on my first trip to meet victoria, i travelled for more than 30 hours.
my journey started in the wee hours of the morning in trinidad. the original itinerary was by air, trinidad – maimi and then by car – miami to knoxville. seemed simple enough. it wasn`t
the flight leg was fine, uneventful, got to mia, cleared the usual airport checks and trekked to the car rental only to discover, that i need a credit card to rent a car. cash in this man`s land is a no no. ok, so we trek back to the airport, call amtrak, doesn`t go to knoxville. check around the airlines, last minute travel, no return date, bad, bad, bad, bad idea for the economy traveller. what`s left? greyhound. wouldn`t you know it, there`s a station that`s a really cheap cab ride from the airport. it`s a good thing i`m travel light.
i just manage to get to the station in time to get on the bus that left at 1:30. pay premium for my ticket, but being a traveller, i`m thinking, this is all part of the adventure.
i had some magazines in my bag, but no books, i wasn`t expecting to be driven. i managed to find a seat on my own at least for the first couple hours.
i`ve talked about driving out of florida before and as long as that drive was, it was still at my own pace. driving out of fl on greyhound involved multiple stops along the way including a 2 hour off bus layover in jacksonville in the wee hours of the morning.
i have to say my real adventures in bus riding didn`t begin til we left jacksonville. everytime i tried to get some sleep something would happen, first it was the woman sitting behind me who couldn`t believe this was my real hair and was continually touching it. eventually she got bored and went back to neck with her boyfriend. then as i started to doze off again there was the guy that got put off the bus in the wilds of georgia somewhere. i never found out what that was about.
i finally fell asleep and we were in atlanta for the bus change. the rest of the trip was uneventful, managed to get food in atl and at one of the breakfast stops.
when we got to knoxville, i hadn`t had a shower in a day and a half, i was tired, rumpled and dishevelled. i knew no one other than vic, i kept thinking she`d pull up and see me and just drive off. i was standing outside for about 10 minutes pondering what i was going to do and she pulled up got out of the car and smiled at me.
i think i knew at that moment how much i loved her. there are defining moments in your life that was one of them. i don`t remember much of the conversation then or the drive to the outdoor restaurant. all that remains clearly is the smile on her face and the racing in my heart.