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Off To San Francisco
Posted 28 March 2006 - 02:56 PM
If you're in the Walnut Creek, CA area, tomorrow night (Wed.) we'll be back at the Holiday Inn lounge around 8:30 or so for drinks.
On Thursday at 5PM we're having a cocktail reception which is open to any of you who want to visit, even if you're not a seminar attendee.
We're expecting a great seminar. I'm sure this class will be one of the best yet!
Posted 28 March 2006 - 03:36 PM
I know you guys will have a blast! (while learning and teaching of course!) Leann
Posted 28 March 2006 - 03:49 PM
Posted 29 March 2006 - 06:50 PM
Posted 31 March 2006 - 10:24 AM
We quickly discovered that the "B" in BART does not stand for "Bay" it stands for "Broken." After traveling to one stop, we got off to change trains and waited. And waited. And waited.
Diane began to notice that some muffled man on a loud speaker was trying to tell all the travelers something, although at this point is was unclear what. As she listened to his repeated mumbles, she finally figured out what was going on. He was telling us that there was a bit of a delay... 15 minutes. OK, no biggie. We would just wait.
As time drug on, we noticed no trains were coming or going. Mr. Mumbles kept repeating his message but began to add new phrases like "computer malfunction" and "30 minute delay." Hmm... maybe we'd better take a cab.
We haul our luggage upstairs to hail a cab. Uh... cab? OK, no cabs in site. We'll just find a pay phone and call a cab company to come get us. Pay phone, pay phone... where's the pay phone with the phone book? OK, no phone book. No cab.
We called Lee (who is solver of all problems) and told her the deal. She got quickly got us the number for a cab company who we called to come pick us up.
Oh my gosh! Have you ever seen an episode of the Simpsons? The man who runs the convenience store and the guy I spoke with on the phone had a similar accent. But the guy on the phone was 10 times worse. I could barely understand what he was saying. After trying to tell him where we were and where we needed to go, he said he understood and would send a cab. Whew! Good deal. Help is on the way. Good thing, too. We were all getting tired and hungry.
As we stood there waiting, no cab appeared. Where were they? Just then, they announcement came that the trains were running. At the exact same time, a phone call rang through. It was the cabbie. He couldn't come get us right now because all his drivers were busy. Oh well, all for the best, right?
We rushed back downstairs to catch our train. Sure enough, one train pulled up to the platform and stopped. It never moved again! It was a false alarm. The trains were not fixed. We weren't going anywhere. It was cold, we were tired, we were hungry and we had (what we suspected to be) gang members hanging out on the platform with us. NOT a good situation to be in.
As the waiting time on the announcement increased from 30 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes, Mr. Mumbles said, "If you have alternate transportation, you probably want to take it." Oh great!
I pull out my phone and call Lee. I tell her not to wait for us for dinner because we have no idea what time we'll get in. She offers the number of another cab company. I call. The lady says she has no available drivers because BART is out of service. "Really? You're kidding me? Isn't that just awful!?" I think sarcastically to myself. We're stuck.
Sitting on a rock-hard, cold bench with my ear muffs and jacket on looking over my shoulder at the gang members behind me, I resigned myself to the wait. Scottie and Diane sat down on either side of me and we just listened to Mr. Mumbles repeat his announcement about every 5 minutes.
All of the sudden a train pulled up! then another! Hallelujah!! We had no idea where it was heading or where we'd end up, but we jumped on. As we worked our way from stop to stop we felt a glimmer of hope. I called Lee. "We're moving! I still have no idea what time we'll get there so don't wait on us for dinner. We'll get something at the hotel restaurant." Lee told me to call her when we got to a particular stop and she would send the hotel shuttle to meet us at the station.
The trains were PACKED. I mean, NO room to breathe. When we got to the particular stop, Lee called me. "Where are you?" I explained and she said she'd send the driver right now so he would be waiting on us when we got there.
We FINALLY arrived at the Walnut Creek stop. We looked around with expectation for the hotel shuttle. No shuttle. Hmph! Not a good thing. This was the final blow. I called Lee.
Where are you?
We're here. Where are you?
Standing in front of the information booth. There's a parking lot in front of me.
(Lee tells the driver.) There's silence then Lee says the driver has taken her to the wrong station!
If it wasn't such a comedy of errors, I'd have balled like a baby. About 10 minutes later the shuttle pulls up and we get on.
As we walk into the hotel, our gang was waiting in the lobby. We enter to cheers and claps. A total of 4 hours after we left the airport, we got to the hotel.
As we all drug ourselves to the desk to check in, everybody was excited about going to dinner. We all opted to eat at the hotel restaurant rather than going out for the sake of speed. I immediately went upstairs after I ate and collapsed on my bed.
What a day!
Posted 31 March 2006 - 11:29 AM
Did you notice that not a single politician who makes policy or has final say in matters in SFO takes BART anywhere?
Their time is too "valuable" to waste on public transportation - that is why they have their own cars and drivers.
You have a good op-ed piece there - send it to all towns who push pubic transportaiton schmes!
Standard rule: if you drove yourself and it takes 20 minutes: Public transportation takes 40 to 60 minutes to get to the same place and now you have to lug everything around also.
Your advetnure reminds me of the moive "Action in the North Atlantic" at the end where Bogart is all looking depressed after battling u-boats and aircraft and his ship makes it to Archangle after seeing 10 others sunk out of 30. The Captain comes up and asks him why is he looking depressed. he answers: "I'm thinking of the trip back."
Posted 31 March 2006 - 04:35 PM
Sounds like drugs might have helped!
Posted 02 April 2006 - 10:54 PM
She left out the part where we had to switch trains and the train was PACKED like sardines. Karon found a spot right inside the door of a car and Diane and I kept moving up the platform to different cars... Diane found a spot.. I kept going.... I found what looked like enough room and made a run for it.
As I was backing in, they announced "The doors are closing and will not open again."
Well, my arms and my luggage were still OUTSIDE the doors. A few kind riders helped push the doors open enough for me to jump back out (there was no way to hold the doors open long enough to wrestle the suitcases in) and I watched Diane and Karon's smushed up faces against the glass as the train rolled away...
Then the BART police came to lecture me as to what "the doors are closing and will not open again" meant. "These aren't like elevators. You can't just hold them open!"
I assured them that leaving my arms OUTSIDE of the doors had not been my intention. If they'd pushed me more about how stupid it was to try and get on a packed train, I might have spent the night in the BART lockup because I wasn't in the mood to be lectured.
I did meet a nice girl with long purple hair and a nose ring who sympathized and told me she hadn't been able to get in either and we had a nice chat about how pitiful the BART had been the past week and she told me she'd been late everyday. (I didn't ask late to where... I didn't want to know!)
Other than the 18 hour day getting there, I will say it was a GREAT seminar and we had a lot of fun with it. Thanks to all the participants- y'all are one smart bunch!
Posted 02 April 2006 - 10:57 PM
It was definitely Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (add in a van or two) as we had driven to Charlotte, taken a plane to SFO, then a train to Walnut Creek and a van to the hotel!
The trip back was (thankfully!) uneventful.
Posted 03 April 2006 - 12:38 PM
Posted 03 April 2006 - 12:52 PM
Thanks for coming, and we're so glad you learned so much!
Posted 03 April 2006 - 12:53 PM
Thanks for the feedback. Glad you learned a lot and had a great time. We love doing the seminars and have a lot of fun working with everyone in the workshops, too.
Posted 03 April 2006 - 12:57 PM
Glad y'all finally made it to your destination!
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