What I will and won’t miss about the burbs

Hello!

Happy Friday and happy long weekend!  Anyone have any fun plans for this weekend??  I had a half day today so I got to kick off the weekend early-woo hoo!

I also worked downtown 2 days this week which is awesomeeeee.  As some of you guys might remember me talking complaining about, I got a new job last December but it was out in the burbs.  At first this was no big deal, but once summer started it sucked because traffic got a lot worse–with school out, baseball games and people taking vacations and things, the traffic would be bad some days and AWFUL other days–with no real rhyme or reason behind it.  Going out to the burbs in the morning always took me about 45 minutes or so, but coming home would take anywhere from 1 hour to 2 or more!  This commute became the bane of my existence because I never knew what to expect.  I would feel like I had to leave work at 4 on the dot (I got there really early so I could leave early–don’t worry I wasn’t dipping out early or anything) in order to get home in a decent amount of time and then I would get in my car and check traffic and hear the traffic lady tell me that ‘traffic is very heavy’ almost everyday.   Man, that got old.  I really give people who have done the commute thing for years and years a ton of credit.  I think I mostly got so annoyed because it was so much time wasted out of each day that didn’t really need to be (since there is a downtown office).  Also, ever since I started having hip issues, driving sucks because it hurtsss to sit in the car.

Lucky for me, my manager was awesome and soo nice and she was really flexible about my comings and goings based on weather and even baseball games on occasion.  She also worked pretty hard to get me moved to the downtown office once I asked her if it was a possibility.  I really appreciate how much she went out of her way to help me get to the downtown office and starting Oct 1, I will be downtown full time!   So, I thought I would compile a list of reasons why I am excited to be downtown and reasons why I will actually miss the burbs/commute (there actually are a few!)

Reasons why I am excited to be downtown

1. Super fast commute!  Takes me about 20-25 minutes to get to/from work depending on the time and how long I wait for the train.

2. More time each day!  Working in the burbs, I felt like my schedule was: get up (early), get ready, drive, work, drive, workout, blog/cook/dinner, bed. repeat.  Not that my schedule will be way more exciting now, but I will have a little bit more time instead of feeling like every single week day is jammed packed with to-do’s.

3. No more traffic and road rage–seriously my road rage sometimes got a little bit out of control.  I’m not even going to tell you some of the stuff that came out of my mouth because it just isn’t appropriate at all.  A lot of swearing and bad words were involved on a daily basis though.   A few times I would look over at another car while yelling ‘REALLY??’ right at them doing something dumb (usually when they were in the left lane and not driving fast enough) and a few times I made eye contact with the person.  Which wasn’t as bad as the time I was in traffic but still moving and a guy put his turn signal on to get over in front of me, but I had noticed he was driving really slow so I started saying ‘no NO stay where you are, do NOT get in front of me’ while violently motioning for him to stay in his lane.  I thought nothing of this, but THEN like 20 minutes later when we are sitting in traffic, he passes by my lane and literally stops his car in the lane next to me to glare at me.  Hahaha, I was kind of scared he was going to follow me off my exit or something.  I probably sound like a total psycho or something–but the thing is, I usually don’t have that bad of road rage.  Something just comes over me during this commute because I want to get home so badly and I just get annoyed by everyone and their bad driving moms that I have to say mean things.  Usually it makes me laugh after I say them.  So, not only do I have road rage but also look like a crazy laughing alone in my car..sweett!

The above sign is after already being in the car for an hour…on good days that sign says 30ish minutes…I may or may not have teared up.

4. This is pretty much the same thing, but worth mentioning.  I remember when I was younger and driving somewhere with my mom and someone would cut her off, she would drive by them just so she could glare at them.  And I would get so mad every time and tell her how stupid it was that she did that.  Like someone cares if you glare at them!  Please!  And not too long ago, I found myself doing the exact same thing, on multiple occasions.  Someone save me from myself!

5. I like being downtown where there are lots of other people going to work.  What I mean is, in the burbs it can get a little bit lonely.   Our office was pretty sparse out there and with only one other company in the building, it just wasn’t the hustle and bustle of downtown that I was used to.  Glad to be back and a part of it!

6. ROTI!  I used to be obsessed with Roti when I worked downtown.  Have you had it?  I know it is a chain, I just don’t know where the locations are other than here.  It is basically like mediterranean fast food (but unlike normal fast food, it is pretty healthy and very fresh).  It is delishhh and usually one of the only exceptions I will make to eat out for lunch during the week

7. The Chicago French Market  The French Market is an awesome spot that basically has a bunch of different vendors and companies set up booths in one location right in the loop.  They have tons of fresh produce as well as lots of prepared foods that are good to grab as a quick lunch–sandwich places, pasta, cafes, etc.  There are wine/cheese booths and plenty of sweets too!

Last time I went, I checked out raw which I have been wanting to try for a longgggg time.  I got the ‘tuna’ pate (made from almonds, onions, etc) and the raw macaroons.  Both were great!

I wouldn’t call the pate a dead-on imitation of tuna, but it was delicious in it’s own way!   And I knew the macaroons would be awesome and I was right!

Need to learn how to make some of those balls asap.  The only downside is it is kind of expensive.  I think the price is worth it for the quality of the food but it definitely won’t be an everyday purchase.   Plus hopefully I can replicate some of the offerings.  Full review to come once I have tried a few more things

8. Last but not least, I figured out I will be saving around 8 dollars per day to work downtown.  That’s almost 200 dollars per month!  And 200 much needed dollars too.

Things I will miss about the burbs

1. My books on tape.  I listened to SO many books in the past 8 months.  I averaged probably 1 per week.   I really love to read but when I’m busy, reading is pretty much the first thing that is cut out of my day, so it was nice to be able to listen to a ton of books while I was stuck in the car anyways.  Some of my favorites were The Book Thief and the Hunger Games series.   There were tons of others that were great, but I remember literally not wanting to get out of the car with these two (which is saying something!).  I noticed that books need to be a lot more interesting when listening vs reading.  I can get through dry parts of a book if I’m reading it but in the car, I totally zone out and end up rewinding  a bunch.  Usually I give up on those audio books, where as regular books I often force myself to finish since I’m weird about not finishing a book I have started.

2. Trips to Costco– We had a Costco literally next to work which was good and bad.  For whatever reason, I really love going to Costco and sometimes I would just go at lunch to get some free samples and pick up random stuff–usually produce.

3. Ability to run errands at lunch.  In the burbs, you have to get in your car to go everywhere, so it was no big deal to run over to TJ Maxx or Target to do some shopping at lunch.  As a shopping addict, this was a major perk and I could often get errands out of the way easily at lunch which was nice

4. Mariano’s.  Sheesh, like all of these revolve around food.  Guess you know where my head is at.  If you haven’t heard of Mariano’s let me tell you, it is pretty much the most awesome grocery store of all time.  Think food quality level on par with Whole Foods, but prices cheaper than Dominick’s or Jewel.  So great.  I won’t get into it as I think it deserves a separate post.

5. Coworkers (yeah they come after food).  I really like a lot of my coworkers that work out in the burbs and will miss seeing them on a daily basis.  But since it is still the same company, I’m sure I’ll still talk to everyone and will also meet plenty of new people in the Chicago office!

So that’s that.  What about you guys–do you have a long commute to work?  If so, how do you manage?  What would you miss most about your job if you moved somewhere new?  

Hope everyone’s weekend is off to a great start!!

Katie

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