They clearly brought me up too soon, last night was clear evidence I am not yet ready for prime-time BART.
PRO-TIP # 1:
BART has misplaced the rats asses they would give to make things simple for people who are first-time users.
I went around in circles in the parking lots at the Walnut Creek station trying to figure out whether or not I could park in the stalls. Signage is vague at best, something about permits, something about fees, some times are thrown around but who has time to read when you're driving??? So here it is in plain English-PARKING IS FREE AFTER 3pm! Done and done. And forget about making sense of the website schedules, after hours of trying to make sense of that, I found the "Quick Planner" is what most people want, since there's helpful information on it. Go figure.
PRO-TIP # 2:
The Montgomery station is not the one.
EV-ER-Y-ONE in Giants gear got off at Embarcadero. Everyone except for me that is. Oh, the looks of pity I received from those around me, "sweetheart, did you miss your stop?" they all seemed to say. And I did, if I had been planning this excursion. But nooooooo, my idiot friend was holed up at the Irish Bank and claimed Montgomery was easier (read: closer to stumble to) for him to meet me at. Which would have been fine, if he had ever come to the station to find me. I walked alone to the park. Not a bad walk really, only took me 15 minutes, I just would have preferred a view if I was walking solo anyways. And also to have not spent 15 minutes standing outside the station. I shoulda gone into the Ghirardelli store on the corner.
PRO-TIP # 3:
Don't spend all your cash at the park, chances are you'll need taxi money.
Soooooo, you know that idiot friend of mine? Yeah. I'll be nice and say he's a functioning alcoholic (he's not. functioning, that is) Welp, he spent what was to be his BART money home on "one last beer", leaving him with a dollar. A DOLLAR. A dollar won't even get you to the platform, let alone to the next station. Not wanting to leave my friend stranded downtown needing to make his way to Daly City, I gave him fare money and down to the platform we went. Remember PRO-TIP # 1? It's back! One side said "EAST BAY" the other? "SFO/MILBRAE". So helpful. Knowing as much as I did, I was fairly confident I was taking one side and he should take the other. My train arrived first and I was headed home after a long day and a disappointing game. Or so I thought.
Suddenly, most of the Giants fans got off. I just figured it was a popular stop. Rookie status, remember? And then those words, "Castro Valley". How? What? I don't even... I tried to keep calm, figured, no problem, just get off and turn around. But in one final act of utter BS, the late game affected my simple plan. Asking the man in the box how to get to Walnut Creek, the woman behind him replied "oh you're not getting there tonight, you need to get someone to pick you up". EXCUSE ME?! NO ONE IS TALKING TO YOU! The gentleman then said, taxis were usually lined up below the platform so I headed down, assuming I could pay with a credit card, and you know what they say about making assumptions. Alas, not a soul in sight. 3 taxi companies later, and no one willing to come get me, I will fully own going into freak out mode. The BART gentleman gave me numbers of taxies, and finally success! But it would take them 10-15 minutes. And it was already well after midnight, and I was a solo female, in a place I didn't know, without hide nor hair of a security person.
Finally, my knight in shining taxi cab arrived! Immediately he asked if I had cash. UGH! A stop at a closed strip mall with an ATM in the parking lot (yeah, it's as sketchy as it sounded) and we were bumbling up 680 as I watched the meter go up 25 cents every 5 seconds. Then my phone rang. Thinking it was my friend, it came up the number I called. GASP! This wasn't my taxi, the one I called had just arrived back in Dublin and was wondering where I was. Whoops, sorry. Oh well. Praying I would have enough to pay for the cab, suddenly we were exiting and it was at that moment, upon seeing the Walnut Creek station, "Holy cats! I drove to the station! Don't take me home, my car is over there!"
TL:DR-Crab sandwich: $16. Giants Sock Monkey: $12. Taxi from West Dublin station to Walnut Creek station $46. Getting home in one piece: priceless.
So remember kids, have alternate getting home plans, just in case. "Free" baseball is rarely free.
Also, mom was right again, always carry extra cash than you think you'll need. Idiot.
Ok, really this is just an excuse to share the pictures I took last night, which, in hindsight, were infinitely better than the game and was whatever is better than "infinitely" in attempting to get home via public transit. :)
Guess who's up!
Mini Sock Monkey:
Fuzzy picture of me with someone in the Idiot Protection Program: