Posted by: silverstar98121 | August 11, 2008

Travels with Friday, Part II

Where were we? Oh, yes, we had just gotten on the bus to go to the motel. You must understand that Fearless Leader had an accident years ago that left him with major pain, requiring large doses of really good drugs, and a traumatic brain injury. So he was actually worse off than I was. And apparently didn’t know how to say, “I’m not as macho as I look, I can’t pick up your suitcase.” Anyway we got to the motel, and of course, it’s on the other side of the road. And of course, there is construction in the road that requires us to take a detour to get across the road. If we’d taken the bus from the train station, we’d been on the correct side of the road.

And then we hit the first snag. You can’t refuse to take a service dog by law. Most of the time, I try to book into motels that are pet-friendly, but occasionally their pet policy is mis-represented on the web. I don’t have trouble with major chains. Unfortunately, this was a mom-and-pop affair run by a recent immigrant. If it had been up to me, I would have just moved along, but it wasn’t. So I had to educate the gentleman on my rights under the ADA. I hate being confrontational, but I won the argument. And so, on to our room. No, I didn’t have to stay in the same room as Fearless Leader.

And what a lovely motel it was. Why it even had ants that crawled in the window and were always in the was basin. Yep, all the amenities.

Then came time for dinner. One of the ways that I cope with stress is I say I am going to get drunk. The trip had been really stressful. In reality, for reasons of my own, the strongest thing I drink is diet cola. But we went to dinner, and Fearless Leader was mightily disappointed when I ordered iced tea. And said so. What, he was going to get me drunk and seduce me? I don’t think so. That was strike one.

We agreed to meet about 8am the next morning to get on the bus for the seminar. Come 8am, and he is barely awake. Tapping foot waiting for him. Finally, 45 minutes later, he’s ready. Of course, we are half an hour late. Strike two. We had a good argument about it, and agreed to make our way to the seminar separately in the future. But it is a good thing I went with him that morning, or he wouldn’t have known which of the circulator buses in which direction to take to the seminar.

Friday was warmly welcomed in the seminar, and even got her own certificate at the end of it. But I had to put some rules down, one of which was “no petting in the classroom.” This is so that Friday knows she has to behave. Petting during breaks was allowed, perhaps even encouraged. But of course, Fearless Leader petted whenever or wherever. Grrrrr.

He was a big blowhard. He was always talking about all the places he’d been, and all the things he’d seen. And how he was going to India in the Spring. Yeah, right, you can’t even figure out the bus system, but you’re going to India, you’ve been there a bunch of times. You’re an expert on malaria, or TB or something. Yeah, I believe you. NOT.

Fearless Leader and I were paired up to do a presentation at the end of the seminar. So he jumped in and made a chart, but didn’t talk to me about the presentation. We were just supposed to wing it. That pissed me off, too. By this time, we were barely speaking, I wasn’t taking my meals with him, as a matter of fact, he just gave me some money, and I went to the grocery store. (Our rooms had microwaves and refrigerators.)

My scooter began having trouble, and by Thursday of the seminar, was pretty much useless. This was a big disappointment to me, because we got out early on Friday, and I had been wanting to go to San Francisco that afternoon. No such luck. So we get out of class, and I had decided to go back to the grocery store. But he got to the bus and held it for me, despite my motioning him that I didn’t want the bus. I was walking slowly, dawdling, and the idiot is holding the bus. Even if I did want that bus, there was another one in ten minutes. Cripes. And so I felt obligated to get on the bus.

Then I saw him at the bus stop at dinner time. And he told me I should be more grateful and say thank you more. I should have been thankful he held the bus. And I explained to him that I wasn’t grateful because I didn’t want that bus, and I had nicely gotten on it so he wouldn’t look like a fool. Strike three, four, five and six.

We unfortunately had to go to a Saturday seminar. The air was frosty. The circulator buses didn’t run on Saturday, and we had to take a cab from the bus stop. And the cafeteria was farther away than I could walk. But I’d brought my lunch, and had some “alone time” while the rest of them were gone. And we agreed to get ourselves to the airport the next day.

OK, I will confess I had been rather ungrateful. I had been bitching about flying 1000 miles out of our way because he bought pig-in-a-poke airfares. You know, they tell you the price, but won’t tell you what time the flight is or what airline/route until you buy it. It’s a stupid way to buy airfare unless you are eighteen. I researched it, and I could have gotten us a direct flight at a decent time of day for $10 a piece more. And I’d been bitching about the motel and the ants. And about other things. An ungrateful wench am I.

The trip home was every bit as delightful. Stay tuned.


  1. Never had to travel too far away for seminars but it was always a pain to ride share. Not too eco-conscious of me, but I tried to arrange it so I wouldn’t have to be tied to anyone else’s agenda.

  2. What a nightmare! You are absolutely right to whine.

  3. Ick… There is joy in traveling alone. Thanks for the reminder…

  4. On the occasions that I have had to travel with someone else, I’ve never encountered anywhere near as much as stress as you have on this one trip.

    It’s unfortunate you have to do this trip on a shoestring budget too. It really exacerbates the entire situation.


  5. Thank you all for your comments. This was the worst trip of my life, and one I never hope to relive.

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