Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Nothing Says Romance Like A Greyhound Bus...

Trust Me.  Kent is NEVER Going to Live this Down.  Seriously?!  What Was He Thinking?  You Tell Me.

I have the best husband.  I really do.  I love him very much and I know he loves me. He arranged for a romantic weekend alone without kids this weekend in San Antonio.  So thoughtful.    He is also brilliant, but sometimes I wonder... here is the conversation this morning.
Me:  Honey, I have a meeting at 4:00 on Friday.  I can't go early with you to San Antonio, but I will just meet you down there.
Kent:  Well, I don't have $30 to waste on parking two cars, plus it wastes gas.  Why don't you just take the Greyhound Bus down and I will pick you up?
MeAwesome!   I would love to take the Greyhound Bus from Austin to San Antonio....   

 Me:( Thinking to myself inside my head) The old Me would have gotten into a huge fight over this, but the New Me says this is going to be freaking AWESOME!!!!

Because here is the deal.  I have realized that this is going to get me about 20 years of leverage and thousands of dollars in gifts...

Here is the email I just sent Kent:

Reenie Collins
4:12 PM (29 minutes ago)

to kenttalkcollins

Thanks for arranging the romantic weekend. First time in 4 years we have been on trip with no kids!  Hubba Hubba!
Since you thought it would not be cost effective for us to take two cars and I have a meeting that is late and you have a meeting in SA early; you so very kindly suggested that I take the Greyhound Bus. 
  Well,  I checked and it just so happens that there IS a Greyhound Bus that leaves from Austin at 6:20 pm and arrives San Antonio at 8:15 pm - so not much longer than it would take me to drive.  Wow, how lucky!

And guess what?!   You are right, the savings is amazing!  The ticket, if I buy it online,  is only $10.00! That's right, just $10.00.   That way I can save the $30.00 parking fee for two nights, plus I save about $106.00 in gas useage from driving the Lexus to San Antonio (201 miles RT).  Plus there is also probably savings on the car depreciation from adding miles to the car, but I don't know how to calculate that!

As for your concern over the carbon footprint driving two cars leaves on this planet, I am so proud of your stance for the environment.  It is too bad more people are not like you and so caring and thoughtful of others.   (It reminds me of our trip to Anna Maria when the kids were little and you offered to go ahead and get some sleep while all three kids and the Nanny were vomiting repeatedly and could not even make it to the restrooms and so were throwing up in their beds.  And yet you thoughtfully felt that  that at least one of us should get some sleep and be fresh for the next day and so you very graciously offered for it to be YOU since you know how I like to sleep late.)  Anyway, as you said, there really is no reason for us to take two cars and waste the gas when the Bus is going down there anyway.  It certainly is better to Go Green whenever we can - just like Al Gore said.

I also appreciate the way you always look out for me and make sure I am safe and relaxed. A woman driving all alone on IH-35,  all the way to San Antonio?  That is certainly not safe.  Who knows what could happen?  I almost get PTSD just thinking about how difficult that would be and then I would not arrive at our romantic weekend feeling refreshed and loving.   So I am really glad you are looking out for that.  

 I will be sure to charge up my Kindle so I can read and rest the whole way rather than driving through all that stressful traffic and those potentially dangerous roadside situations and predators. Who knows?  I might even be able to stretch out on the seats and take a quick nap if my bus seat partner does not mind!  I sure hope my seat mate is nice.  I am bringing some cards and snacks just in case we strike up a conversation.

And, also, since I am saving us about $126.00 by taking the bus and letting you drive just one car down there, that leaves us more money to spend on dinner.  I was thinking we could probably go out to eat straight from the bus station when you pick me up.  Maybe you can see if there is a good place near there since it is a bit late and we will both be hungry?  I'm sure you could find a place close by -  just ask one of your partners in San Antonio, I bet they know the area real well and have probably taken their wives someplace romantic near the Greyhound Bus Station dozens of times over the years on special occasions.  After all, nothing says romance like a Greyhound Bus, does it?

