Shake, Rattle and Roll and the bus trip from hell…

Friday, October 19th at 1:23am.  I’m just starting to nod off having managed to stay awake from the adrenalin rush of watching the Red Sox kick Cleveland’s butt.  GO SOX!  Suddenly the windows are rattling and the house is shaken and the cat’s freaked out.  Then I hear a big BOOM!  I jumped out of bed check to see if something had hit the house.  I’m continue to lie there waiting to hear the sirens to try and isolate where the explosion happened.  As I nod off (no sirens) I wonder to myself if that was an earthquake.

Well yes indeedie it was an earthquake, 2.5 and the epicenter was about one mile from my house.  Now that was exciting.

I had the entire day off Friday to run my errands and to get ready for the big trip to Rhinebeck!

Saturday, October 20, the alarm is set to go off at 4:50 am.  The bus leaves Woburn at 7:00 sharp.  I have been tossing and turning all night, so flip on the news around 3:45 and snooze.  I wake with a start – everything is dark.  Very dark!  No TV on, no night light shining from the bathroom, NO ALARM – I fumble for my watch – 5:00 am, no electricity.  10 minutes behind and I am fumbling for a lighter and a candle so I can shower by candlelight and quickly get dressed, hoping everything matched.

I toss everything into the cooler and head out the door to pick up my sister.

7:00am the bus rolls in and we roll out with it.  We also had the pleasure of Geekpixie and her friend Rachel for company.

Now I have to tell you first how disappointed I was with the bus tour.  First of all the bus what not a coach bus, but a just a step up from a school bus… read, extremely uncomfortable, especially for what turned out to be the extremely long trip from hell.   The back was loud from the engine, and the seats had the wheel bumps making it uncomfortable for such a long trip – and a looooonnnnnggggg trip it was.

Our next clue came when we looked up from chatting and realized that we were not in Worchester, but BOSTON!  We had just left Woburn and should have been heading west/southwest…. Why were we coming east into Boston to which was clearly an extra 30-45 minutes out of the way?

We finally arrive at the fairground gates after noon – clearly over an hour later than the scheduled 11:00am arrival time.  We see the gates had actually opened at 9:00 am so we are wondering why the busses weren’t scheduled to leave earlier.

We get to the gate and there are no maps, no show information, no schedules (this would have been a nice thing for the organizers to have together to hand out to us.  Now we are flying blind having never been to the NY Sheep and Wool festival before.  But it’s a beautiful day so we wander around, getting sucked into the crowds.  Some buildings are so hot and crowded we barely get to see anything as we are caught up in the crowds.

Finally around 2pm things start to thin our a bit so we circle back to the ones we think we’ve missed.

There was so much to look at it really is a feast of fiber.  Being on a budget, I didn’t want to buy stuff I could get locally, nor did I buy anything that I could have mail ordered as NY has a 7% sales tax and that would cover shipping in most cases. 

My sister finds what she was looking for. Indigo dye.  She’s going to Peru in February with my cousin as a chaperone on a school trip and Indigo is one of the suggestions to bring the host family.  Cool!  We also got some cochineal bugs to try the next time we dye.

My finds include:

1.      8 oz. roving of merino cashmere blend – it’s beautiful!

2.      8 oz. of this cool roving with bits of silk noils blended into it.  The colors are kind of funky – pale yellowish green roving with lime and orange noils.  This should be fun to spin.  The colors are really outside my normal comfort zone of purples and blues.

3.      A present for my sister (maybe Christmas, maybe birthday but I am not telling)

4.      A needle felting sampler

Oh! And my sister picked up one of the Bosworth’s little spindles.  It’s tulipwood and just beautifully balanced.  She got the hang it again.  It’s been a long time since she’s done any spinning.  She even got her little Wendy spinning wheel out of the attic and is dusting it off and oiling it up.

By 4pm we are fading and get in a short line for a fruit smoothie.  We find a shady spot to rest.  I knit; my sister spins on her new spindle.  We decide there isn’t much else we want/need so decide to head back to the bus.

The entire time I only ran into Julie and Minestrone Soup and Christine!  I also saw Juno giving her just a quick passing hi!  We had met at the NHSW through Ruth (who I totally missed in spite of desperately wanting to see Woolybaby).  I also missed Lucia, and Liz and quite a few others.  Sorry I didn’t make it to the Ravelry gathering, but there was so much to see, so many people and so little time.

