So sorry today's post is so late. I'm in Chicago and was having some internet problems. But now I'm all squared away, though running late.
Anyway, yesterday Tom and I took the bus to Chicago. I mean from Gahanna, Ohio to Chicago.
There hadn't been a bus route through our neighborhood in over 20 years until a few weeks ago when COTA (Central Ohio Transit Authority, our bus outift) brought back the bus to its old stop on Hamilton Road, across the street and down the block from where we live.
So when we decided to go visit my daughter Claire and her husband Miguel in Chicago before they left for Haiti (but after their spontaneous "Christmas" visit to us last weekend - see the 9/22/14 post), we also decided to go by bus - all the way.
Now, we often take the Megabus from downtown Columbus to downtown Chicago, which is a great way to go. and cheap, cheap, cheap - our round-trip tickets cost $45 each...
... but does always involve the issue of getting downtown to the Megabus stop. The bus leaves at 10:40 am, and since our two all-round wing men, our son Tommy and our nephew Randy, are usually working at that hour...
....as are most people, we always find ourselves scrabbling around for a ride to the Megabus stop.
And while downtown Columbus, Ohio, isn't the worst spot on the planet to have to negotiate, still a lot of people consider it a trek to have to drop somebody off downtown.
But anyway, with our old neighborhood bus line back in business we figured we now had the problem squared away. In truth, we were feeling excited as little kids about taking the bus downtown.
So Thursday morning at 8:33 am we left the house and walked to the stop at the corner of Hamilton Road and Worman Road. We arrived at the stop at 8:40...
...And the bus arrived exactly on time at 8:45.
The bus looked brand-new and was sparkling clean, the driver was friendly, the seats were comfy, the ride was smooth, and at $2.00 from Gahanna to downtown Columbus the price was right.
There was only one problem with the ride: from the stop where we got on in Gahanna to where we changed buses in Whitehall, the next suburb over, the bus was empty except for Tom, me, and one other person. This was troubling. Residents of Gahanna, I exhort you start taking the bus! Otherwise they'll take it away from us again!
Anyway, we had to change buses at the corner of Hamilton and Broad Street to catch the bus downtown.
We arrived downtown at Broad and 4th Street with about an hour to spare, so we walked to the Short North, the hip strip of downtown Columbus, to the Convention Center where we found a a bagel shop and grabbed a quick bagel before walking back to the Megabus stop at the corner of 4th and Spring Streets.
As always, the Megabus arrived right on time and, as always, there was a crowd of people waiting.
Now, everyone knows I'm the biggest rah-rah cheerleader for Megabus, with its double deckers, comfy seats, friendly helpful bus drivers (our bus driver on this trip, Dwayne, was no exception), WIFI and electrical outlets for charging and - yay! - bathrooms on board, But I must call 'em as I see 'em, and on this trip, I regret to say, the bus bathroom smelled. Not that I can't handle a smelly bathroom. It's just not my idea of gracious traveling. Other than that it was, as always, a pleasant trip.
Around 1 pm we stopped at a truck stop about an hour outside Indianapolis for a lunch break
...where Tom and I ordered the $5.99 large pizza:
...which, though the waitress assured us would be ready in five minutes, took so long to bake that we didn't have time to eat it there and had to take it back with us and eat it on our laps on the bus.
However, we both agreed that this was some surprisingly good truck-stop pizza. Apparently Noble Roman's isn't lying when they call themselves the Better Pizza People.
After lunch I conked out for a long refreshing nap. Will someone please explain why it is that home at night in my comfortable bed in my quiet, dark room I can't sleep worth two cents, but while sitting up in a vibrating airplane or bus seat I can sleep like a baby? Maybe I should toss my bed and get myself a vibrating bus seat.
Anyway, we arrived at Union station in Chicago around 4:30 pm and from there walked 3 blocks to the train stop where we caught the train to Bucktown, Claire and Miguel's neighborhood, then walked from the train stop to the IHSP Chicago, the hostel where we're staying:
The IHSP Chicago is located on the second and third floors of an old city building. It has dorm rooms, bathroom, sinks, washers, dryers,and shelves full of clean towels located here, there, and everywhere along the hallways that seem to twist and turn at all angles:
The dorm rooms range from one to nine beds, which are the least expensive, at around $20 per person. We got a two-person at $45 each:
But there's a beautiful day room with comfy couches, computers, a TV, pool table, and a well-stocked kitchen where people can cook.
Besides us, most of the residents of the IHSP Chicago appear to be young foreigners in their early 20's (same as last time we stayed here), though we did see two foreigners who look about our age, one I think a Russian man, the other I think a German guy. But it's mostly kids. It's nice:
The lobby The check-in desk
After we settled into our room we went out to a nearby Italian restaurant called Club Lucky:
Where I ordered the Chicken Francese, which was chicken smothered in mushrooms and wine sauce with spinach and which was very good:
Tom started with a delicious salad:
Then had the spaghetti and meatballs:
Which we both agreed tasted like chef Boy-ar-dee.
After dinner we walked around Bucktown for a while then returned to the hostel where Tom turned in and I hung out in the day room for a while and chatted with some friendly young Belgians who were playing pool:
This is a nice place. 8)
by Patti Liszkay
Buy it on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BTPN7NYY
by Patti Liszkay
Buy it on Amazon:
"Equal And Opposite Reactions"
by Patti Liszkay
Buy it on Amazon:
The Book Loft
of German Village,
Or check it out at the Columbus Metropolitan Library
I am a traveler just visiting this planet and reporting various and sundry observations,
hopefully of interest to my fellow travelers.