Sunday, March 11, 2012

Bus to Train and Back Again : It's All Good

I would say that our formal introduction to public transportation went rather well.  The MegaBus trip to Chicago was really the perfect way to travel for two girls and a mom who is used to be the passenger rather than the driver on long trips.  You see, my husband and I have this deal: he drives and I entertain him and keep all other passengers happy.  I'm good at that role.  In fact, I can "travel" throughout our minivan while it's moving. 

The Mega Bus allowed the girls and I to stretch out, watch movies, play computer games, and of course, the on board "faculties" meant we could travel without stopping for potty breaks.  The seats were ubercomfortable with plenty of room to stretch out and for most of the trip to Chicago were each had our own row.  Miss A had the upper level front seat which meant she had a huge window to watch the world go by and her "friend" Rose even had a special spot.  Once we got a few more passengers in Iowa City, the two girls shared the front row and got a great seat for Chicago traffic viewing.

I was a little nervous about our arrival in Chicago; finding the train station, grabbing something to eat, and carrying all our luggage and keeping my eyes on the girls.  Thankfully, a kind family on board adopted us and made sure we found the train station (which of course was right across the street from our bus stop) and helped us get going in the right direction.  People really are nice!

After buying the train tickets out to the Suburbs, we had time to grab some dinner and just watch the hustle and bustle of Union Station on a work night.  Getting on board the commuter train was a little disappointing for Miss A; she did not think it looked like a train and the inside of the train was not what she expected.  Thankfully, the conductor who took our tickets was "dressed" appropriately so she finally believed me that were traveling by rail. 

Our trip back home from Chicago went well too except for the fact that the Bus Driver decided to quit minutes before our scheduled departure from Chicago's Union Station meaning that we waited outside in the cold for an hour and a half waiting for a new bus and driver!!  Thankfully, Miss A had already eaten her Chicago Dog minus anything actually Chicago about it at 10:30 that morning in Union Station.  Otherwise, it would have been a chilly dog!

I'd definitely travel by Mega Bus again with the kids.  It's a perfect way to travel on short distances by myself.  I'm thinking that if we have a long week this summer, we might hop on it again to Chicago to catch a Cubs Game.  With relatives in Chicago, we would have a place to stay and all the transportation we would need to and from trains and buses.  However, there is something to be said for having a car to drive plus you can bring whatever you want along and not worry about having to drag it through the station.  My husband is pretty good company too and normally he allows us at least one stop to stretch our legs and use the restroom.  That's one more than he usually stops for himself.

Public transportation is not a bad way to commute.  I'm just glad I live where it's still a "treat" instead of a necessity.  I think I'd get awfully bored riding the train every day!

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