And now, the long awaited finale to my Wild and Crazy Spring Break trilogy. You can go back and read part one and part two if you missed them for any reason.
So, after our adventure in Williamsburg, we loaded back onto the train for Baltimore on what happened to be St. Patrick's Day. When we arrived, we checked into our hotel by the airport and decided that we should go down to the Harbor and drink some green beer at an Irish pub to celebrate properly. One problem---we were all cheap, this was the end of our trip, and our hotel was not close to the Harbor. We had two options: a taxi or a city bus. The choice was obvious--city bus it was.
We stopped in a bank to get a bus map and figure out where we were going (and I'm assuming someone had to get money because why the heck else do I remember stopping at a bank?). The nice lady working there told us where the bus stop was and said that the Harbor area was very safe and that would would be find so long as we did not end up on the projects. (Come to find out, the projects of Baltimore are the #1 most dangerous place in America. Remember that.) So, off we go, us three little backwoods, twenty-two year old girls, off in search of green beer. Here we were at the bus stop.....a really nice homeless man took our photo.
We got on the bus, which was pretty full, and got separated. Cousin Whitney and I were sitting together and College Roomie was a few rows back. Soon, I realized our first problem. We hadn't paid. When did they take our money? Would they arrest us if we didn't pay? Did we pay when we got off? And then, came problem number two. How did you get off anyway? How did he know where to stop? And how did you know where your stop was?
And then, came the big one....problem number three. The bus kept getting fuller and fuller and I looked out and knew right away where we were......THE PROJECTS.
I'm trying to keep Cousin Whitney calm and be sure that College Roomie is still alive. I would periodically just yell out "College Roomie?" and she would say, "I'm here!" As for Cousin Whitney, she kept saying, "We have to get off of this bus, we have to get off of this bus." Now, I understood her thinking, especially because a very large man was standing right next to us and you could see the gun sticking out of his pants. However........as I ever so gently explained to her, "Look outside----we are NOT getting off of this bus!" About that time, we saw what I'm 99.9% sure was a drug deal go down.
I just remember praying we made it out alive and that we could figure out when and how to get off of the bus. Finally, a really nice older lady took pity on us and told us how to get off. She also said our stop was about three or four away. We kept on riding the bus, and then.....we saw it. The Harbor--full of tourists and chain restaurants. We pulled the little chain to tell the driver to stop and ran like hell (excuse the curse word but it's necessary to convey the meaning) to freedom/safety. I will admit, this was one of the top three scariest experiences of my entire life. (You've read about one other one, the taxi in Rome and you will read Thursday about the third event involving the Bay Bridge and my crazy friend next Thursday!)
I don't remember much after that---probably post traumatic stress disorder. Photographs indicate that we had California Pizza Kitchen, ice cream, and I think that we did end up in an Irish Pub with green beer (obviously much needed at this point!). The part I do remember was that when it came time to go home, we had two choices: a taxi or a city bus. The choice was obvious.
We gladly paid the insane cab fee and gave that guy a nice fat tip!