Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sleigh Ride

Hey everyone! Well, I'm finally here, home in the ATX! I kept a journal while I was on the trip, so that I could share the memories with you! So here they are:

I'm sitting here at the Greyhound Bus Station in Billings, Montana, happy to report that everything went well on the first leg of the trip! I got halfway through reading SLEEPERS and when we get back on the road, I'll read some more. Aside from some random texts to my dad to update him on where I am, I've been 'tech free' for a whole day! :D

It's amazing how freeing a lack of technology can be. Don't get me wrong, I'm looking forward to reconnect . . . see what I did there?!? ;) but in the meantime, I'm enjoying reading, writing, and drawing on the bus.

I'm actually quite proud of my on-the-road eating habits. I've predominantly been snacking on Granola and Clif bars. I slept most of the morning away, but when we stopped for lunch, I had a hot dog and a big container of fruit, and lots of water! It's been really nice enjoying the countryside. Mostly it's been mountains and snow, neither of which I'm a huge fan of. Most people on my bus have been really quiet and have kept to themselves. Even the little baby on board has been seemingly chill. I think she cried once, for 5 minutes 'til she got her bottle . . . of course she could've been fussier and I could've just slept through it. ;)

One funny thing I saw on the ride from Seattle to Billings was a TACO JOHN'S . . . one simple name, SO many jokes! ;) But the slogan was: THE BEST WEST-MEX! I really don't even know what to think. Growing up on Tex-Mex has spoiled me. I cringed and laughed all at the same time. I imagine it tastes really fishy and like it's trying too hard, much like most Mexican food I've had in the Pacific Northwest. But once again, I'm biased and spoiled.

The next leg of the trip leads me to Denver, Colorado. I know it sounds silly, but I can't wait to get back on the bus. Each leg of travel brings me closer to home—to the friends and family I miss and love so dearly.

Well, my hand is cramping up from the writing, and it's almost time to load up for Denver!

. . . UNTIL NEXT STOP . . .

The Denver Greyhound Station is what nightmares are made of. The people working the station are so unaffected and rude. A simple question is seen as insubordination of sorts, as if every passenger should already know the inner-workings of the Greyhound system.

I was sitting at the phone charging counter and there were 2 metal chairs already at the little bar lined with power outlets. After sitting there for about 10 minutes, one of the station guards came by and demanded that we get off the chairs because they weren't to be used at the charging station. So he took them to a nearby table, where no one sat in them.

The good news is that I'm now on the bus, on my way to Dallas to see Chad and Katie . . and then—HOME TO AUSTIN!

Dear Denver Greyhound Station,
Love, Amanda

PS: There's a guy on my bus that is originally from Louisiana. His voice reminds me of Remy LeBeau's! It's quite awesome! :D

. . . UNTIL NEXT STOP . . .

I finally finished reading SLEEPERS! I love the book just as much as I love the movie now! Though I DO wish the movie had included the Pizza Parlour scene. This mentally handicapped kid comes into the pizza parlour and, out of habit, puts all this pepper on his pizza, and this tough older guy comes in and picks on him and teases him. Then the guys (Michael, Tommy, John, and Shakes) all gang up on the bully and totally rescue the kid. It's sweet :D

Well, I'm here in Amarillo, TX and I finally caved and got some 'crap food' to eat. I know, I know, sad. But I DID hold out for a while. And although I know I shouldn't have dipped my chicken strips in that nasty thick truck stop gravy, I did. I'm 99.9% sure I'm gonna regret it, but oh well. ;)

The people on my bus have been quite interesting! This one guy on my bus keeps reminding everyone that he's a "JUGGALO" . . . which is a reference to the Insane Clown Posse, for those who don't know. The only thing that sucks is that this one guy who sat next to me on the last leg of the trip totally farted halfway through the ride. It was RANK! :| I mean, even compared to some of the MC van rides with the guys . . . it was nasty! So, he claims the farts, and then proceeds to pull out a medical mask to protect HIMSELF from the stench! Un.real. :( I guess he never heard about bringing enough for everyone. Needless to say, I'm going to search for a new riding buddy for the next leg of the trip. All in all, things are going well. I've been sleeping A LOT! I guess I needed it. ;)

. . . UNTIL NEXT STOP . . .

I got an early Christmas present, in the form of Chad Sherlock and his girlfriend, Katie, meeting me at the Dallas Greyhound Station dressed up as Santa and an Elf! LOVED IT!! We got to hang out and eat some McDonald's . . . after driving around for a while trying to find this elusive cafe I found on Google Maps—YOU FAIL, GOOGLE MAPS! ;) I was really hoping to get some breakfast, but after ordering a Sausage, Egg and Cheese Meal (the #4), the lady asked if I wanted large fries with that and I was like, uhmmmm. . . then we realized they weren't serving breakfast at 3 a.m.—who knew? ;)

I had SO much fun hanging out with them and hearing all sorts of fun stories and just sharing with them about life in Seattle. They reminded me of just how blessed I am to have amazing friends, with such big hearts and the ability to just warm your heart with a simple smile! I love them! :D

The only thing that sucked is that I thought my bus was leaving at 5:25, so I was like, frantic about being back at the station at 5:00. But in reality, my bus wasn't even scheduled to leave until 6:45. BIG DIFFERENCE. Well, I just waited in the station, and did some reading from my Creative Screenwriting mag. I was really excited cause they did a feature on THE LOVELY BONES, which i want to see SOOOOO bad! It's one of my favorite books and I can't wait to see what Peter Jackson makes of it! Also, they mentioned a blip about how Peter Jackson and his team are joining up with Guillermo Del Toro to make THE HOBBIT. I'm so JAZZED! Man, if I could intern under someone in the film industry, it would DEFINITELY be Guillermo Del Toro. His creativity and style astound me. So yeah, THE HOBBIT is a must!

My dad met me at the station and it was SO good to hug him and to just get re-acquainted with Austin, this city I love :D Now I'm home and just chillaxin, having taken a shower to get that Greyhound stench off of me, and for dinner, we're going to RUDY'S BBQ! Then, tonight I get to go have coffee at Mozart's with Stephanie Bailey Cole, who I haven't seen in years! :D This is gonna be a great vacation!



Erin The Hermit said...

oh my gosh amanda, i've been to taco john's! my mom and i went up to minnesota a few christmases ago, and they have them up there. my aunt insisted we try it, that it was "really good." as skeptical as we were - my aunt wouldn't really know good mexican food from taco bell - we tried it out.
the tacos weren't bad, i guess, but you're right about the trying too hard thing. plus they had these side items that my cousin loved, they were like tator tots, maybe? i don't remember, but it was really weird.
anyway. yeah.

amo (amanda) said...

Oh my gosh! There's a place in Seattle called Taco Time and they're a "mexican food restaurant" and they have Tator Tots as a side too! I'm like, what thaaaa???? ;) un.real.