10:19am – A later start then I would have liked, but I am ready to go out and take photos today. I never did post those pictures from Epcot International Festival of the Arts as they’re still on my phone…the one I forgot to plug in before I got in the shower. Eh, whatever, I’ll be back before it dies anyway.
11:20am – I was starving when I got off the bus across the highway from the Sunrail station (the closest the driver would drop me off as she INSISTED Sunrail doesn’t operate on weekends) so I stopped at the McDonalds adjacent to said station. I’d already missed the 11am train so I had a bit of time to fill anyway.
-1:06pm – I arrive at Sanford Sunrail Station, the expansive parking lot is empty and there are no buses or cabs in sight. I put the zoo’s address into Google Maps and let the friendly GPS lady (whom I can barely hear) guide me.
-2:01pm – Google sent me Rand Yard Rd, which is a one-lane service road for the distributor on the corner and after traipsing through several acres of scrub grass I found myself in some kind of landfill\processing center (looked deserted, but it was a weekend). The latter was fenced off (10 feet from the connection street Google wanted me on) but no, I was the correct route so I was forced to backtrack all the way back to the main road and follow their DRIVING directions to the zoo.
-2:53pm – Finally arrived, with slightly under 2 hours to see everything. I haven’t even gone into their iconic pink\red gate yet, and I’m already exhausted.
-4:09pm – This very well could be a post of its own, but I’ll put in here anyway. No, I’m not going into a tirade about their tiny cages stacked on top of each other. No, my complaint here is that after I left the zoo, I asked the worker at “Admissions” window (couldn’t find “Guest Services”) to call a cab for me.
She looks at me like I’m stupid: “Duh, just open your Uber app, and they’ll…okay, fine, I’ll see if I can do that for you.” She disappears behind the wall for a moment and comes back to give me a sticky note with a phone number on it: “You can call them whenever you’re ready.”
“I don’t have the reception or the battery life for it,” I said showing her my phone with its 22% power that’s supposed to last until I get back.
“Nah, you can do it,” she said with a shrug. “After all, YOU’RE the one who wants it.” Yes, she actually thinks she’s doing me a favor. But at least she pretends to “believe” in me.
I go over to the parking area and do MY due duty as a cab wanting citizen. “I’d like to or… I said I’d like a cab to… I SAID ‘I’D LIKE A CAB TO…’“
Like I said, a huge fucking favor. People are staring at me because I am literally screaming at the top of my phone, and he STILL “can’t hear” me, but, hey, the girl at the “Admissions” window said I “could do it” so why disappoint her?
Finally, I get far enough away from the kiddie rides that he can finally hear me, and at 4:25pm, a black minivan (they sent a minivan for ONE person?) finally pulls up to the curb outside the gate.
-4:48pm – Cab driver conveniently “missed” the station saying ‘’don’t worry, we take the entrance around back.’’ Nice try, I saw the back of the station, there is no “entrance” there. Any other lies you’d like to throw at me?
-6:05pm – Arrive at the Sandlake Station. I spent the next ten minutes waiting on the only bus serving the station on weekends before stupidly deciding to get dinner at the Denny’s adjacent to the station (I should have used the dwindling natural light to find the next regular bus stop). Don’t get me wrong, I was hungry and the food was good, but service was definitely of the turn & burn variety (even though there were only five other patrons in the entire restaurant).
-6:47pm – It is pitch black outside, save for half lit store signs across the street and the blinding glare of the speeding cars. Oh yeah, perfect conditions for finding a bus stop in an unfamiliar area – especially since I now have an extremely expensive brick in my jacket pocket.
-7:39pm – After waiting at the unlit stop for approximately 15 minutes (my only source of time is a dead phone), the bus I wanted finally arrives. I take a seat and fight sleep for the next hour.
-8:49pm – Arrive safely back at the apartment. I’m glad I’m out of quarters since my feet will probably need all day tomorrow to recover from that “shorter route” Google Maps suggested (that ADDED an hour of walking to my trip). Don’t expect any updates from me before noon.