Caroline: Holiday Travel

Disclosure: This blog post was written while driving through Manhattan on a bus home. Home meaning Boston, because that city has my heart 🙂

I’m lucky enough that I don’t have to take a plane home for Thanksgiving— or so one might think. The past two Thanksgivings it has taken me 8+ hours to get from Boston to Wyckoff, NJ. The traffic on Tuesday afternoon before the holiday is crazy. First you get probably 20% of the Boston population leaving the city for home—wherever that may be. Then, if you’re on a bus that leaves anywhere from 1-5pm, you will hit NYC and Connecticut commuter traffic. Just when you think you’ll make it with in an hour of your scheduled arrival time, your hit bumper to bumper traffic from Norwalk, CT all the way to Manhattan. You finally cross the bridge to Manhattan and you think you’re home free, then you sit in grid lock for another hour as you travel 100 blocks to the 42nd St Port Authority. Once you’ve arrived there, you have to run to the top floor where the NJ Transit or Coach USA buses are to actually get to New Jersey, because even though you made it to the city, you’re still about an hour away from hugging your cats. Last year my bus got in so late, my mom had to drive into the city to pick me up because the NJ Transit buses had stopped running on a regular schedule. This year, I missed the last Coach USA bus to my town by one minute— the one minute I spent waiting in line for the ticket. I was running around Port Authority trying to figure out how I was going to get home, then finally got on a bus that I knew was going to a town near mine, but I wasn’t even sure exactly where I was going to be dropped off. I ended up getting home around 10:45pm, after leaving my apartment in Boston at 2pm.

Here’s the thing that really grinds my gears: if my roommate who lives in South Florida left our apartment at the same time as me, 2pm on Tuesday, I promise he would’ve gotten home before I did. Home in FLORIDA before I arrived home in NEW JERSEY. But, the bus is cheap, so I take it. Next Thanksgiving I am definitely splurging to take the train, because the traffic is just so mind numbing. I don’t have a problem any other time of the year taking the bus, its just Thanksgiving is so bad. My parents keep hounding me to find someone from North Jersey who has a car up in Boston— which is definitely not as easy as my sister finding someone with a car in Ithaca, NY. People don’t drive in the city! But I’m going to try for next time to find someone to give me a ride, because the hour detour to NYC makes the journey much more difficult.

Sorry to everyone who has to fly far and has to spend a lot of money on plane tickets. I salute you for only being able to go home a few times per year and the amount of time and money you spend traveling. If only it was socially acceptable to fly from Boston to Newark and it was as inexpensive as a bus/train ticket— I’d make it door-to-door in two hours. But until that’s a thing, or maybe even teleportation (that’d be dope) I’ll just be spending my time on the bus. Here’s hoping winter break traffic won’t be bad, because I already booked my bus tickets.

Caroline: Stages of Eating a Sushi Bowl

We’ve all had a craving for a Basho sushi bowl from the GSU. It’s such an amazing concept: a burrito bowl, but for sushi not burritos. Why wouldn’t you want that all the time? Well, it has its ups and downs, because a sushi bowl is deceptively a lot of food. Here are the stages of eating a sushi bowl:

 

1. Really wanting one

2. Never changing your usual order

3. Eagerly waiting for your name to be pronounced wrong

4. Figuring out how to go about eating it

5. Giving up on using chopsticks after your first three bites

6. Regretting your decision to get a sushi bowl because it’s way too much food

7. Forcing yourself to finish the whole thing because you just spent $10 on it

8. Resting for at least two minutes before doing anything else

9. Congratulating yourself for eating such a delicious meal

10. Repeating it all again the next time you’re in the GSU

Caroline: Adulthood: Part 2

Last semester I wrote about how searching for an apartment made me feel like a real adult. Today, I can tell you I feel more like an adult that ever. Yesterday I walked Beacon St. with grocery bags on either shoulder after dropping $80 at Whole Foods. The day before, I vacuumed my entire apartment and used a duster. A DUSTER. I got excited the other day when I received the Xfinity and electricity bills. Who does that? I was just very excited that I was finally living what feels like real life. I paid a bill with my own money (on my kitten checks, but that’s besides the point) and felt legitimate.

Probably my favorite part about feeling like an adult is cooking dinner. I have been gathering recipes for months now and I can finally make everything I’ve been salivating over. I use finally lightly because I had many test-cooking sessions at home before I was on my own and still often text my mother “What temperature do I cook the fish at?” I’m not saying anything I’ve cooked so far has come out stellar, but at least we’re not ordering takeout every night.

My favorite meal I’ve made so far is tofu-veggie stir fry or pesto pasta with broccoli. Things I’ve learned so far while cooking for myself and my roommates: water takes a long time to boil, it’s hard to time everything out to be finished at the same time, the kitchen gets really hot, and something will always go wrong. I’ve under cooked rice, steamed soggy broccoli, and boiled a pot over; and it’s only week four!

My favorite part of the week is when my three roommates and myself all coordinate our schedules and eat dinner together. Nothing is better than sitting down with three of your favorite people to eat a meal you just cooked yourself. And, if I’m lucky, someone else will offer to do the dishes. 🙂

In the past three weeks I have learned a lot about myself and my roommates, as well as life on my own. My biggest take aways are: communication is key, clean your dishes right after you’re done using them, and the walk to West campus feels way shorter on the way home after a long day.