If not, we could always hop over to the 7-11 next door and heat up a chili dog or a batch of nachos and then head on over to our luxury suite at the Westin Riverwalk for some Romance.(Notice I used a capital R in romance?  So you can tell how excited I am!)

 Since we are going to have so much extra money by my taking the Greyhound Bus instead of driving my own car, we could probably splurge on some drinks from the mini bar in the room!  Woo Hoo!   Or if you would rather, we could stretch our dollar a bit and just grab some Tallboys and bring them up to the room. 

Love you and can't wait for the weekend!


P.S.  You don't need to worry about me leaving my car at the Austin Greyhound Bus Station or about me spending money on a taxi.  I am going to call ALL our friends to let them know how thoughtful you were to suggest ME riding the Greyhound Bus for our romantic weekend getaway and ask them to come see me off - kind of like a Bon Voyage for my trip.  I am sure they would love to grab a few Keystone Lights, a bag of Cheetos and some  Slim Jims and make a happy hour down at the Greyhound Bus Station.  You know our friends - they are always up for a party. 

Stay tuned for more Tweets and Blogs about my upcoming trip - and about what Kent's reply to my email is...


  1. Holly sent me to this post because we just had a similar, albeit non-romantic, conversation about bus travel. As usual, we are traveling (that's 5 of us) up to the Jersey shore later this month. I realize the mere mention of "Jersey shore" opens the door to ridicule and comments about bad accents and orange skin, but the reality is that many Jersey beach destinations are lovely and fit for even the snootiest vacationer.

    Since 5 plane tickets costs about the same as a good, used pickup truck these days we are using frequent flier miles. (Neither of us has an immediate family member with the money tree, sadly.) Of course, "free tickets" means the same as "creative itinerary" because there are NEVER free tickets from Austin to Philadelphia on the dates you want. But this year we got a bit lucky with a flexible schedule so Holly and kids are leaving on a Tuesday, arriving in Philly and will be picked up by a family member TBD for a relatively quick drive to the beach.

    I, on the other hand, can't leave Austin until Thursday evening at the latest. And there are no free flights at that time, or on Friday, to Philly. However, there is a free flight to Newark. But that's 120 miles from Ocean City so I'm on my own to get to the shore.

    I looked into renting a car but refuse to pay $150 + $20 gas to drive a compact car for 2 hours. I've rented cars for a week and paid less than that! So, this week I jumped on the New Jersey Transit website and learned (with modest glee) that a bus can take me from the Newark airport to Ocean City for only $42...and that price even includes a cool excursion into New York City for a transfer at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Tourist bonus!

    Honestly, I'm so excited to finally meet people who do other things besides work a 9 to 5 white collar job, worry about where their kids go to school, and fret over looming orthodontist bills. Maybe I'll meet someone cool that I've only ever seen in the movies, like a sexy exotic dancer headed to Atlantic City for the weekend accompanied by a heavily tattooed, and very scary dude. Or perhaps an amiable drug dealer loaded with cash and weapons. Or maybe one of those trendy human traffickers I've recently heard about on 20/20 and 60 Minutes. Or a kindly reformed soul (think MOrgan Freeman) just released from Rahway prison, starting the first day of the rest of his life after doing 20 years in the joint for somebody else's crime. Whoever sits next to me, I'll be sure to record the conversation just to prove it actually occurred when I tell people about it years later.

    So, fear not that you are alone this summer riding the highways on the big bus. I'm glad you see the positive in this opportunity, as I do, to jump deep into the heart of this great country we call 'Merica. Maybe we can pretend like we're college students on a big backpacking adventure in Europe...just like when we were young and restless. Then we can get together in the Fall and recount the joys of seeing many quaint small towns through the pane of big windows and the smell of diesel fuel. Heck, we'll be collectively up about $300 so let's all four of us get together for a fabulous dinner in Austin to talk about our grand bus adventures!

    Bon voyage Madame! - Phil T.