Posted on July 11, 2016
Miami Part 1- Our Great American Road Trip
When I told my family that I was planning a road trip for the summer, they were all very receptive. My dad mentioned that his family was having a reunion in Miami around the time that we would begin our journey. I initially tried to think of excuses because I haven’t seen anyone from my dad’s side of the family in so long, I can’t remember when. However, I looked at the calendar and Miami not only fit perfectly on our route, it also fit perfectly into the calendar. I said to myself, “OK, I am doing this for my dad”. I decided to have no expectations or hopes as to the outcome of the visit. I am glad I made that decision.
We left St. Charles and took the Greyhound bus from downtown Chicago. The most amazing thing was going back to Chicago and feeling like a visitor…after one week. It was as if the skyscrapers were new, riding the El was a new experience, going into our old neighborhood, it was all as if I was doing it after many, many years.
We asked a stationmaster for directions to the bus station from the train station. He was so kind, he led us from where we were standing to the door we needed to leave from. No matter how much I protested it was too much, he insisted. Interactions like that just prove to me that there are always nice people around, whether it be a big or a small city. Bean was convinced that he was a police officer though, no matter how much he told her otherwise.
The walk was short to the train station and we found our bus right away. Just like travel on a plane, Bean and I were able to board first. That made me so happy. We didn’t need to sit in the back by the toilets! In choosing to travel by bus, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
In case you are wondering why I chose to take the bus, there were many reasons. The first was, in the spirit of road trip, I didn’t think I should start off by flying. Bean loves to fly and the tickets were the same price, but I really wanted to take the scenic route. I have taken Greyhound before, and besides way too many stops at McDonald’s to pick up other passengers, I could not find anything to complain about. The conductors always make it clear that if you curse, drink, talk loudly on your phone or listen to your electronic devices too loudly, you will be standing on the side of the road looking for another ride. That is better than public transportation in the city. The second reason was that in looking for a rental car, I may have waited too late for a good deal. For the price of a ticket to Europe, I could rent a car for three days going one way from Chicago to Miami. Of course I would rather use that money for a ticket to Europe. The bus was the best choice.
Our bus made many stops and we did not need to make a transfer until Memphis, Tennessee. At every stop, Bean and I would get out and go for a walk. I was surprised at the people who chose to sit for hours on the bus and then sit some more at a rest stop. Traveling long distances with a young child, I have always found it helpful to get out and walk. Even for myself, I feel better if I get some fresh air. We discovered many things in a few minutes off of the bus at every stop. We found the Subway in Indianapolis. We discovered 4th Street Live in Louisville. We saw a real, live Judy Hops police car (you will understand if you have seen Zootopia). All in all, it was an uneventful trip until we got to Atlanta.
I would love to tell you the rest of the story in this post, but there is so much more to write. Stay tuned and in a few days, you will get to hear what happened when the fun began. I would like to know, has anyone ever taken Greyhound or another bus service to get to a destination. What was your overall trip experience? Did you choose the bus for fun or out of necessity?