As previously mentioned, last weekend was spent celebrating my friend Jen's 30th birthday party in the magical swamp called Washington D.C. It was a trip which, much like John McCain's presidential campaign, began with such hope and promise but quickly deteriorated into a comedy of errors. Only with people whose arms work.
Ang and I were instructed to take the Bolt Bus. "It's soooo cheap," people cooed, "It's the easiest way to get here." My first mistake was to ever believe anyone that riding a bus was a good idea. In 1999 I had a run-in with a Greyhound bound for Scranton and some IV drug users - I've been skittish about buses ever since.
But that was a different decade, I convinced myself. We showed up at the bus stop and the bus pulled up promptly at 8pm. After showing the driver our tickets and finding our seats, we settled in for the ride. Ninety minutes later we pulled into Philadelphia. All the passengers, minus Ang and me, exited the bus. Excited we had the coach to ourselves, we spread out and kicked back. After a few minutes, we decided something was definitely wrong. The driver informed us it was the final stop when we found him smoking a butt on the curb.
Say what? But, he had checked our tickets and allowed us to board the bus! Where had we gone wrong? After telling us there was nothing to do and advising us to write an e-mail to Bolt Bus complete with "lots of asterisks and exclamation points" so we could "get some free trips," he pointed us in the direction of 30th Street Station. Luckily, there was a train bound for DC leaving 5 minutes later. We got to Jen's Georgetown apartment ("Just look for the building that looks like a fraternity house.")at 12:45 am, a grand total of 4 hours and 45 minutes later. We housed some pizza and turned in for the night.
That would have been enough adventure for the entire weekend but, alas, we had no idea what other shenanigans life would throw our way.
After brunch, shopping and drinks on the waterfront, four of us began getting ready for the big, bad birthday bash. I was pretty pumped for this as showering and prepping at Jen's place is akin to spending a weekend at Canyon Ranch. Allow me to name a few of the brands in her medicine cabinet: La Mer, Thomas Roth, Frederic Fekkai, Dr. Brandt and Claudalie. You get the picture.
Inevitably, we ran late and had to move the dinner reservation. In an attempt to save time, Ang unearthed her own hairdryer and began drying her hair at the same time I was using Jen's Twin Turbo, attempting to beat the kink. As you may have already guessed, we blew a circuit. Except, Jen's apartment had a fuse box. Jen, on the other hand, had no fuses. Clearly, we spent the rest of the time getting ready in the semi-dark and made do with damp hair.
Except, there was also a Birthday Girl wardrobe malfunction. As Jen went to put on her new dress, a simple, "Oh, I think some of the fabric is caught in the zipper," turned into an, "Oh, $hit, the zipper on my dress is broken." Although we fixed it, it finally gave way as soon as Jen sat down in the cab. A new outfit had to be delivered, via her friend Julia, to the restaurant, the very restaurant that served me a meal with a hair baked into it.
Instead of ordering a new meal, I was swayed to hold out for the three-tiered cake, baked by a friend, that awaited us at Poste. The problem is, upon arriving at Poste, I was informed there would be no eating the cake, as the bar wanted to charge a $9 cutting fee. Let me clarify, this was $9...PER PIECE.
I was screwed. And, even worse, hungry. Luckily, vodka is made from potatoes, I reasoned, which is why I had some extra glasses. After a party in Georgetown, where I was felt up by the host not once, not twice but three times while his girlfriend was in the next room, I decided to call it a night.
The next afternoon, we rolled up to the Bolt Bus stop at 2:15, early for our 2:45 bus. The problem is, there is no 2:45 bus. But there is a 2:30 bus, which was clearly denoted on my ticket. We hurried for the bus and collapsed into our seats, praying we'd end up in New York.
I did a crazy, hybrid walk-run back to my apartment, unable to bring myself to use the bus restroom and also unable to keep myself from downing a large volume of liquids. I unpacked and gave thanks for making it home in one piece.
If I do get those free trips on Bolt Bus, I will make damn sure I end up in the right city this time. As for the electrical problems, busted zippers and dodgy food? Better luck next time.
Happy Birthday, Jen! The year can only get better after this weekend!!