Go, Daddy: Getting There is 25% of the Fun

By @ 12/26/15 in Gay dads, Gay family travel, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Miami, Paul Heney, Travel
Sunset in Ohio from a Megabus in ManAboutWorld by Paul Heney, Go, Daddy

Sunset in Ohio from a Megabus

Our Go, Daddy writer, gay-dad Paul J. Heney,  his partner and kids are heading to Miami for their first-ever experience onCarnival Cruise Line. The first leg of their journey proved less than glamorous aboard a MegaBus heading from Cleveland to Florida.

So maybe the “half” thing is overrated, but we’re trying to keep our sense of humor about things.

My family—including partner and two sons—are journeying down to Miami, Florida from our hometown of Cleveland. It’s all to experience a Carnival Cruise as an LGBT family, and report on it for ManAboutWorld. To economize, we decided to try taking MegaBus to Chattanooga, Tennessee, roughly the halfway point, before renting a car and driving the remainder of the way.

MegaBus was interesting. Our fares were pretty inexpensive, about $55 per person each way. We paid a couple of extra dollars for reserved seats, to guarantee some of the nicer spots and so we could be sure to all sit together. We left at 4:30 p.m. from a nice intermodal transportation center in downtown Cleveland.

Our pleather-like reserved seats were organized around a small table, allowing us space for some drinks, our phones, etc. We even pulled out our new Christmas gift (popular card game “Exploding Kittens”) and the table was great for that.

Luckily, we thought to bring a couple of throws, because, in spite of the unseasonably warm weather along the route, the bus itself was pretty cold. Lance supposed maybe the driver kept himself awake that way. The seats weren’t the luxurious coach type seats I’d guessed it would have, and sleeping was difficult. We also stopped in Columbus, Cincinnati, Lexington and Knoxville, waking everyone up about every 2 hours. We also stopped once next to a McDonalds. Although I’d packed plenty of snacks and protein bars, we were famished by that point at 1 a.m. and ate heartily. Go, Daddy, Eat!

Go, Daddy: 1 am snack stop for the crew heading towards their Carnival Cruise in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Time to eat

We stopped in Lexington to bring on two new drivers, and one immediately admonished us for having several of our carry-ons in what appeared to be shared storage space. She then took up all that space with multiple bags of her own and her daughter’s. Odd. We ended up simply moving them to a few other empty seats. (The bus was less than half full.)

I was also surprised by the random spots that Megabus picked for its “terminals” in some cities. In Cincinnati, it was literally in the middle of a large parking lot beside the freeway. Cars were randomly pointed at the bus with headlights glaring, and it felt like we were in some weird James Dean movie where a car/bus drag race was about to begin. In Chattanooga, it was simply on the side of a deserted road near an office park. It was raining heavily, and we had to retreat to a random office building nearby to wait for our Uber to take us to the rental car facility.

As I write, we’re approaching the Florida border in our rented Jeep Cherokee (nice ride!) and it’s only a matter of time before my teenaged son asks to stop at Zaxby’s for lunch. The southern fried chicken fast food restaurant is among his favorites, and he can’t get it back home. We also stopped at my partner’s favorite restaurant, Cracker Barrel, for breakfast. It’s vacation, after all. But I’m struggling to avoid the “dad body” phenomenon—especially on tropical beaches this week—so I think I may have to hit the hotel gym elliptical this evening!

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