BTRIPP (btripp) wrote,

What a day ...

Hither, thither, and yon ... Daughter #1 and I took eight different public transportation trips! First we dropped off her friend who had stayed over after we all went out to see the Lights Parade (which kicks off the "holiday shopping season" here) last night ... the parade route begins up on Oak St., just a block or so away from us, so if we snag a spot a half hour or so before the start we have a great view, and are just minutes away from home when it's over.

This morning we first grabbed the #22 Clark up to Diversey ... I noticed that an old friend from highschool (and college) got on the bus, and he ended up getting off at Diversey as well, so we had a while to chat while Daughter #1 and I waited for the #76 Diversey bus. We took that west, across the River, and got off at Logan to go to the MicroCenter up on Elston. Daughter #1 has a science fair project coming up where she's looking at different "fan types" and I figured that the most cost effective way of doing this was to pick up an array of computer case cooling fans ... we were able to get 3 with noticeably different blade shapes/alignments that she'll be able to use that as her study (we'd previously picked up one of those wind guage things to measure the output), and I was happy to get out of there for less than twenty bucks. We then walked over and got the #49 Western to hop down to Fullerton where we caught the #74 Fullerton and took that back over to the Red Line stop. Today they were doing the "Holiday (aka Santa) Train" on the Red Line, and The Girls were eager to catch that. Daughter #1 and I ended up with about 45 minutes to spare, so we grabbed a bite (and a coffee), and then headed up to wait for Sanity Clause. True to CTA form, the train was late (there were two other Red Line trains that came through following the "scheduled" time), but it's always a gas. Aside from Santa in a huge sled, with life-sized reindeer on a flatbed railcar, the interior of the passenger cars are all done up with special upholstery, lights, decorations, and hilarious (well, maybe "hilarious" is over-stating it) ads and jokes, and a couple of CTA employees dressed as elfs handing out candy canes to the riders. It's a fun program, and is done by the CTA employees on their own time every year.

Anyway, the next part was the tricky bit, as The Wife and Daughter #2 were going to catch up with us as the Santa train came through Clark & Division. I watched out for them, and popped my head out, but they still ended up a couple of cars back from us. We all got off at Monroe and headed up to catch the #20 Madison bus to get out to the United Center The reason we were heading over there was that when I heard that I was getting Thursday and Friday off next week, we decided that we'd go see the Circus on Friday (like we did last year), but the cost of getting these on-line is compounded by the damn Ticketmaster "convenience charge", which we figured was worth a little side-trip to avoid. Well, it turned out even better than avoiding the charge, as The Girls had these "discount coupons" from school, but I guess that Friday morning show wasn't selling particularly well, so we got 4 "main floor" tickets (we were in "nosebleed" last year) for just $9 each (originally $24 each), which meant that we ended up getting our tickets for a total of $36 which would have been something like $115 had we gone through Ticketmaster ... plus I got a chance to take pictures of the Michael Jordan statue, that I'd never really had a chance to check out before.

After that, we grabbed the #20 Madison bus back into the Loop where The Wife did a bit of shopping at Office Depot, and the we again managed to catch the "Santa Train" on it's north-bound run! Daughter #1 and I peeled off to get some FedEx supplies for me to get some things out for work tomorrow, while The Wife and Daughter #2 hit the grocery store, and we were all back home by 5 ... albeit (speaking for myself, at least) exhausted.

I apologize for not having pictures ready to post, but I laid down to watch the Bears game, and haven't been able to work up the energy to get out the laptop and download the pics from the camera as yet. Maybe tomorrow.

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