Under the Maple Canopy

Singing Union Songs Since 2009

Our Inagural Car-Free Journeys

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On Tuesday this week (the day after we bought the Chariot), we bundled both kids up in winter coats, hats, and mittens. We strapped them both into the trailer and put one of those fleece blankets on their laps, put both covers down over them (the screen and the PU one) and headed out to the post office. In spite of the cooler weather (low 30s) both kids stayed toasty warm as did hubby and I. The biggest conflict? Deciding which one of us adults got to push the stroller. Thinking back on it now it’s actually a little bit comical.

It took us about 15 minutes to get to the Post Office (one way). We also stopped by “Big Lots” next door to see if they had a bike pump since one of the tires was a little low. We borrowed one from my parents and so far all seems to be going well.

Shortly after buying the Chariot the weather here turned significantly colder (in the mid-twenties), which is cold enough to test the resolve of just about any suburbanite, including myself. For the past few days I’ve been putting off going to the library because I’m afraid it’s “too cold.” So far I’ve been able to justify my silliness by figuring that the longer I wait the greater the possibility that more of the books I’ve requested will be in. Right?

I know, it’s silly and a bit counterproductive to our whole going car-lite thing. I feel only slightly better with the realization that not only did I not head out on foot to get the books, but I also didn’t get in the car.

I decided to get over my inaction by deciding to just head out. After talking it over with Hubby we decided to put off the trip to the library so that we could pick up a few things we needed at Target and the local co-op. Thursday night we made our plans for the following morning.

Friday morning, we were up, had breakfast, got everyone dressed, and out the door by around 9:30am or 9:45am. At first we were a bit cold, but by the time we were half way to our first destination we were both toasty warm. Both the kids had winter coats, hats, mittens, and a fleece blanket on them. They were actually a little bit too warm and had started to fog up the PU cover.

The Chariot fit through the door at the co-op just barely and the ones at Target no problem. After picking up the few items we needed and having some lunch we returned home. We arrived at our door around 12:15pm which was much earlier than we estimated. Both of the kids were asleep by the time we got home (this time without the hats and mittens, but still toasty warm).

In spite of the cold weather (mid twenties, but no wind, thankfully) and the fact that we walked around 3 miles round trip it was actually very relaxing. Usually when we run errands it’s an all morning thing (we would have gone to the library as well). We just barely get everyone fed and Hubby dressed to head to work. Everyone’s grouchy and tense by the time it’s all said and done.

Upon our return Hubby got to get on the computer, leisurely pack his lunch, etc. I found that I was in a much better mood and didn’t feel like getting the dishes done, bread started, elderberry syrup made was such a chore. Both Hubby and I also felt like (if we had had the time) we could have kept going and easily made it to the library and back.

We’re planning on heading to the library on Monday or Tuesday of next week because of all the snow – I’m game to go when it’s cooler, but don’t think it’s necessary to do so in the middle of a snow storm (of course, there’s also the issue with sidewalks which even the city takes awhile to get to). We had to head out for something today (they didn’t have it at Target or the co-op yesterday and I wanted to finish my loaf of bread) and felt like we were cheated since we had to take the car!

Wondering how to plan your trips on foot? I’ve found Google Maps to be very helpful. You enter your destinations and can choose “walking” for your mode of transportation. If anything, it’s kind of nice to know exactly how far you have gone after the fact.

Oh, and the other bonus? If you’ve walked to go shopping it’s much easier to stick to your list – if you don’t have a backpack you’ll have to because you’re limited in the amount of space you have – because you’ll find yourself asking whether you really want to carry it back!

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Miles walked to date: 4.6
Coldest Temperature: 27 degress F
Most things carried at one time: 4 boxes of cereal, 1 box of diapers (taken out of the box), 1 package of batteries, 1 IPod Touch, 1 IPod Carrying Case, 1 set of IPod Speakers, 2 Kleen Kanteens, 1 Digital Camera, 2 Kids plus one for each toy each, and 1 Garage Door Opener

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