This past weekend, I took a solo road trip to York, PA en route to Lancaster, PA to visit some friends. Here’s a bit about my trip and how it went.A bit of backstory to start: I have friends all over the country (and in parts of Canada) thanks to the Internet. They’re absolutely wonderful people, and one of these days I’ll sit down and write about how the Internet can be a great thing. I digress. I took this trip to visit my friend Erika, who resides in Lancaster and who I have met before, and to also meet my friend Sam, who lives in California but also made the trip to PA for this past weekend.
Bus #1 was scheduled to leave Buffalo on Friday (August 10) morning at 9:15. We left about seven minutes late, which isn’t TOO bad. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bus leave on time, to be honest.
I did surprisingly well, I almost always get super anxious before I travel and my stomach always kills me/I get sick, but I was actually fine that morning.
Our first stop was Rochester, where we ended up staying for an hour because the bus was overbooked. Once we left, we made stops in Geneva (pretty!) Ithaca and Binghamton, then into PA and Scranton, which was where I made my first transfer. It was supposed to be a 20 minute transfer, but really, I got off bus #1 and right onto bus #2, which was run by Bieber Trailways. No joke. Then, we stopped in Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton before reaching Harrisburg, where I was supposed to make my third transfer, but I ended up staying on bus #2 and just showing my ticket to the new driver, so that was nice. None of my buses on the way there had working wifi, which sucked, but the one had plugs at least so I could charge my iPod and phone. When my bus left Harrisburg, that’s when my nerves hit, but I just took deep breaths and relaxed. The very next stop was York, and that’s where I got off. The ride took me from 9:15 a.m. until 8 p.m. but it really wasn’t bad – I kept myself occupied with music, enjoying the sights and having a few snacks along the way.
A quick bullet-point recap of the weekend:
- Finally meeting Sam once I reached York was awesome. We’ve known each other for a few years already, and it’s always nice to hang out with people in person and not just online.
- I went to my first Sheetz. (We don’t have them in Buffalo).
- Ryan Lochte’s Twitter account can bring the laughs until 2 a.m.
- Air mattresses are comfortable, as long as they don’t deflate on you overnight.
- If you’re staying at someone’s house, always ask them how to use their shower. I couldn’t figure it out and everyone was asleep. D’oh!
- Despite its name, Hershey Farm Restaurant is not in Hershey, PA. It’s in Lancaster and has a delicious buffet. Try the macaroni and cheese or the mashed potatoes! (Or both, like I did.)
- Hershey, PA has lampposts shaped like Hershey’s kisses, which I found incredibly cute. Some are ‘wrapped’ in the traditional foil style, while there are a few unwrapped. We didn’t get to do the tour of Chocolate World because our time was limited and the line was long, but I at least got to see the building and buy a few things at the store.
- While in Hershey, I also got to see the Giant Center (home of the AHL’s Hershey Bears) and Hersheypark, the amusement park. My friends and I attended a concert at the STAR Pavilion at Hersheypark Stadium on Saturday evening. It’s a nice venue – different, because I’d never been to a concert at a stadium before, but it wasn’t bad. I had a $29 seat and my view wasn’t bad at all for the price. (I’m super glad it didn’t rain!)
- Traffic, however, getting out of the venue? That sucked.
- Park City Diner & Lyndon City Lane Diner (both near Lancaster) are good places to go. Reasonable prices and decent food at both.
- Despite not watching pretty much any of the Olympics, I got to see the closing ceremonies.
- (Oh, and to explain the photo at the top of this post: the map on the left is my trip down, the map on the right is my trip back home. The photo in the middle – that’s the first time I’ve ever seen a highway sign for Philadelphia!)
My bus on the way home departed from York, and I had to make three transfers: Harrisburg, Elmira, and Rochester. It was a different route than the way that had taken me down into PA, so that was nice – but I could have done without the back country roads that were constant sharp turns, hills up & down, all at about 55-60 mph. (If I wanted a rollercoaster, I would have gone on one at the amusement park.)
Basically, the motto of this weekend was – and I hate myself for saying this – you only live once. (I refuse to use the short term for that). You have to take chances, go places, do different things, because someday, you won’t be able to. Take risks, have adventures. Say things to people that you might otherwise keep in. If you love someone, for god’s sakes, tell them. If you want to hold someone’s hand or kiss them, do it. (Provided, of course, that you’re both single and willing – I’m not enforcing any kind of cheating or forcing here.)
Live your life, NOW, because you never know what could happen, and you don’t want to have any regrets, do you?