Thursday, April 02, 2009

Left Behind

When we meet people who aren't from BC and tell them that we have to ride a ferry to get anywhere, they are usually enthralled.

"Oh, that must be amazing. Lucky you!!"

"Wow, that's so cool!"

I guess they have visions of a luxurious dinner cruise, complete with whales, sunsets, and jazz playing quietly in the background.

Let me burst your bubble; for someone who has to ride a ferry just to go anywhere, it's neither glamorous or lovely. It's expensive, there's bad food, and it's frustrating because you must live by the ferry schedule. If you miss it? You end up waiting for hours or even have to get a hotel.

Over Spring break we went to Vancouver, because Jake needed new shoes and jeans and there is no store in our town that carries such things.

When we shop in Vancouver, everything needs to be scheduled according to the ferry. Sure, go where you want but get back at that terminal in time for the sailing you want, otherwise you could be left at the dock for 2 hours, or even longer!

As we approached the terminal, we noticed that only two gates were open and long lines of cars stretched from both of them.

Hubs: "Which line should I pick?"
Me: "Doesn't matter. Murphy's Law dictates that whatever line you pick, the other will go faster. It's just the way it goes. Happens every single time."

He picked a line, and true to form, BINGO! Some moron far ahead of us decided to ask the worker a zillion questions, while a sign blinked menacingly "10 minute cut off in effect". Hubs began to squirm nervously.

Hubs: "What time is it?"

Me: "3:10. We have about 10 minutes until the cut off. Think we'll make it?"

Jake: "If we don't make it, I wanna go to Trolls for dinner!"

Hubs: "Look at that other line. They are just whipping cars through. If I had been in the other line, I'd be almost there. We can't even change lanes now."

Jake: "Trolls...mmmmm..."

Me: "Jake, it's only 3:15. We don't need to go to Trolls."

The other line kept moving; we sat. Every few minute Hubs looked longingly to his left, cursing the cars that were freely flowing through to the waiting area. Pretty soon, Hubs started hopping around in his seat cursing under his breath.

"Get that &$%^#& car moving!"

Jake: "Can't we just go to Trolls? I wanna beef dip sandwich. Fries. Mmm...yummy. I hope we miss it."

Hubs and I in unison: "NO!!"

With one eye on the clock, we itched like snails to the gate, finally paid our $50 and heaved a sigh of relief as we finally made it through to the waiting area just in the nick of time.

Me: "See? You got so upset over nothing. We made it, and we'll be home in time for supper. No biggie. I don't understand why you make such a huge deal over something like that. You gotta keep your expectations low. I never expect good service or to actually get ON the ferry, so it's not a disappointment if I don't."

Jake: "Aww, I wanted to go to Trolls."

Hubs and I in seriously irritated parent unison: "We are NOT going to Trolls."

Hubs parked the car in line while the ferry began to load, and we watched cars dutifully make their way up the ramp. Line after line of cars rolled by; all the cars that got in before us at the gates, their tail lights winking at us happily.

Soon it was our turn. Hubs started the car and we moved about 10 feet before a ferry worker appeared in front of us with his hand up.


Please no. We made it through the booth!

Holy mother of God, you HAVE TO BE JOKING.

The worker made a slashing motion across his throat, mouthing something at us that we couldn't quite hear. Hubs rolled down his window.

"Boat's full."

Silence filled the car as reality sunk in. Never, in all our years of taking the ferry, have we had this happen. We have been the very last car or even the car that is narrowly squeezed on deck, but somehow there has always been room. We've even been so bold as to drive by lines of cars, laughing and gloating with the ferry reservation in our hand, secure in the knowledge that we will board, those suckers may not. Finally, our luck had run out. Someone always gets left behind, and this time it was us.

Hubs: "Don't get out yet, they may still wave us on."

Me: "Wishful thinking! They won't do that."


Hubs and I in unison: "We are so NOT going to TROLLS so STOP ASKING before we make you SWIM HOME!"

We sat in the car, watching through the rain splattered windshield as the ferry pulled away from dock for home and leaving us behind, forlornly sitting in the parking lot.

Hubs: "I would've been on that ferry if the line had been faster."


The irritation that filled the car emanated from all three of us, as we collectively realized that we'd have two hours to kill. It was too early for dinner, pouring rain, and there was nothing to do but wait.

Suddenly, Jake broke the silence.

"Starbucks? I could go for a drink....."

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