[I]t has been a reflective year for me so far. I’ve been thinking about special moments I had as a child with my parents. Most of those moments include special one-on-one times. When I have shared these stories with others, they also tell me about special fishing or camping trips they took with their Dad as a kid. Sometimes those moments happen by chance, and sometimes they were crafted by the parent to make lasting memories.
I want to create one of these memories for my 14-year-old son, Zachary. I have come up with an idea to spend two weeks during the summer and take him to the four corners of our country. A father/son trip where he can sip coffee with me in Seattle. Walk the pier with me in San Diego, or visit the white sandy beaches of Florida. To make the trip more interesting, I don’t want to fly—be rather see the country via a train, perhaps a bus or even Uber mobiles. During this time we could discuss, Life, the Universe and Everything and I could still get a bit of website work done too. I might even teach him the craft.
I shared this crazy idea with my son. And to my surprise, he thought it sounded like a fun idea. @SuperParentMom was shocked and not completely sure we could survive being together for so long. She asked me, “Have you ever ridden on a Greyhound bus? Or an Amtrak train?” I thought for a moment, “No, I cannot say that I have.” “Well, perhaps you guys should go on a short trip first and see if you actually like traveling on buses and trains before planning a two-week adventure.”
She always is the voice of reason in Team Campos. Her suggestion sounded like a really good idea.
So, Zachary and I are taking a weekend, this weekend, to ride our first Greyhound bus to Austin. Hop an Amtrak to San Antonio and take a Greyhound home with Uber and Airbnb’s in-between. Our goal is threefold:
- To evaluate if we like this mode of transportation and travel,
- Can survive spending on no more than $100 a day on everything, and
- Can live in the same space for multiple days at a time.
So this adventure is the precursor to a big trip planned for the summer. FYI, on the summer trip, we have to earn 3X our daily spending (but more on that later).
Day 1: My First Ever Greyhound Bus Ride – Father Son Trip
When we walked into the Dallas Greyhound bus station, we saw a knife fight in progress, a drug deal being busted and trash everywhere. Stop, wait, remove that image from your mind. Actually, everyone was super nice. There was a small food court. The place was super clean. It was actually a blessing to not have to go through security. In conclusion the experience was very much like waiting at the gate for an airplane.
When I mentioned this trip to friends all of them give me a look like… “You’ve never ridden on a bus before.” While I can’t speak for their experience, I found ours to be enjoyable. Sure, there could have been more plugs and faster Wifi, but hey, we’re paying $20 a person. I’m NOT complaining.
We made one stop in Jarrell, TX for a quick bathroom break and snack. Then pulled into the Austin bus station only 10 mins late.
Once we secured our only suitcase, we opened the Uber app to find 3 drivers within 5 minutes of the bus station. Uber is certainly putting taxis out of business. Our first driver couldn’t find the station, but our second, Victor picked us up immediately. Victor was super nice and told us all the places to eat and visit. I had pre-booked an AirBnb shared apartment online for $40.
When we arrived our guest had already gone to bed but left us a code to enter. He was super nice and left us a nice bed, snacks and a private bathroom. Sub-totally for the day…
- 2 Bus Tickets on Greyhound to Austin $40.70,
- $3.64 for a peanuts snack in Jarrell TX,
- $19.67 for Uber, to Joey’s
- $41.68 for AirBnB night
Tomorrow we’re having brunch with one of my web clients, who may want another website. Can we say business trip? We’ll be taking an Amtrak train to San Antonio and exploring another AirBnB. Stay tuned!
All images taken by @FullCustodyDad on his trip.