Back to the bus.  Fortunately my sister and I had planned ahead and pack ourselves a cooler full of snacks and a bottle of wine for the trip home.  I’m sure the others on the bus that had planned to eat at the rest stop wished they had done the same.  Our hopes of a quicker trip home were soon dashed when the driver didn’t make the turn onto the NY State Thruway or the Taconic State Parkway… no we took Route 22 – a single lane, windy road through the Catskills and Berkshires.  Also remember this wasn’t a coach bus so there was no personal lights so no knitting or reading.  Not good.

We finally got on a highway (Mass Pike) in Ludlow and the bus finally stopped at the Palmer rest area around 8:00pm.  I’m sure people were starving.  It was also clear that the 4 hour ride home was going to take a lot longer.  They did try to get the Sox game on the radio to no avail.

One last complaint about the bus trip from hell.  The person that was leading the trip would stand in front of the bus and make announcements.  We couldn’t hear and in spite of us shouting asking for her to speak louder, we couldn’t hear anything over the din of the engines.  It would have been nice if she had made the effort to walk back to make sure we knew what was going on.  Bottom line?  I will never use this ‘service’ again and definitely would not recommend it.



13 responses to “Shake, Rattle and Roll and the bus trip from hell…

  1. Wow, that really sucks!!

  2. (here from Ravelry)

    I guess that earthquake was trying to prepare you for the bumpy bus ride! After reading some of the accounts of other peoples’ bus trips, I have very firmly decided against ever taking one. We came from Windsor Locks, CT, which is parallel to Rhinebeck, and it was beautiful 2-lane roads the entire way. 😀 You should come down our way and take a trip from there! 😉

    PS: Sounds like your haul really rocks!!

    PPS: GO SOX!

  3. Good grief, sounds like it got even worse after I saw you- so sorry to hear that :/

  4. I am SO sorry to hear that the trip sucked. I almost was going on it, but my partner made some last minute plans instead. And there was a debate over going up to New Hampshire on the next trip. I’ll pass now, thanks!
    And that earthquake was in YOUR neck of the woods….that explains it. 🙂

  5. Yikes! An earthquake! Are you sure it wasn’t just some kind of fiber avalanche? 😉 Even though you had a sucky bus trip I am still TOTALLY jealous and would have loved to have been at Rhinebeck! Glad you had some fun anyway. Hubby and I had to back out last minute because of the flu. Maybe next year…sigh.

  6. UGH! the bus trip sounds just awful. I would be BULLS@#! about paying good money for that! Next year rent a nice passenger van and take turns driving!

  7. So sorry about the horrible bus… i’m really disappointed for you! Send an email to the owner and let them know— you can’t be the only one thinking this. And, I know for a fact, that the owners said that they would use COACH buses.

  8. wow. what a horrible, horrible trip! sounds like the fest itself was good and what a good idea to have packed a bit of food and drink.

  9. I’m so glad we were with you guys. And not just for the food! I’ll try to make the best of anything, but since I was leaving for Germany Sunday, it would have been nice to have gotten home to spend time with Brian that night..

  10. I’m glad you took the time to tell about your bus trip. I was actually thinking of using the service (which would have involved at least 1 1/2 hr. to get to the closest pick-up for me). Anyway, I live not too far from you in Rindge, NH and plan to hire a coach for next year for me and 48 “friends.” I have organized coach daytrips to NYC for over 15 years and could with confidence say I’d run a better trip. I’ve already made plans which would include print-outs of fairground maps and vendor lists. (I sometimes get carried away with detail, but at least no one on any of my trips has gotten lost in NYC). Also, I don’t do this for profit, so any money above the cost of the bus will be used for “raffle gifts” and/or goodie bags. I’ve already conversed with someone who took the Webs bus to see what they do to make their trip so fun.
    Keep in touch (I’m janl on Ravelry) because I will probably start getting this organized by June of ’08)

  11. Oh, and can you tell me something about the needlefelted sampler kit you bought?

  12. eeks, that sounds awful!

    I was sorry to miss you, too … we’ll see each other soon, I hope. Did Lucia tell you I bought a wheel?

    (oh, and I felt that earthquake, too. B told me I was dreaming, but the morning news vindicated me.)

  13. An earthquake! How exciting! What’s weird is that you felt shaking, then heard the BOOM. It’s supposed to be the other way around: hear the P wave, then feel the S wave.

    Or is that TMI?

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