Sunday, March 23, 2014

BUS STORY # 385 (San Diego, Part Four: Red Trolley)

Red Trolley Ale (downloaded from The Global Playbook) by busboy4
Red Trolley Ale (downloaded from The Global Playbook).

You can read Parts One, Two, and Three here, here, and here.


We had a breakfast place called Snooze on our list, and Google Maps gave us the now-familiar take-the-8-and-transfer-to-the-10 route. I was fine with not breaking new ground before breakfast.

Snooze was young, hip, noisy, and very busy. The menu was inventive, the coffee was excellent, the waitstaff welcoming and helpful. Mrs. Busboy noticed that everywhere she looked, the men were uncommonly good-looking. I didn’t mind the competition; I simply flexed my Compass Card whenever she looked my way.

After breakfast, we caught the eastbound 10 for Park Blvd where we would disembark, cross the intersection from the southwest corner to the northeast, then catch the 7 for a trip to the San Diego Zoo.

Bad news: This is where I failed to interpret the driver’s “frzzerclaken” as “University and Park Boulevard.”

Good news: I saw the street sign and pulled the cord for the next stop.

Bad News: The next stop was five-and-a-half blocks away, with an underpass and a steep uphill climb between it and the intersection we missed.

Good news: There was a bus stop across the street. We’d walk over and catch the next bus back to the intersection.

More good news: I saw the next bus coming was a 7 -- the route we were supposed to catch!

Bad news: The traffic was too heavy for us to cross the street in time to catch it. I knew that was the bus we would have been catching to the zoo.

Good news: The next 7 came by 15 minutes later.

More good news: Incredibly, we passed the 7 we would have caught if I hadn’t missed my stop. It was pulled over with its hazard lights blinking.

Even more good news: Even though the driver’s announcements might as well have been in Swahili, I watched as a large number of students boarded with several teachers. I knew exactly where they were going! We would get off with them.

Still even more good news: I was correct; the kids were on a zoo outing. As we were following behind them, one of the teachers invited us to go past them. We said we were following them. That meant we were from out of town, of course, so when she asked us where we were from, and we told her Albuquerque, she said she and her husband had just been there last week for the first time ever. They’d just decided to get out of town and randomly picked Albuquerque. What are the odds?

And now, back to bad news: While standing in line waiting to purchase tickets, I pointed to a sign explaining the aerial tram was down for “annual maintenance.” Mrs. B opted to bag the zoo and head over to Balboa Park where we were amply consoled by an excellent docent tour in the Timken Museum of Art, the Botanic Garden, two splendid cactus gardens, and lunch at the elegant Prado  where, to go with my tortilla soup, I asked the waiter if they served any local beers. I heard some kind of IPA, but I only had ears for "Red Trolley Ale." C'mon now, what else was Busboy possibly gonna be having?

Later in the afternoon, after we’d wandered around a large part of the park, we crossed the footbridge over to the other side of Park Blvd to catch the 7 back the way we came. While we were waiting, we got into a conversation with a local waiting for the bus. After a while, he asked us where we were staying. When we told him, he said we were on the wrong side of the street.

But that’s the side we got off on, I explained to Mrs. B. We should be going back the way we came. Mrs. B argued for listening to the local.

We went to the other side of the street.

Good news: he and she were right.

We caught the 150 downtown which took us back to the Old Town Transit Center where our 8 was waiting. A few minutes later, we were on our way back to our hotel and our last night in San Diego. Mrs. Busboy gave me a heartfelt five stars for all my planning and the mostly smooth execution. I said aw shucks, and flexed my Compass Card.

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