Today I took a couple of friends to the airport so they wouldn't get lost. It's easy from my apartment, but when you aren't familiar with the bus routes, it can be intimidating. From my house you walk a few blocks and get on the M60 bus which goes directly to the airport. It's very close, maybe a 15 minute ride.
We had no issues on the way there, thankfully.
After I saw them off, Henry and I wheeled back out to the bus stop. I quickly saw my bus come and boarded it. Everything was going fine, it was almost empty so we got a seat right away...life was good.
Then the bus didn't turn down Astoria Blvd. where it normally does....and it started to go into a different neighborhood - and that's when it dawned on me...we were on the wrong bus! I read the sign wrong!
Thankfully I was sorta familiar with this bus as well, since I used to ride it occasionally when I previously lived in Woodside, Queens. Henry was getting very antsy, as a 2 year old does at nap time, and we were at a stop near the 7 train, so I opted for us to get off and we'd simply take the 7 to the N train, which is the train we take home. Pretty annoying, but doable.
We attempt to get off the bus...I have the stroller in one hand, a half eaten donut and an empty coffee cup in another, and a 2 year old asking me "Why?" every 8 seconds. We scurry down the bus to exit in the rear door and Henry just stops at the step. The doors start to close on us, but someone from behind reaches to push open the door for us, and a person waiting outside assists Henry down while I struggle with not wacking someone in the head with the stroller
On the sidewalk I put the 35 pound child inside the stroller and haul it up the stairs to the elevated train platform. I pull out my Metrocard and go through the gate only to find that the 7 train that goes in the direction I need, toward Manhattan, is CLOSED.
So, I have to ride the train in the wrong direction and get off at a stop that Manhattan bound train is stopping at, so I can transfer to it. Up the stairs with the stroller.
The train comes quickly. It's packed. I wheel on anyway and a very nice man offers me a seat. I then ask him if he knows which stop has the Manhattan bound trains stopping at it, he said the next one should be fine. So we pile off and he assists me down the stairs with the stroller. Very, very nice.
However, he was wrong...the Manhattan bound side at this stop was also closed.
Two men in the station noticed my distress and said the NEXT stop I could transfer to a Manhattan bound train. Soooooooooo....back up the stairs!
Another train comes quickly, equally as packed. We ride to the next stop and are able to transfer to a waiting Manhattan bound train that is simply across the platform. I give my thanks to the Lord quite loudly when I see the train waiting!
It's also packed, but we squeeze on. We are finally headed in the right direction!
Henry is sleeping by this time and we eventually get a seat and I can relax for a bit as we make the stops to where I have to transfer.
At the stop, I haul the stroller up another set of stairs to the top platform and the N train comes very quickly.
We are finally almost home, at our stop I haul the stroller down the first set of stairs and a man holds the gate open for me and the stroller. Then at the next set of stairs a very kind man, who had just came up all the stairs, stopped and insisted on taking the stroller down for me. Not just helping me, but taking the whole thing himself. "I have two kids! I know how it is!" he said. I thanked him 100 times over.
So the moral of the story is, make sure you board the right bus! Otherwise your 15 minute ride turns into a 2 hour adventure. But if you by chance do make the mistake, there will be plenty of New Yorkers to make your crazy ride back a tad more bearable.