Home is Behind

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“Home is behind, the world ahead, and there are many paths to tread through shadows to the edge of night, until the stars are all alight. Then world behind and home ahead, we’ll wander back to home and bed. – Bilbo Baggins (The Fellowship of the Ring)

…and so we set off to Union Station and the adventure was off to a happy start.

We had arrived early and so headed down to the Traxx Bar inside the Station to have a celebratory drink and relax before catching our bus to Oakland.  No sooner than we’d walked in than a gentleman asked us what we were drinking and bought us drinks, then proceeded to sing.  He was hysterically funny and had stories to tell, so we settled back and watched what we later would call The Jimmy Ray Show in telling it to our friends.  There are no words to adequately describe Jimmy Ray, so I’ve attached a video to this post.

He told us he was an ex-Marine and spoke about his service far away from home.  He went so far as to invite us to touch the bullet still lodged in his head, and while I demurred, Ellie did so.  He then went on to singing and making everyone laugh.  He kissed our hands as we left, gave a courtly bow and again, we were off.

Jimmy Ray, wherever you are, we honor your service and will always think fondly of you.

The Megabus was not at all what we expected.  It smelled like a mixture of old tennis shoes and wet dog.  There was absolutely no leg room and neither Ellie or myself are tall women.  The wi-fi didn’t work and we were so wedged in, we couldn’t have used the laptop if we tried.  On the plus side, there was a power outlet so we could use our smart phones.  We had reason to be sorry for those outlets soon after departing.

Sitting in the seat opposite us was a man who spent the whole seven-hour trip talking loudly on the phone about “my baby mama.”  We heard about his BMW, his job, his mother, his other kids from other women, his drug use, his time in the County Jail and much, much more.  Ellie put on her headphones and so did I, but his voice was so loud, it carried on through.  I tried reading on my Kindle and that helped me to tune him out.

Every so often we’d look at each other and just laugh, then curse ourselves for not flying.  Adventures aren’t always comfortable or even pleasant.

As the bus ate up the miles in the darkness, we began to be once again of good cheer.  A meal stop in a town called Kettleman restored our flagging spirits and we looked forward to arriving.

*Photos and video on this post were taken using the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone and the LGG2 smartphone on the Verizon network. I am NOT being compensated for this post.

Suggested hashtags: #VZWBuzz #GalaxyNote3 #LGG2 #Verizon #UnionStation #LosAngeles #travel #megabus

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