Friday, May 16, 2014
A Ride I'll Never Forget
So, now on to my adventurous life. I was invited to join the senior citizens bus trip from a nearby town. They were going to White Fence Farm, in Romeoville, Il. My friend, Mary had an extra ticket, because her husband found out that he couldn't go.Mary picked me up early in the morning, and after arriving... we got in line with everyone. After meeting the elderly bus driver, we stepped aboard, with everyone chattering like Magpies. It was a very large bus and the seats were comfy and much smaller and aisle more narrow than I had remembered from bus trips before. We were given a bag with a bottle of water and a snack. We had to wait for a few stragglers and then the bus took off on our journey. It was to be a trip of a couple of hours. Everything went well for several miles....the chattering and laughing of a bus full of women was fun to hear. A few of us knew each other, so that made it even more fun. Joking back and forth and lively conversations. A couple of us saw the sign....JOLIET, but the bus driver missed it. We went on for a few miles and we joked about the sign that said Iowa....wondering if we would end up in Iowa. After traveling several more miles the word LOST came back through the crowd, as we turned off the highway and started through some little neighborhoods and ended up driving through a trailer park... and seeing the sign JOLIET ST. We soon found out that the GPS had been set incorrectly...should have been JOLIET ROAD. Here we were, in this huge bus in a little neighborhood just off the highway. An unpaved road with tiny houses and trailers.....the bus dipping into puddles of water. Poor bus driver....he had been called out of retirement just for this trip and what a problem he had. After many suggestions he turned the bus around and headed back...taking us on a mini tour of Joliet. We were going to be late and a call to the restaurant for directions was put in. Now I have to say this in advance. I will never sleep through a fire. I have a good nose for smoke.....and I smelled smoke. As I was looking out the window....I saw smoke coming from the direction of the front tires... on the driver's side. Several of us mentioned smelling smoke and the little ventilation fans were being turned on. At this point...we didn't know if the smoke was coming from the tires, brakes or if the bus was on fire underneath.The driver started to speed up to make up time and we stopped for a light and the driver of the car in the lane next to us came over to the bus driver's window. I saw him excitedly gesturing....pointing at the front tire and talking fast. English was his 2nd language, but even if you couldn't understand him... you knew that he was warning the driver about something serious. It was said that he saw a tire wobbling. I still don't know why the driver didn't go out and check on what this man was talking about. Our guide told us that we were just a few miles from the restaurant and the bus would go very slowly to make it there....instead of stopping on the highway to wait for help. The restaurant was spotted and a big sigh of relief could be heard from some of the passengers. (Some people were oblivious to what was happening. They went on visiting as if nothing was going on.) We went in to the restaurant and were rushed to our tables and served a nice lunch before the show. The bus driver sat at our table and explained that he had to call 10 people before anyone would come out to fix or replace this bus. I really hoped that we would get a new bus, not really trusting that they would be able to fix it properly. I had visions of a wheel flying off when we were speeding down the expressway:( After the meal we were directed into another room for the program. We were entertained by a woman who was a comedienne/musician. She was joined by her partner and another young man. She was very funny and was able to get our minds off our recent situation. When the show was over, we went out to the lot and found a new bus had been driven there for our trip back. Someone said that during the show repairmen were there, with wheels off and equipment all over the parking lot....getting the old bus ready to go back to the shop.
All in all, it was a pretty nice day. Once we got to the restaurant...things were great. We all had a little excitement in our lives...and it was fun to all be together in this situation.I hadn't been on a bus trip of this sort for many years. I don't know if I want to do it again. Maybe later on when it's not so fresh in my mind.