Tuesday, May 06, 2008

It's Official

I am officially car-less. I turned in the vehicle, my keys, my telephone and my computer today. That really made this all seem so, well, final.....even though its been a couple of days since I was let go. I ordered my Chicago City Pass last night, so hopefully I'll get that soon. In the meantime, I'll just be using the disposable cards we have to use public transportation.

Of course, all this really isn't that big of a deal, because Pat still has his vehicle....and the majority of couples in the city have one car (if they have a car at all). Its just kind of a big deal for me since most of the transportation in my life has been by car.....driving......my four wheel office. I actually liked driving hours on end. Now, its time to get used to a new way of living.

I guess I should start by breaking down the transportation system here. There is the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) and they operate the buses and trains (the "EL" - colored lines - red, blue, orange, etc) in the City of Chicago. Then there is PACE (not sure what that stands for) which operates buses in the suburbs, and The Metra, which is the commuter trains from the suburbs as well....there are many different lines that go from Milwaukee to Joliet, and a zillion stops in between.

I started off on this new foot by taking public transportation today from the office. Deerfield, IL is about 20 miles north of where we live. Driving it takes about 30-40 minutes or so door to door (closer to an hour now that the Eden's is all F'd in the A). I took the Metra from Deerfield to Edgebrook, walked a block, then took the 84 Peterson bus all the way home. It was super easy, took only about an hour total, and cost about $5.00 - not too shabby.

The relative ease of it all actually had me thinking that I might come to enjoy this.......but I should probably wait to make that assessment until I travel with a wee little one a time or two. One of the things I really enjoyed was being able to really look at the city. I mean, REALLY look - the style of homes, the streets, the people. It was pretty cool. Especially the people part. I think I heard at least 5 different languages on my way home. I LOVE that about the city. One of the big reasons why I would like to stay here for a while - I think its great to expose Liam to that kind of mix instead of being in a super suburb where its all super white bread (not that there's anything wrong with white bread.....its just so...well, bland). It was especially nice because everyone appeared to be happy and social and in a good mood....it was a beautiful day outside, no doubt that was the reason.

So, I will be reliant on public transportation here for a while anyway. If we were to get another vehicle, it would most likely be only if I went back to work somewhere not accessible by the vast network of buses and trains here, or if we moved out into the 'burbs....and all that is up in the air right now.

And, as a wise friend once said "Sometimes the unknown is much greater than the known". Indeed.

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