So, as I’ve mentioned, I’m a suburbanite, used to having a car available to go where I please, when I please. Distance in SoCal isn’t measured in miles, it’s measured in travel time, i.e. a trip from South Orange County (where I lived) to the West San Fernando Valley (where my family lives, a 75 mile trip) is actually a 1-1/2 – 3 hr trip, depending on traffic. It’s murder when the first night of Passover falls during the week and my family is holding the Seder – traffic through LA is terrible! But I digress. A trip to Target is usually about 5 minutes up the hill from my house, close and convenient. Also, since I’m married to a very organized and thoughtful man (read: Boy Scout), Todd has influenced me to keep things in my car that I would use as I’m out and about running errands. Things like a water bottle, my re-useable tote bags (I have many: my insulated Trader Joe’s bag, a wine-bottle bag, and various cloth bags that I’ve trained myself and my girls to bring into stores to “pre-cycle”) and my coupons (in an accordion file sorted into restaurants, retail stores, and grocery). In other words, I’m used to having things at hand when I go out, and I don’t have to think about it when I leave the house. All this is the background into our travels this past weekend.
Boston is very easy to get around without a car, but it does take some time (and advanced planning, if you don’t yet know your way about, as I don’t). I had been creating a list all week of things we needed to get at Target and Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Todd and I decided that we’d go Saturday to Target and BBB, as I didn’t want to carry everything by myself. There are two ways to get to the big box shopping center from our apartment building, either by bus or by subway. Since I hadn’t yet travelled by bus yet, I thought we could go that route and see the city a bit more. We were to take one bus and transfer to another. Now, Target is about 2 miles away (10 minutes, by SoCal reckoning, assuming the traffic-light gods are smiling), and that bus route was supposed to take about 30 minutes according to the MBTA Trip Planner. However, it was Saturday, and the 2nd bus took about 40 minutes to arrive, so it took more than an hour to go 2 miles! Luckily the bus stop was heated. But, we got there…and that’s when I realized that I had forgotten my Bed, Bath, and Beyond coupons! I have tons (the store accepts expired coupons, don’t ask me why), and while it doesn’t help with the little stuff, 20% off does add up. Needless to say, I was kicking myself for my stupidity. After all, it wasn’t like I could just go out to my car I grab the coupons I needed! Harrumph!! Todd was kind, saying that we could do the Target shopping and come back to BBB another time, but the efficiency expert in me didn’t like that idea. Still, I had no choice, so we plowed ahead and did the Target shopping. We had so much in our little shopping cart (with all sorts of tote bags hanging off it), that it was probably good we didn’t go to BBB also – we wouldn’t have been able to carry it all home. As it was, we called Uber for a car to get us home.
I was unpacking our shopping when I realized that I had forgotten to pick up my prescription at Target, the one reason I had to go to that Target in the first place. Oh good grief! So, Sunday was Target, part deux, with BBB thrown in for good measure. This time I made sure I had my coupons, and my list was complete (we had bought the wrong batteries at Target the day before). Also, this time we decided to go via subway. This trip was much smoother – all the trains were on time and efficient. It still took the 1/2 hour to get there, but at least we were’t waiting about, wondering if this was our bus finally arriving. After our shopping was done (once again, our little cart over-floweth), we headed back. It had started to rain a bit, but at least the trip back was smooth as well. All this so that we could make our little apartment feel a little more home-y.
The moral of this story: (1) make sure you have all the coupons and tote bags to think you will ever need with you in your little cart at all times, (2) trust the subway over buses, (3) make sure your shopping list includes things like “TL Rx” and “tonic water” (for the Vodka you’ll have when the excursion is over), and, most importantly, (4) make sure your husband is a Boy Scout who likes to spend time with you, even on errands! 🙂