Sunday, March 1, 2009

Riding the Rails: Day 3 VTA Fun

I slept like a log, woke up, and took forever to get my butt in gear. I finally made it out the door a few minutes after noon and walked down the dumbass undulating sidewalk to the Karina Station, no shortcuts this time. I bought a VTA day pass for $5 from the machine, but then I had to wait a bit for a southbound Mountain View-Winchester train, as the trains don't run as often on Saturdays. There were two trains to Santa Teresa before mine came.

When I got on, there was a man and his young daughter sitting in front of me. A small, plastic, suction-cup-handed Spiderman hung from the window we shared. I didn't know if it was hers or not, but I thought that was an awesome idea for a random thing to do; buy a bunch of cheap suction-cup toys and stick one on bus and train windows and leave them. I was a little disappointed when the girl pulled it off the window and took it with her when they got off, implying it had been hers all along.

I was even more disappointed when an obnoxious young couple took their seats. The guy said something which I wouldn't have noticed, except the girl started saying, "NOOO-oooh" over and over again. I realized it was the same way I said "No" to Spoon when he was clearly thinking about doing something Bad. (He's pretty transparent.) Two beats, high then a couple steps lower, with a glissando between the two pitches. By the time she had said this half a dozen times without pause, I wanted to start using my Spoon voice back on her. She kept picking at him about one thing or anything, but the real coup de grâce, or should I say, coup de ass, came when she stood up to leave. Thrilled that they were getting off, I was looking with glee at her back moving away, when I realized a full inch of butt crack was staring at me. And we're not talking about a woman who should have been wearing ultra-low-rise jeans in the first place, but seriously, put a goddamned belt on. Now, I know you're thinking you really didn't want to hear this, but I had to see it, so just deal with it.

The train finally got to my stop, which was apparently in the middle of New Condo Land. Then I had to catch the VTA 25 bus west to get to the Winchester Mystery House. Of course, I got to watch one go by kitty corner as soon as I got off the train (just like home!), which meant I had to wait another 20 minutes for the next one. This is one of the reasons I bring reading material with me wherever I go. My brain has the attention span of a 3-year-old, and if I don't have something to keep it busy, it tries to drive me crazy.

The bus came pretty much on time and looked like from the outside pretty much the same size and type as the basic Metro locals. When I got on, though, the internal layout was the same, too, but the seats... they had actual padding! Not foam that had maybe been ¼" thick when new but had been compressed down to 116" over time, but at least an inch of foam! The next surprise came a few minutes later. A pre-recorded announcement told the passengers to wait until the bus had come to a complete stop before trying to get out of their seat and go to the door! Crap, you do that on Metro, you're lucky if you get to the door before the stop after yours!

Anyway, it got to my stop, then I walked across I-880 and a couple blocks to the Winchester Mystery House. From my hotel to there was a total travel time of about 2 hours. About a third of that was probably my bad timing where I ended up waiting, but I didn't really mind, because I had brought the book. I bought my Mansion Tour ticket and then waited a couple of minutes for my tour to start.

to be continued...

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