Monthly Archives: May, 2014

Another failed trip

R thought he’d need to work until 6 today, which is when his office closes and also when the daycare closes. He met me at lunch and brought me the Ergo so I could pick up M and we could take the train (and maybe the bus) home. I gathered all my bags, grabbed the Ergo, perched my sunglasses on top of my head and headed outside (note: I work in the basement). Not only is it pouring rain, there is also thunder and lightning. 

New plan, details not finalized, but it includes R picking up M and then picking me up. Now I’m wondering if we hadn’t met for lunch if he would have had enough time to get through some of this other work. 

Bus planning fail

A few travel failures this week. Yesterday I had a doctor’s appointment for a check-up at a new-to-me office. I picked a location convenient to work, going with the idea that I’d mainly be visiting for check-ups and could come and go during the day. The trip there worked out perfectly. I checked the bus schedule and caught the #2 at approximately 9:46. I got off one stop too soon but still close and got to the office just after 10 for a 10:30 appointment, adhering closely to the “Come 30 minutes in advance for paperwork” instructions.

However, I did not check even potential bus times for the ride back, even though I knew the bus only comes about every 40 minutes. And, of course, there are no schedules at the stop, and no phone app, and reading the schedule on my phone otherwise is difficult. Plus Google Maps on a Windows phone does not work that well. Technological flaws and failure to plan meant that I had no idea when a bus was coming, so I started walking. I was on the phone with R and said, “Oh, I see a bus coming the other way. They’re on a similar schedule, so maybe one is coming soon.” I was, of course, in between stops. Then at the corner of Skinker and Clayton, I saw the bus approach in the left turn lane. No way I was going to catch that. I missed the walk sign and had to wait through the cycle again and crossed just ahead of the #16 also in the turn lane, but it, of course, got to the next stop way before me. Buh-bye.

Reader, I walked the rest of the way and ate my grapes (literally; not a metaphor for anything). Google Maps told me later it was about 1.6 miles.  My sweaty brow told me it was humid. 

I return on Tuesday for bloodwork but will try to plan a little better. 

As an aside, I left the building at the Lobbby level and walked outside. There’s a circular drive for cars dropping off and picking up but absolutely no sidewalk. The lower level is garage. Do people not ever walk into the main entrance?

Twilight transit fail

Tuesday night we met a friend at the History Museum for Twilight Tuesday — the night’s musical act was a Tina Turner cover band. We did arrive with lawn chairs and money for food (food trucks!), but we had no clear travel plan, and it showed.

R was working from home, so he walked to the train station and took a train to the Forest Park station.

The museum is less than a mile from where I work but not in the same direction as the daycare. I left work, drove to the daycare to pick up M, and then drove towards the museum. I knew from being nearby on previous Tuesdays that parking would be difficult, but I took a circuitous route to get a space. After driving north to daycare, I drove east and then south (seeing R as he exited the Forest Park Station), then west, then south one block, and then east to park on the street that passes in front of the museum.

R had called me while I was driving out of the daycare lot to say he had missed the train but would grab the next one. He made it to the museum before I did and had time to walk most of the way to where I was parked. M, of course, fell asleep, so I loaded her up in the Ergo, grabbed the diaper bag, and walked towards R, who was fewer than 10 cars away at that point.

Next time: R can take the Red train to pick up M (2 stops) and then take the Red train to the Forest Park station (1 stop). I can take the Blue train from work to the Forest Park station (1 stop), and we can all meet there. I can even keep the lawn chairs in the car and grab them on the way out. Then we can take the Blue train together back to the car and drive home. Considering it took us about 4 weeks to get it together to meet our friend this time, I’m not sure when we’ll make it again before the series ends in September.

Sunday drive

Baby M fell asleep in the car on the way home from the Ethical Society (of course). She’s been sleeping so poorly (after a few great nights) because of teething that I hated to bring her inside and risk waking her. Often, she’ll just stay asleep in the carseat when we bring her inside, but sometimes she doesn’t. I told R I wanted to drop him off and then drive around with M for 30 minutes or so.

Don’t judge, but that’s what we did. We drove through Forest Park on a beautiful Sunday day (after the rain!). It turns out the entrance from Clayton is better on foot or bike than by car, as the road makes you go to the right, leading you towards an exit or the skating rink parking lot. But you can’t do a loop. I turned around and we ended up driving past the rec fields — bad idea! Cars parked on both sides for Little League. Then we circled past the Muny a few times.

