Chicago Sun-Times

April 2009 Archives

Who said this about driving?

"The poetry of motion! The real way to travel! The only way to travel! Here today -- in next week tomorrow! Villages skipped, towns and cities jumped -- always somebody else's horizon. O bliss! O poop-poop! O my! O my!"

The correct answer is Mr. Toad, from Kenneth Grahame's "The Wind in the Willows." Mr. Toad is a very enthusiastic, but not very skillful, driver. Thomas Nava was the first to name Grahame, so he's the winner. If he can send me his address and shirt-size (through the blog or through my e-mail at mwisniewski@suntimes.com), I can send him his Sun-Times shirt.

Bus to the Bulls

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The CTA will operate #19 United Center Express buses for all Bulls playoff games against the Boston Celtics. The playoff series will come to Chicago for Game 3 on Thursday, April 23 at 7 p.m., Game 4 at noon on Sunday and for Game 6 (if needed) on Wednesday, April 29 at a time to be determined.

Buses will leave every 10 minutes from Michigan and Randolph beginning 90 minutes before the start of the game until game-time. After the game, buses will leave the United Center about every 15 minutes for one hour.

The buses no longer make stops along Michigan north of Randolph, but will make all stops on Madison from Wabash to Clinton. From Clinton, the buses run express to the United Center.

Coming back, riders can get on the bus on the north side of the United Center eastbound on Madison near Gate 3. The buses will operate east on Washington to Wacker, then head south to Monroe and east to Michigan, making all stops from Jefferson to Michigan before turning north on Michigan and making a final stop at Randolph.

I've just returned with the family from 10 days in Ireland, and have some advice from that lovely island. Beware of renting a car!

We rented a car, were promised a small van for our family of five, and instead got an enormous grey Kia Sedona that reminded me of a rogue elephant. The rental company failed to tell us when we booked the car on the Internet about mandatory car insurance, that we would have to pay to rent a toddler seat, and other taxes, all of which increased our total to nearly $1,000 for a week, up from the $600 we had expected. The car lacked power steering and had bad brakes. At the beginning of our voyage, we tried to make light of our troubles, and called the car our "wee, slickit beastie," as a play on Robert Burns' description of a mouse. By the end of the trip, we were calling it "the death box."

Then we had to drive this monster, on the left side of the road, down twisting country lanes that were about as thin, as my husband put it, as Olympic girl gymnasts. It was a white knuckle experience. It was a good thing our middle daughter was efficient with a camera and took lots of pictures of scenery as we passed by, because my husband and I were too nervous to look at anything but the road. I can see why Ireland is such a devout country -- I prayed a great deal on the N6.

We rented a car, rather than taking a bus or the train to our destinations, because we have a toddler and needed to carry her diapers and stroller and the rest of her toddler equipment. If we're able to do this again in a few years, baby will be older, and we'll take trains and buses. Or else we'll do our research better on car rentals, so we won't get stuck with unexpected expenses. And we definitely would refuse to take such an enormous car.

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This page is an archive of entries from April 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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