I didn't take a taxi this morning to the conference. If I had known that Bostonian drivers couldn't drive in the rain, I would have slept in and skipped trying to make the first session of the conference.
Instead, I stumbled down to the lobby, where I had arranged to meet up with a co-conference attendee to catch a taxi ride together. We were told the taxi wait was 30 minutes, because traffic was so bad, how about taking the bus to the subway?
First, start by standing in the rain for 15 minutes on the corner over there. The free local shuttle bus will pick you up and drop you off at the subway station. The directions were actually "go through the building over there," but we missed the "through" part, and hence the bus that arrived every 15 minutes.
So, my conference companion, Troy, and I started asking each and every pedestrian walking by which way to go.
Well, actually, I asked them. Not sure it didn't completely annoy Troy, but well, I didn't care much. If I'm up this early, I want to get where I'm going as quickly as I can.
So, we missed the bus. Again.
One woman finally gave us the brilliant suggestion of taking the ferry. The ferry? Sure! it takes you to the Aquarium, where you can catch the blue or green line.
Uh... okay. I'm so full of this pauses and agreements today, I can't stand me anymore.
So, we head down the pier to where a boat is coming in. It was an itty bitty boat, with maybe an 80 person capacity - waaaaaaay smaller than the Seattle to Bainbridge Island ferry I'm used to riding, but, hey, so what. If I'm lost in Boston next to the Boston Naval Yard, why NOT take a ferry where I need to go?
The ferry took us to the Aquarium. What I found most entertaining about the ferry was the slide the ferry did as it pulled into the dock. The ferry ended up parked, er, docked at a 90° angle to its incoming direction. Quite enterntaining to both realize this was happening, and watch it actually happen.
So, off the ferry, then off onto the street, and off we go. It was three blocks before I remembered one of my travelling cardinal rules: "Always look at the map before you start out, don't trust the map reading directions of your companions." We started out all of 20 yards from the subway entrance, and ended up about 200 yards from where we were going, backtracking the way back.. Eh....
So, back we went, onto the subway,. This time, I did look at the map. The helpful subway guy told us to go a particular way than what the submay map indicated we should go ("less walking"), so we went the way he suggested, ending up only slightly lost, but catching each train as we went along.
The subway ride was uneventful. I did notice that everyone on the trains seemed to be living an extrememl ordinatry life. Is that all we are? I wondered. Completely ordinary?
Eventually, after two subway stops and their complementary track changes, we made our final stop, walked up the stairs and hoofed it to the event center. If we hadn't wasted the first 15 minutes standing in the rain, we would have ended up at the convention center at approximately the same time as the people who called a cab 10 minutes before we arrived in the lobby.
I'm not sure they had the better trip.