Fast forward: We moved back to the US of A, had purchased a car before we even hit the soil, and reveled in the joy of grocery shopping with trunk space. (Grocery shopping is the one thing that is absolutely, completely, undeniably the pits without a car.) San Diego has its own trolley, aka light rail system, and Mili has been eyeing those bright red cars for some time now. I knew it was high time to get back onto the public transit bandwagon. With two kids in tow, one umbrella stroller, and a bag packed with lunches and snacks, we set off to Old Town San Diego to go visit the Mormon Battalion.
- It felt like a little slice of England! Sometimes, I can really miss our time in that place.
- The skills of utilizing public transit are apparently burned into my brain. Didn't have any trouble figuring out which trains to take, where to transfer lines, and when to get off.
- I didn't have to find or pay for parking at Old Town! I hate parking in busy, big city areas.
- Noah and Mili thought it was the greatest. Mili's memories of a bajillion and one trips on the metro have clearly faded and our trip was long enough that I let Noah out of the stroller to stand at the window.
- Just being around so many people was so nice. Being a stay at home mom can feel so incredibly isolating - it was a relief to just be around a bit of humanity who were all just relaxing, saying hello, sharing smiles.
- My gas tank was teetering on empty today, but I didn't have to fill it up.
- It helps teach my children how to use these kinds of transit, to be unafraid to try them out, and to prevent them from creating any stigma about 'people who take the bus.' Also, it exposes them to such an eclectic and varied segment of people; a breadth and depth that I simply cannot create for them in any other way.
- Noah is not as stroller-trained as Mili was. Mili was super good at hanging out in the stroller like a champ, cause that is how we got everywhere and she spent a good chunk of time. Noah doesn't get near the amount of time in the stroller and he would start trying to escape and practically falling out of the seat.
- Our first metro broke down. Of course. I almost started laughing. But again, it wasn't that bad because it just felt so old hat to me. I knew the drill, didn't stress about time, just waited and talked about it all with Mili, who had a million and one questions.
- You aren't supposed to eat on the trolley system. That is near on impossible with two hoodlums under the age of 3 who you just traipsed all around. I just fed them snacks in very small doses, to minimize mess and spillage.
- It does take longer. This could be a pro or con I suppose, depending on your kids, time scale, nap schedules, and level of desperate boredom/cabin fever.
All in all, it was an awesome day and I'm so glad we did it. Mili Kay loved it so much that it looks like it may become a somewhat regular thing. In the next couple weeks I'm planning a bus ride to Balboa Park. Anybody want to come?