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A Simple Six: First Bus Ride

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

First Bus Ride

Here is it, our very first bus ride in Huntington. Tennis was to begin at 5:30pm. I checked out the bus routes and schedules and found one that picked up two blocks from home and got us to tennis by 5:40. I asked a lot of questions to the TTA worker yesterday when I called for details. I thought I was ready for this journey, but I was beyond nervous, and it was just a little bus ride.  The anxiety stemmed from having to walk four children to a very busy intersection and wait unknowingly for a bus that may or may not stop at a place that was unmarked but allegedly a stop.

The Journey
We left the house at 5:00. We were stopped by two different neighbors who were being very friendly but didn't know we had a bus to catch. We escaped them politely and made it to our pick up location at 5:18. Now I worried even more, had the bus already come by? I waited five minutes. I kept having to ask the children to step back from the curb. These cars were not accustom to little guys walking out in front of them and they were not slowing down to find out if they wouldn't.

Another minute went by and a car pulls into the parking lot behind us. The driver rolled down her window and I thought she was going to the drive-thru at Baskin Robbins, which is what the parking lot was for, but she was calling my attention. This very nice lady wanted to make sure we were alright. She saw me and four children and thought we might have car troubles and need some help. I was extremely touched by her concern. Not another person out there gave us any thought (from what I could tell) and I was so concerned over taking this trip. I thanked her many times and explained in short that we were waiting for a bus that may or may not come, but the children were looking forward to a new experience.
We finally spotted the bus, can you?


London, Elliot and Avery took the wheel seat.
Our  bus did arrive at 5:30pm. I warned the driver we were new to this procedure and to let me know if I was doing anything wrong. He confirmed the fare amount. I fed the machine in the front and told him where we were getting off. He showed the children the cord to pull at the top of the window to let him know when we wanted to stop. The entire way down the road he talk to them about the wild life we might see. He asked them questions about ground hogs and owls and yellow birds. They all loved their first ride.
Our #8 bus coming to pick us up for our return home.
The return bus picked us up at 6:40, just as the schedule said it would. The children fed the dollars into the machine this time. They took the same seats and resumed their conversation with the driver. He asked them to look up the type of birds they were seeing and even slowed down the bus so they could see the fawns. Have you ever had a driver slow the bus down to 30mph in a 55, just so you can see the deer?
Good to know.

Our wonderfully helpful and entertaining driver.
The return ride took a slightly different route, one that was closer to home and saved us the gentle walk up the hill. The children had a marvelous time and hope we can do it more often. After I got over the unknown obstacles and general anxiety I began to frown about the fare. It was a $6 trip for five people to travel 6 miles. Not a great deal when we had two cars sitting in the drive way, but a wonderfully cheap form of entertainment, a safe and well air conditioned experience, easy and convenient (at least this route), and it was nice to leave the driving to someone else for a while. Thanks TTA!

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