Usually, it’s very easy for me to get lost in the park, but this time I had trouble not going past an exit. I came upon a jogger in the street. Yay for exercise! But the park is crisscrossed with multiple types of paths for walking, jogging, etc. I didn’t think it was necessary to be in the street on a Sunday at 1 pm, especially with headphones on.

Then I saw a bicyclist fall on a path. I pulled over to the side, wondering how I would get a bicyclist and bike in my car with a baby sleeping. It was such a slow fall I didn’t think there was a serious injury. The bicyclist waved and gave me a Thumbs Up. I wasn’t sure if that meant, “Thanks for stopping,” or “I’m okay!” Apparently, it meant the latter. I was still getting out of the car when he had already stood up and called over he was okay. I just finished riding 100 miles and I forgot I was still clipped in, he said. I asked again if everything was alright, and he said yes. I just biked 100 miles in…[checked his watch]…6 hours and 44 minutes. [edit: R told me this was a very good time.]

I got back in the car and drove home with M waking up as we pulled onto our block.

To make up for the car time, I took her for a walk later in the day. And we started the day with an early morning walk as well. Meanwhile, M loves these baby-toy cars in her daycare, and I thought I’d get one for home and a baby-toy bicycle, too. But I can’t find bikes–there are motorbikes but not regular bicycles.

Two more things

1. I don’t like left turn on yield for the same reason(s), I don’t like right turn on red. The cars are only watching for approaching cars, not pedestrians crossing from the same direction, in the crosswalk with the Walk sign. Ahem.

2. I am a fan of sprinklers — my mom can tell stories of me squealing (or squeeing?) as a baby when going past a sprinkler and getting hit by the water. However, 4 sprinklers in a row set to water the sidewalk more than the grass — not a fan of that. 

Image

If you walk a mile in my shoes

from daycare to work at 8 in the morning when it’s already 73 degrees with 66 percent humidity , make sure they’re not the brand-new shoes that haven’t been broken in yet. 

Worth the price of the vanity plate?

Three personalized license plates I’ve seen in the last two days:

  • TECHR 6 – I hope TECHR is not a teacher, unless he/she teaches technology. Maybe he/she’s a Tech HR person
  • GRL-VET – Two sets of initials? The initials of one person who’s a vet? A veteran or a veterinarian?
  • NUMBRS DR – A math professor? Person was driving a Mercedes SUV so he/she obviously knows how to make the numbers work.

This was not on a golf course

This was not on a golf course

No right turn on red!

I hate Right Turn on Red.

I don’t like it as a driver because there ends up being a car behind me honking (especially in this city!) because I’m not turning yet. There are cars coming! Or pedestrians! Or a bicyclist! It. Is. Not. Clear. To. Go.

I don’t like it as a pedestrian because something like this morning happens: I have the walk sign at the intersection. The car has a red light and is in the right lane to turn. The driver is looking to the left at oncoming traffic, waiting for a space to pull out. I am approaching from the right. The car is in the crosswalk. I could be an Assertive Pedestrian and stake my right to cross the street when I have the walk sign. But I could also then be hit by a car. So I waited at the intersection for the car to turn. The driver never once looked to the right.

 

75 Minutes

That’s how long today’s walk-train-walk-walk commute took, so we saved 5 minutes somewhere. Keep this up, and eventually we’ll get down to 20 minutes. Baby M rode in the stroller again and stayed awake most of the time, clutching the plastic ring from the stroller-giraffe toy-thing for most of the trip. I had planned ahead to get in the front of the first car and stand in the little spot behind the driver, but a young man gave me the wheelchair seat so I could sit and there was room for the stroller in front of me.

Highlights, such as they are:

      • Not hurting myself when I extended my leg to step over the puddle at the curb and managed to step right on the stroller wheel, almost doing the splits before catching myself.
      • Stepping in the puddle anyway and drenching my left shoe and ankle.
      • Glaring for an extra beat at the car that approached the crosswalk while I was already crossing, stopped at the sign, and then inched forward while I was still crossing.

Meeting my travel-by-public-transit-at-least-once-a-week goal for the week. (I did get a ride home — it was pouring rain, and I had R pick me up from work and walk to my office to meet me.

Bring the umbrellas, I said.