Adventures in Public Transit (Day 1)
The other day I blogged about my step into the world of taking public transit daily to my new school. This morning, on a low-stress day when all I would have done was go to the library to finish up a writing project I need to, well, finish up, I decided to give the trip a dry run, and do that writing in the university library instead of my public one.
One thing I have to say from the start is that this isn’t just shifting my life into a different mode of operation, it also will have huge impact on my family. We had to set the alarm about an hour earlier than before (in the future, I would guess that 45 minutes will be sufficient) to get everyone up and moving on time. We all got into the car and schlepped me to the station, and then my husband took the kids to day care, and then he went on to work. We were running early enough that I actually got an earlier train than I’d anticipated, which is nice and something I wouldn’t mind making a habit of.
I went from the west burbs all the way to Union Station in the city. Thanks to the verbal directions of a good friend of mine (if you ever need to know the easiest way to go anywhere, ask a gigging musician; they know the tricks), I knew after getting off the train to not take the same escalators everyone else was taking, but that I should take the glass doors under the escalator and take the next one up, which would put me on the correct corner of the entire block that is Union Station. She nailed it, her directions were easy to follow, and next thing I know I’m heading north on Canal Street, exactly where I need to be going.
So then I have to go into the other train station, which is much smaller but a little more confusing since it’s also a mall and a food court. I found the Dunkin Donuts, which was a good thing. I discovered that since I was about the only person deliberately getting on a train leaving the city at that time of day, all the escalators were against me and I had to take the stairs. It’s not a big deal. I so need the exercise…
I dawdled a little, getting a map and checking the boards to see what my options were, but if I hadn’t done that I would totally have made an earlier train out of Ogilvie; as it was, I just missed it, which meant I had time for a cup of coffee before the next one 20 minutes later. But a non-rushed pre-dawdle version of the walk from one station to the next took me 13 minutes. If I hurried, and if I made a point of being one of the first people off the train and hurried through the throngs on the platform, I could easily cut that.
Arriving in Evanston I had a moment of disorientation as I tried to figure out which of the bizarre diagonal streets would take me where I needed to go, but I figured it out and began that little half mile hike. Piece of cake.
This will probably be one of my most boring posts ever–because it was easy. Inconvenient, I guess–I am not just sort of free to come and go as I please; I have to match someone else’s schedule. And while on this gorgeous day in September, it’s a delightful little stroll, I’m not sure I’ll feel the same way come February. But even so–it’s a new kind of life for me, and I think I’ll be able to manage just fine.
I like this feeling. I think it’s called Happy.