Now that I’ve had some time to regroup, I can tell you all more about my trip to Washington. Let’s start with how I got there . . .

04/06/24 – Ordinarily, it would have been a straight shot for Monique, Stacy, Rose, and Regina to drive three hours to Bangor from Presque Isle to pick me up, then drive another two hours to Portland to catch our flight to Washington at the airport. But circumstances prevailed just days before we were scheduled to fly out of Maine that certainly made our stateside travel plans a bit more complicated, to say the least. So the Presque Isle group had to get a bit creative improvising their way through this situation. You’ll find that this story will read more like Mr. Smith Goes To Washington meets Planes, Trains, & Automobiles.

Instead, the four of them arrived in Bangor from Presque Isle to pick me up in a shuttle vehicle. Then we all waited patiently for a Greyhound to pick us up from the Odlin Road Park & Ride. We must thank our shuttle driver for keeping us warm while we waited. After the Greyhound arrived, it made short stops in Waterville, Augusta, and Lewiston, before dropping us off in Portland at the Park & Ride there. From there, we caught our first Uber driver to take us to the airport, even if it took him a few tries to find us.

My luggage I had bought for this trip ended up being a little bigger than the rest of my group were expecting, so I had to check my bag before going through security. Thankfully, none of us ran into any other issues as we went through security. By this point, our group of five has expanded to eight when Abbott and his parents meet us at the airport. We had some down time before we could board the plane, which arrived about an hour later than initially scheduled, so a lot of us used this extra time to grab something to eat and use the restrooms. I also bought a pair of earbuds that I could stick in my ears so they wouldn’t pop on me so much while I was on the plane. I actually did pretty good for my first time on a plane once we were up in the air. Rose was sitting in the window seat next to me, and she was probably more nervous than me. So I just put my hand out for her to take to let her know, “We’re gonna be okay, we’ll get through this together.”

We touched down at Reagan Airport, which is technically in Arlington, VA, after about an hour and a half or so on the plane. Thankfully we didn’t have to do too much waiting around to get our luggage once we figured out where everyone’s bags were. We catch a huge break finding our next Uber after that to take us to our hotel from Reagan, and he manages to fit all eight of us and our luggage in his vehicle, even if it was a bit of a tight squeeze. Our group of eight expands once more to 11 as we are joined at the hotel by Jon and his parents, who elected to take a bus from Portland to South Station in Boston and take a train to Union Station in Washington. We check in to the Westin, and suffice it to say, my traveling companions weren’t kidding when they said this hotel was a really nice one. We’re talking a four-star Marriott here. At this point, we can all unwind a little bit now that we’ve arrived at our destination.

Monique, Rose, Marco and Stacy on Greyhound Bus headed to Portland Jetport
Regina, Rose, Marco, Monique and Stacy at Portland Jetport waiting to board. Washington D.C. Here we come!
The group at the Westin Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Tune in next week has we hear more from Marco on this trip!

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