Cal and I are planning to do a lot of exploring this week. Today marks Joe's first official day of fellowship (though I think most of the day is non-clinical, rather involves him running from hospital to hospital dealing with administrative issues--IDs, passwords and whatnot), so we're on our own and ready to make the most of it. Since I told my new job that I wouldn't be starting until the first week of August, Cal and I have a good month together to party down, and towards the second half of the month, gradually phase in the new nanny. (We've been in contact with someone for a few months now, have an in-person interview scheduled soon, about which more later.) There are a lot of things we want to do (and a couple of things we have to do later this week--decidedly less fun, however, like the apartment walk-through with our real-estate agent, letting in the movers, etcetera) but today I decided that I was going to take Cal to one of these bouncy-house places that seem to be quite popular down here in Ye Land of Seemingly Unlimited Commercial Space. Do you know what I'm talking about? They have these gigantic inflatable jungle obstacle-course-type-things that you can climb on, slide down, moon-bounce houses, blow-up animals, what have you. It looked fun. So that was the adventure part for Cal. The adventure part for me was figuring out how to get there on the bus.
Now, even in New York, I would rarely take the bus unless I was going crosstown, opting instead whenever possible to take the subway, because duh, it is faster. However, I believe it is not an understatement to tell you that the New York City subway system is somewhat more extensive than that in Atlanta (the MARTA rail seems to consist of two perpendicular lines that sort of fan out slightly at the edges of the city), whereas the bus covers some, though not all, of the area left unserviced by train. So we knew that today, we were going to take the bus.
So now I've taken the train and the bus here, and I have to say that so far, from what I've heard of MARTA from the locals, public transportation in Atlanta gotten a bad rap. I mean, it's not most people's main means of travel like it is in some cities, so as such, it's obviously a little underserviced, but in general, I think it's OK. Partially, I think the stigma is cultural--the impression I get is that people take MARTA because they don't have a good other option (read: no car) so while many would rather drive, some don't really have a choice; as opposed to New York, where people take the subway because it is fast and efficient and having a car in the city is a big fat pain in the ass. Sure, the MARTA bus doesn't run on schedule (I think our line was running about 20 minutes late on either leg of the trip), and sure, it was a long time between buses (about half an hour, per the "schedule"), but once we got on it was fast and it was clean and there was a lot of room for Cal's stroller. And I guess the key is that we weren't really in a hurry anyway. I got a 30-day unlimited pass at the subway station yesterday, and I think we'll be getting some good use out of it.
Anyway, the Kinderbouncehaus was fun, and Cal got to expend a lot of energy without having to lose 50% of his body weight in sweat. (Seriously, what do kids do outside here in the summer? It is so unbelievably hot. Swim, I guess. Or play Wii in their rec rooms.) Afterwards, we had lunch at this sort of dodgy sandwich place near the bouncy place (Cal had his own food), and then caught the bus to come back home. It was a nice day. Plus, we got to do the public transportation thing, which, once I realized was a reasonable option here, gives us a lot more options of places to go and stuff to do.
I know, I know, the next thing you're going to ask me now is, when are you going to get your driver's license? People, I AM WORKING ON IT, but just remember that having two drivers in the family is not the same as having two cars, and since Joe needs our one car for work anyway, it's not like there'd be anything for me to drive around anyway, even if, you know, I was legally able to do so.
Anyway. We'll probably head downtown tomorrow to check out the Children's Museum or the Aquarium or some such thing. If Cal doesn't drag me back to Kinderbouncehaus, that is.