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...
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...
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.
Anyway, we had to change buses at the corner of Hamilton and Broad Street to catch the bus downtown.
As always, the Megabus arrived right on time and, as always, there was a crowd of people waiting.
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:
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:
After we settled into our room we went out to a nearby Italian restaurant called Club Lucky:
Tom started with a delicious salad:
Then had the spaghetti and meatballs:
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: