Excuse me as I write this via the mobile web.
My parents frequently take mini trips around the southeast to places like New Orleans and Savannah. I usually participate by cat sitting Milo while they galavant in quaint cities. Well, today I am part of their journey in Atlanta for their joint birthday celebration. I happened to be flying out of ATL on Wednesday, so our trips perfectly aligned.
A native New Yorker and a retired subway system employee, Dad is a fan of public transportation. Likewise, Mom frequents the JTA (crappy Jax bus system). They have the patience to ride buses around to save the gas and avoid being behind the wheel during traffic. I admire them for this.
That being said, we took the Greyhound today. My parents are “frequent riders”, if that even exists, and were able to purchase three tickets to ATL for a mere $4.50 each. Wizards, I tell you. If you think I am frugal, wait until you meet my quirky parents.
Popping my Greyhound virginity was interesting to say the least. My parents immediately struck up conversations with our neighbor riders. Each person on that bus has a story and a destination. The soldier was on his way to Indiana after a few tours of Iraq. He has consolidated his life materials into three military green bags. I offered to carry one of his bags to the bus, but I embarrassingly could not even lift the tiniest one. My gymnast muscles deflated. I knew it would happen one day.
Our other neighbor took out a ferret and handed Slinky over to my mother. He was sedated for the haul to west Texas, but he was still a curious little sucker. You’re probably thinking that it is random to hold a ferret in the Greyhound. It turns out that Slinky is a service animal. He provides emotional comfort for his PTSD owner. The young man was open enough to inform us that both of his parents were murdered and that Slinky calms his emotions. My reaction was silence and sadness. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain… I can’t help but feel lucky that I have two sets of loving parents.
Well after a ride in the MARTA rail and witnessing a profanity laden verbal battle between two intimidating guys on the train, we made it to our hotel in Sandy Springs. I don’t have the most ideal impression of Atlanta so far, but I think that will change after the aquarium!