Going at it Alone

This post was supposed to be a victory.

Today was the first day I attempted public transportation alone with Cora AND the stroller. Adler Planetarium was having a free day, and we needed to get out and about.

We caught the 10:45 Metra at 51st and rode to 11th/Museum Campus. We got off and headed to the elevator, I pushed the button, the light flashed for a second, and then the orange glow went away. I tried repeatedly to no avail.

I remember this stop for the number of stairs to get up to street level. Jake and Parker once carted Cora and stroller up all of the stairs, and they were tired when they got to the top.

Oh well, I'm macho. I whip her stroller around and start pulling it up one stair at a time. When I got to the landing in the middle, I heard a man talking on his phone interrupt his conversation with "Hold on, let me go help this lady." While we both knew I could make it the rest of the way, I took him up on his kind gesture. He was, after all, the elevator repairman.

Adler Planetarium was all right. It's like elementary age friendly. Cora likes the moon, so that was nice. She also really likes running around from exhibit to exhibit - perfect. We saw one of the Gemini space crafts in an exhibit devoted to Jim Lovell. I think Cora almost appreciated that it had been in space.

We headed out to go have lunch in Grant Park at Buckingham Fountain, but on our trip over, Cora was showing the signs of fatigue, and a train was coming soon, so we headed back to the station and waited. And waited. And waited some more. Yes, I had checked the schedule before we left home. The train finally comes, and I brush off the "blue line" remark I hear the conductor say because all lines lead back to the 51st/53rd street station. Almost*.


I'm talking with an elderly lady across from me. She's telling me all about her great-grandson and how smart he is because both of his parents are educators and work with him. I felt rude when I glanced out the window once and realized we should be slowing down, but we're not. And I glanced out again and she paused and I said, "Do we stop at 51st?" She said "no, you need to be on the South Chicago Line...." and somewhere in the middle of that sentence one of the conductors said "we stop at 55/56/57."

"I can do 55th," I said, glad that it wasn't a bigger number. I had visions of streets in the 90s dancing through my head and waiting another hour before I could jump on another train and come back home. Relief. I got off the train that was closer to 57th than 55th, and made my way down to the 55th exit, only to see an accessible sign saying to exit at 57th. I was proud and continued on, glad when another kind stranger helped me carry the stroller down a REALLY big flight of stairs. Two sets.

We walked the nine blocks home, and I was wondering if I should count this as a successful first solo trip or not. I mean, I did make it home, and Cora fell asleep a block before we got there. Maybe it's a victory afterall.

Side note: The Metra is an older transit system that is closer to our home than the "El" (or CTA). It is usually very convienient, but if you're not at one of the major stations that denotes which trains are which, they all look the same except for the South Shore Line, which has orange instead of blue on it. It also spreads out to running every hour in off-peak parts of the day. The El is much easier in the sense that all cars are labeled with the color of the line and the direction it is going, so even if you happen to be in an area close to the loop, you don't have to guess what line a train is, even if it shares the tracks with multiple lines. You generally never have to wait for than ten minutes.



  1. Oh BrieAnn...I get lost ALL THE TIME! even when I am on the bus and in my car driving and everywhere....I feel for you...:0~

  2. I think it's a success! Now you know what TO do and what NOT to do next time.

  3. I say success! If it were me, I would have ended up an hour from my destination!

  4. That's really impressive, BrieAnn! I can totally navigate the public transport systems in London, Paris, NYC... but add a baby and a stroller into the mix and I think I would be a mess. You should be proud of yourself! ;-)

  5. oh the adventures of a new city!



Powered by Blogger.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Back to Top