We walked to the "cool" tree bus stop several blocks from our house, enjoying the gentle much needed rain. The kids were happy to ride on the cute hybrid bus and the little ones (6 and almost 3, but they are still my little ones) even took a quick nap on the ride over. People often ask how we get groceries without a car. Then I show them our Xtracycles and they wonder how one could get food without a bike. Well, often after the farmers' markets are over, I take over the shopping and do it during the week on the bus. I really need to buy one of those grocery carts, but I just usually kill my back, I mean get a good workout, carrying the bags on my shoulders and sometimes Josie too. I am not above bringing the boys' backpacks and filling them with groceries as well or at least have them carry their own library haul, but this time I gave them a break.
One very full bag of books, CDs, and DVDs, we could barely close the zipper. It was almost as full when we left so it wasn't much of a change and Parker did help carry it part of the way to the bus stop on the ride home since I had the three bags of groceries, which Parker deemed even heavier than the library bag which is why he chose that one to carry. Way too many canned/jarred goods this time and not much produce (I'm usually the one on the bus everyone stares at because I have leafy greens bursting out of my bags, it has provoked questions more than a few times) because I had to take advantage of the sales on artichoke hearts and the like. I was going mainly to stock up on sandwich bread since Strawberry Fields has the best sandwich bread in town and bread is pretty light, but I can't help myself, so three loaded bags later, and a crick in my back**, we were home with food.
*The Orange has changed its route a bit and no longer goes through campus which is unfortunate for those in my neighborhood (and there are quite a few, I know) who commute to campus. They can still ride the Orange downtown and transfer, but it was oh so much nicer to be able to stay on one bus all the way there. On the positive side, the new Orange goes to Chrystal Lake Park (not the intent, it goes behind Carle hospital now which I'm sure was the point) which we might take advantage of in the future. The old route went pretty close, but we had to cross University (four lanes at that point). There is an Orange Hopper which runs more often and just goes between the two downtowns. I haven't decided how helpful this is yet for us. I'll have to check how late it runs.
**The crick in my neck may also be from working out. I've joined a gym which is about two miles from my house. I'm getting into the swing of exercise outside our daily comings and goings.