had to trolley to get there – okay, HALF way there.

The plan was to get lunch at the closest I-RIDE stop and then walk over to the Dollar Tree for something and then use the $25 gift card for Gamestop my brother got me for Christmas. You know what they say about plans, right?

Oh, I got lunch. It wasn’t great, but it worked for what it was and then once I got the corner waiting to cross Sand Lake at International I could feel little drops of water starting to fall on my head. No-one said anything about “rain” today so I didn’t have my usual bag with poncho and umbrella in it. I walk 1.3mi in the rain which was relatively light until I got closer to Phillips Village where it transformed into a full-fledged downpour.

I duck into Dollar Tree and make two complete laps around the store without finding what I was looking for so I put back the snacks and soda I was going to buy and left the store. I passed Gamestop in the next building over, but decided to hit that on the way back as I could put anything I buy there in my Walmart bags.

I was right. Walmart DID have what I was looking for…though it took almost an hour to find it. I thought about getting games there to review in my other blog, but, wait, that’s what my gift card was for so I head over to the registers and make my way out of the store.

The first thing I noticed was that it was no longer raining. Second was that there were no line of off-brand cabs sitting in front of the store (probably crowded out by the shoppers moving their cars to the door so not to get their items wet). I cross the parking lot and am about to enter Gamestop when I open my wallet (to see if I have enough money for the trolley back) and found that my gift card wasn’t in there.

That stop eliminated, I made my way towards International Drive stopping at a crowded Dunkin Donuts outside Whole Foods (to use up a coupon I had brought with me) and arriving at the trolley stop exactly as it did – with my change ready -just to have the driver shut the door in my face and speed off. I wasn’t in a hurry, but I was still soaking wet and dying from the post-rain humidity. Rude as it was, I knew it was probably because of the half-filled coffee I was holding (meaning he thought he was doing me a favor by not making me dump it out) which I did manage to finish… just as the next trolley arrived.

Categories: florida, Orlando, transportation | Leave a comment

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